Software quality across boarders: Three case studies on alignment

Sebastian Barney, Varun Mohankumar, Panagiota Chatzipetrou, Aubüke Aurum, Claes Wohlin, Lefteris Angelis

Information and Software Technology, January 2014, 56(1):20–38


Fulltext: PDF

Publisher DOI: 10.1016/j.infsof.2013.06.004

Case Studies 1 & 2: Definitions (PDF) and Questionnaire (XLT)

Case Study 3: Definitions (PDF) and Questionnaire (PDF)


Context: Software quality issues are commonly reported when offshoring software development. Value-based software engineering addresses this by ensuring key stakeholders have a common understanding of quality.

Objective: This work seeks to understand the levels of alignment between key stakeholder groups on the priority given to aspects of software quality developed as part of an offshoring relationship. Further, the study aims to identify factors impacting the levels of alignment identified.

Method: Three case studies were conducted, with representatives of key stakeholder groups ranking aspects of software quality in a hierarchical cumulative exercise. The results are analysed using Spearman rank correlation coefficients and inertia. The results were discussed with the groups to gain a deeper understanding of the issues impacting alignment.

Results: Various level of alignment were found between the various groups, with a number of factors limiting alignment identified.

Conclusions: The factors that negatively affect alignment can vary greatly between different cases. The work emphasizes the need for greater support to align success-critical stakeholder groups in their understanding of quality when offshoring software development.