Software development is an intense collaborative process where success depends on the ability to create, share and integrate information, and it can be a hard enough process when the entire team is together in one place. But when teams are  members scattered around the country or around the world only makes it harder and this adds to the complexity.Global sourcing and distributed software development have become a common business reality. Gone are the days when software development was performed by small single location. Today, companies are turning to distributed development as a way to be more responsive to customers’ demands for high-quality software applications that are delivered when they want and need them.

To ensure a successful outcome, project managers have to focus on the right success factors for their particular project. Increased competitive challenges are forcing companies to find better ways to bring their applications to market faster. Distributed development environments can help companies improve their time-to-market by enabling parallel activities and 24×7 software development. Yet, as multiple development teams are employed, the need to effectively share data and to collaborate among teams increases substantially.

It is recommended that distributed teams use a planning based approach that identifies a basket of collaboration practices and tool features to enhance their collaboration effectiveness. Distributed software development teams can improve their effectiveness with effective collaboration and by following a few tips

  • Developing a team strategy: By charting out a special strategy, teams can outline the communication plan, the decision making process, and properly distribute goals, roles and responsibilities, ensure fair work distribution.
  • Get to know the team members: Although Face-to-face meetings are always best, it may not always be possible in a DSD environment.  Video conferences, telephone calls etc. can help one get to know the team members better.
  • Monitor progress : Staying in touch with team members and regularly checking in with members to monitor progress helps collect necessary feedback. It helps to keep members  aware of crucial information and decisions.
  • Set an agenda: For a successful project in a DSD environment, it is important to set and follow an agenda, and ensure the right people attend.

Given the trend towards globalization in the software development industry, distance creates an additional challenge to development processes, as fewer opportunities for rich interaction and lower frequencies of direct communication. With the increased pressure to reduce cost, reduce development time, and improve quality, it is essential to team up with a reputed service provider who can ensure collaboration with adequate  advisory services for successful project completion.

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