Understanding the Intricacies of Distributed Software Development

Text-only Preview

Understanding the Intricacies of Distributed Software Development

With the increased pressure to reduce cost, reduce development time, and improve quality, many
software companies are moving toward using a Distributed Software Development (DSD). Distributed
development teams have become the norm for most software projects today. They allow team members
to be located in various remote sites during the software lifecycle and make up a network of distant sub-
teams.

Most distributed teams are faced with the challenge of keeping software projects on track and keeping
remote developers involved. Consequently there is a large amount of planning and structuring essential
for developing the desired software right from the conceptualization stage to the stage of culmination.
Organizations that apply DSD usually use iterative approaches when teams are geographically
distributed, as against the traditional waterfall or sequential methods, as these become more difficult to
use consistently.

Despite their geographic separation, distributed developers need to stay in constant contact. Previously
the development of software products took place in-house. Most of the developers worked in the same
office taking care of separate portions of software development. The network bandwidth and the tools
prohibited remote developers from having direct access to the same repositories used by developers.
Keeping remote developers included makes sure that every team member is aware that they are
important to the project. When in the loop, a remote developer is likely to contribute more effectively.
These days there is a vast selection of software management tools that are available. Developers need to
share many of the assets used to specify, design, implement, and test software.

There are various segments of software product development and that includes requirement analysis,
coding, designing, implementation and integration, testing or independent verification, documentation,
deployment or installation and maintenance. Although team members are not centrally located, and there
is no face to face interaction between them, they still work collaboratively using long distance
communication tools like emails, chats, VOIP, videoconferencing, and so on. As the success of the
project is of paramount importance, individual achievements or team achievements do not mean anything
unless and until it plays a contributing factor in the success of the project. Therefore all team members
work from different locations on different aspects of the software development, and have to be
responsible for the project.

In today's globally-connected world, the ability to effectively leverage distributed teams to deliver great
software is a critical capability for most organizations. To ensure a successful outcome, project managers
have to focus on the right success factors for their particular project. By utilizing available tools and

keeping alive the spirit of teamwork, distributed software development can successful.

Also read on - Product support services, Advisory services