Bridge Location Selection

Pattern Attributes

Intervention Management
Domain NA
Work Programme PAISEAN
Research Area GSD
Evidence Type Multiple case study, Lit. review
Evidence Source Multi-nationals, SMEs, individuals, literature
Evidence Strength Very strong
Trigger doing_gsd == true, time_overlap == false

Problem

Due to time zone difference, sites located at a distance have problems communicating with each other. They have difficult carrying out synchronous communication, and can depend on asynchronous communication which which ultimately affect the effectiveness and efficiency of the GSD project

Example

“Purely because of the time zone difference between US and Asia it doesn’t allow much communication… because it is roughly 12-13 hrs out of sync… so in that case we have allocated team in Cork as the bridge location so that the communication with States happens from here and then any communication that needs to go from Cork to Asia is done in that manner so that’s limiting the direct communication that happens between US and Asia…” (Bryan)

Analysis

Temporal distance can negatively impact communication and coordination. Problems caused include delay in projects, inaccurate requirements, incorrect design and increased costs. Selecting the appropriate bridge location is an important building block. Apart from geographical and temporal proximity other factors need to be considered. Specific sites can function as bridge when they exist close to equi-distant from two or more distributed sites. Having overlapping working hours with teams on either side in the GSD setup allows them to be both customer and vendor in two-stage offshore sourcing relationships. This allows them to understand various issues that help when dealing with both sites.

Solution

The time zone difference can be reduced through setting up a bridge location. A bridge is a group of heterogeneous workforces available within a reasonably shorter geographical and temporal distance from where they can become a node to manage two or more separated work sites that exist on either side of their location. Select a bridge location on the basis of the existing or real availability of experienced staff that can support the resource requirements. Do not select a bridge location where you are hiring new resources Ensure that the bridge site has overlapping hours with teams which are on both sides. This allows the bridge to communicate during hours which helps the flow of information between the two sites. Consider domain expertise and the technical experience while selecting bridge locations Select bridge locations to decrease distances and help create shorter paths among non co-located team members or workgroups Select bridge locations in countries with overlapping working hours that will permit real-time communication between the remote sites

GSD-Coord: Bridging strategies of which Bridge Location Selection is one

GSD-Coord: Bridging strategies of which Bridge Location Selection is one

Document templates

Sadhana Deshpande’s PhD thesis

Structured Communication, Hand on and Shake off session, Effective Partitioning, Team Cognition, Team Training.

References

  1. Deshpande, Sadhana, 2012, A Coordination Model for Global Software Development Teams, PhD thesis, University of Limerick.

  2. Holmström Olsson, H., Ó Conchúir, E., Ågerfalk, P.J, and Fitzgerald B. (2008), ‘Two-Stage Offshoring: An Investigation of the Irish Bridge’. MIS Quarterly, 32(2), pp: 1-23

  3. Milewski, A.E.; Tremaine, M.; Egan, R.; Zhang, S.; Kobler, F. and O’Sullivan, P. (2008) ‘Guidelines for Effective Bridging in Global Software Engineering’ In Proceedings of the International Conference on Global Software Engineering (ICGSE 08), Bangalore, India, pp: 23-32.

  4. Battin, R. D., Crocker, R., Kreidler, J., and Subramanian, K. (2001) ‘Leveraging Resources in Global Software Development’. IEEE Software. 18(2) (Mar. 2001), pp: 70-77.