The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Investigating software customisation across distributed boundaries

Investigating software customisation across distributed boundaries
Investigating software customisation across distributed boundaries
In recent years the software industry has paid significant attention to customising software products by means of outsourcing and Agile development practices. When these areas overlap there are benefits and challenges. This study investigates the customisation process for packaged software products in projects involving multiple clients, and the communication of their requirements across distributed boundaries. A literature review identified the challenges involved and a framework for challenges of customising software products across distributed boundaries (FCCSD) is proposed to address them using onsite development practices. Local decision making and local development are considered as a means of reducing difficulties in communicating the customisation requirements of multiple clients across distributed boundaries through a new model. This model for communicating customisation requirements in the distributed domain, termed (CCRD), has two scenarios, one using decision making at the distributed client’s location, and the second enhancing onsite development of certain requirements in order to reduce delays and misunderstandings between the clients and the teams involved.

A preliminary study was conducted to confirm the FCCSD. This employed a questionnaire survey of 19 highly experienced participants. The CCRD model was evaluated in three stages using an industrial case study of a company with 18 distributed clients. The first was a contextual inquiry to create a baseline model for a real world case. The second involved the simulation of the CCRD model using a discrete-event simulation approach, traced by the baseline model using real data. Finally, the findings of previous experiments were validated through a study conducted by means of semi-structured interviews with seven experts at this same company.

The key contributions of this study are as follows: First is the proposed framework (FCCSD)that addresses a number of challenges facing customisation across distributed boundaries from literature. Second, this study highlights issues of the communication and negotiation of clients’ customisation requirements across distributed boundaries, and their implications.

Therefore, this study demonstrates the statistically significant impact of making decisions and negotiating clients’ requirements, as well as conducting certain development practices, on their premises to limit the implications of communication challenges over distributed boundaries, such as delays in making decisions, a long duration of development and the entire customisation process, and misunderstandings about clients’ requirements.
.
Qahtani, Abdulrahman
41e7a6e2-279e-46fe-92bf-c51af63069e8
Qahtani, Abdulrahman
41e7a6e2-279e-46fe-92bf-c51af63069e8
Wills, Gary
3a594558-6921-4e82-8098-38cd8d4e8aa0

(2015) Investigating software customisation across distributed boundaries. University of Southampton, Physical Sciences and Engineering, Doctoral Thesis, 208pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

In recent years the software industry has paid significant attention to customising software products by means of outsourcing and Agile development practices. When these areas overlap there are benefits and challenges. This study investigates the customisation process for packaged software products in projects involving multiple clients, and the communication of their requirements across distributed boundaries. A literature review identified the challenges involved and a framework for challenges of customising software products across distributed boundaries (FCCSD) is proposed to address them using onsite development practices. Local decision making and local development are considered as a means of reducing difficulties in communicating the customisation requirements of multiple clients across distributed boundaries through a new model. This model for communicating customisation requirements in the distributed domain, termed (CCRD), has two scenarios, one using decision making at the distributed client’s location, and the second enhancing onsite development of certain requirements in order to reduce delays and misunderstandings between the clients and the teams involved.

A preliminary study was conducted to confirm the FCCSD. This employed a questionnaire survey of 19 highly experienced participants. The CCRD model was evaluated in three stages using an industrial case study of a company with 18 distributed clients. The first was a contextual inquiry to create a baseline model for a real world case. The second involved the simulation of the CCRD model using a discrete-event simulation approach, traced by the baseline model using real data. Finally, the findings of previous experiments were validated through a study conducted by means of semi-structured interviews with seven experts at this same company.

The key contributions of this study are as follows: First is the proposed framework (FCCSD)that addresses a number of challenges facing customisation across distributed boundaries from literature. Second, this study highlights issues of the communication and negotiation of clients’ customisation requirements across distributed boundaries, and their implications.

Therefore, this study demonstrates the statistically significant impact of making decisions and negotiating clients’ requirements, as well as conducting certain development practices, on their premises to limit the implications of communication challenges over distributed boundaries, such as delays in making decisions, a long duration of development and the entire customisation process, and misunderstandings about clients’ requirements.
.

PDF
__soton.ac.uk_ude_personalfiles_users_jo1d13_mydesktop_Quhtani.pdf - Other
Download (2MB)

More information

Published date: October 2015
Organisations: University of Southampton, Electronic & Software Systems

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 382999
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/382999
PURE UUID: 82097b35-c125-47b6-8a10-f9482c5c6517
ORCID for Gary Wills: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5771-4088

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Oct 2015 10:04
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 13:03

Export record

Contributors

Author: Abdulrahman Qahtani
Thesis advisor: Gary Wills ORCID iD

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×