Extended Team Model in GSD and Structures

We have been researching the theoretical concepts and practical implementation of Extended Team Model in Global Software Development (GSD) arrangements. This research has been motivated by the increasing popularity of developing software involving cross-organizational teams that are characterised by all sorts of distances (e.g., geographical, cultural, temporal, and knowledge). While there is plenty of literature on different models of GSD (e.g., outsourcing and distributed development centres), there is little known about the structures (work, social, and communication) that may exist in ETM and what affordances those structures provide to support collaboration and coordination. Our research in this area has produced some initial findings that have revealed that whilst the current structures in the studied team help deal with different GSD challenges, these structures appear to have certain challenges inherent in them and the affordances they provide. Based on these findings, our extensive observations from GSD projects in different settings, and structured review of the published literature, we have made a few recommendations for improving the current structures to deal with the observed challenges. The findings from the first phase of data analysis  have been reported in a paper that was presented in the 8th International Conference on Global Software Engineering by Mansooreh Zahedi. The slides from her presentation provide some glimpses of different aspects of our study. More detailed can be found in our paper. We are very keen to hear from researchers and practitioners about this work as we have an ongoing research project in this area. Our observations fro the ICGSE 2013 gathering and the general software engineering literature lead us to assert that social structures and their roles in supporting collaboration and coordination in GSD projects are becoming very important. There is an important need of putting concentrated efforts aimed at understanding and formulating theoretical foundations and practical guidelines for helping companies to design, deploy, and monitor appropriate structures in general and social structures in particular – we call these structures – collaborative social networks   – that are going to help promote cooperative and collaborative behaviour among GSD teams for addressing challenges characterised by geographical, temporal, and  socio-cultural distances. Please do keep an eye on this blog for our ongoing research and development activities in this area.