Practice: Requirements Engineering in Global Teams
Triggered by globalization, the software industry continuously seeks its skilled software development resources and cost competitive software development. In the process of which organisations have multi-site facilities remotely located throughout the globe. Requirements engineering is of utmost importance in such scenario as it is necessary to understand the requirements of the stakeholder groups in order to ensure effective communication amongst them even though being separated through time zones and cultures (Damian et al., 2012).
The working model of software development describes a software development centre based in Brazil and headquarters in the United States. Two teams remotely separated yet working on the same project need effective communications patterns amongst them to ensure smooth and effective software development. Thus RE plays a vital role in research, analyse and understand the necessities of processes required to develop suitable working coordination amongst such geographically isolated teams.
Findings emphasize problems existing in communication amongst the geographically separated teams and the lack of knowledge sharing that is experienced because of factors such as diversity in culture and time difference amongst the locations. There is missing a proper communications channel between the groups which allow them to share the sheer amounts of knowledge throughout the organization. Another issue addresses lack of awareness between the teams due to lack of informal communication between the isolated teams. There is missing the common understanding of requirements by the teams as they are divided by all these factors such as geography, time zones, culture values etc. Even the ‘trust’ is hard to establish between such team members which hardly communicate other than official conferences. Such lack of coordination and synchronization create a fundamental problem for RE and could have serious implications on the company. Thus it is one of the vital core issues that needs to be researched upon and addressed.
Relevant Theories Defining Requirements Engineering
Network theory helps in understanding the relationships and their patterns amongst individuals. Such relationships amongst entities could be of a formal or contractual bond, or informal relationships that exist in the form of friendship, acquaintanceship or merely social networks beyond organizational boundaries (Borgatti & Halgin, 2011)
The increased number of social interactions between the Requirements centred team (RCT) and other members working in the same organisation provide a proof on the existence of such informal networks. The existence of strong ties illustrates in the existence of RCT and weak ties formed during the interactions at the workplace leads to the increasing number of connections hence forming bigger social networks. The additional and emergent people existing in the Requirements centred Social Network (RCSN) other than planned connections are present because of their interactions and formation of social circles within the organization irrespective of national boundaries. Such collaborations help in developing a better expertise and hence advantageous for the organization.
Another theory in relation to the case is the Knowledge theory. Knowledge could be related to the information, education or skills acquired by an individual. It could be in the form of understanding the theory (explicit) or its practical application and expertise (implicit). In both forms the exhibition and exchange of knowledge by sharing helps in a stronger debate upon the issues and helps in increasing capability, problem solving skills (Hildreth, P. & Kimble, C. 2002) Based on mutual and social interactions between the members of the organization, knowledge is shared at different levels through adequate communication channels existing via…