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Volume 18 / Issue 19

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-018-19-2706


Knowledge Management Initiatives in Offshore Software Development: Vendors' Perspectives

Anuradha Mathrani (Massey University, New Zealand)

David Parsons (Massey University, New Zealand)

Sanjay Mathrani (Massey University, New Zealand)

Abstract: Offshore software development (OSD) is a leading business sector in the global IT marketplace, and vendors in different countries are opening software development centres to take advantage of new business opportunities. However, software development is both a technical and a social process in which various software modules are integrated, requiring ongoing interaction and synchronisation of activities between distributed stakeholders. Knowledge management (KM) strategies are applied to create knowledge consistent with client requirements, project specific features and chosen design methodologies. Building on existing KM theories with empirical evidence from ten case studies in the Asia Pacific region, within two country contexts (New Zealand and India), this research reveals the KM initiatives for enabling knowledge transfer in the OSD process at the operational, design and strategic level. The paper offers insights on how software vendors build organisational knowledge repositories as they streamline distributed tasks in different country contexts. Country-specific contexts reveal that New Zealand vendors are engaged more in project and product management and have further outsourced software development tasks to other low cost countries. The Indian vendors are involved in software construction, development of technical specialist skills and use of more formal processes. These findings emphasise implications of various sociological, cultural and technical perspectives of KM initiatives in OSD.

Keywords: Experience Capture, Explicit, Software Development, Tacit, distributed knowledge management

Categories: D.2.7, D.2.9, M.8, M.9