This Article 
 Bibliographic References 
 Add to: 
A Process for Managing Risks in Distributed Teams
January/February 2010 (vol. 27 no. 1)
pp. 20-29
John Stouby Persson, Aalborg University, Aalborg
Lars Mathiassen, Georgia State University, Atlanta
Distributed software projects represent particular risks that need careful managerial attention. The authors present a process for managing the risks that apply to distributed team structures. The process is based on the current literature on distributed team risks. It offers resolution techniques addressing these risks and guidelines for applying the techniques. Following CMMI's generic approach to risk management, the process describes steps that are readily understood and implemented. An illustration of the process is based on a large-scale, strategic software project with multiple subprojects that cross organizational and national boundaries. The authors include suggestions for tailoring the process to a particular project or organization.

1. J.D. Herbsleb and D. Moitra, "Global Software Development," IEEE Software, vol. 18, no. 2, 2001, pp. 16–20.
2. S. Sakthivel, "Managing Risks in Offshore Systems Development," Comm. ACM, vol. 50, no. 4, 2007, pp. 69–75.
3. C.B. Gibson and J.L. Gibbs, "Unpacking the Concept of Virtuality: The Effects of Geographic Dispersion, Electronic Dependence, Dynamic Structure, and National Diversity on Team Innovation," Administrative Science Quarterly, vol. 51, no. 3, 2006, pp. 451–495.
4. D.C. Gumm, "Distribution Dimensions in Software Development Projects: A Taxonomy," IEEE Software, vol. 23, no. 5, 2006, pp. 45–51.
5. J.S. Persson et al., "Managing Risks in Distributed Software Projects: An Integrative Framework," IEEE Trans. Eng. Management, vol. 56, no. 3, 2009, pp. 508–532.
6. CMMI Product Team, CMMI for Development, v. 1.2, tech. report CMU/SEI-2006-TR-008, Carnegie Mellon Software Eng. Inst., 2006.
7. B.W. Boehm, "Software Risk Management—Principles and Practices," IEEE Software, vol. 8, no. 1, 1991, pp. 32–41.
8. M.K. Kulpa and K.A. Johnson, Interpreting the CMMI: A Process Improvement Approach, CRC Press, 2003.
9. A. Powell, G. Piccoli, and B. Ives, "Virtual Teams: A Review of Current Literature and Directions for Future Research," The Data Base for Advances in Information Systems, vol. 35, no. 1, 2004, pp. 6–36.
10. J.M. Bhat, M. Gupta, and S.N. Murthy, "Overcoming Requirements Engineering Challenges: Lessons from Offshore Outsourcing," IEEE Software, vol. 23, no. 5, 2006, pp. 38–44.
11. D. Damian, "Stakeholders in Global Requirements Engineering: Lessons Learned from Practice," IEEE Software, vol. 24, no. 2, 2007, pp. 21–27.
12. F.W. McFarlan, "Portfolio Approach to Information Systems," Harvard Business Rev., vol. 59, no. 5, 1981, pp. 142–150.
13. J.H. Iversen, L. Mathiassen, and P.A. Nielsen, "Managing Risk in Software Process Improvement: An Action Research Approach," MIS Quarterly, vol. 28, no. 3, 2004, pp. 395–433.
14. E.T. Hall, Beyond Culture, Anchor Press, 1977.
15. S. Sakthivel, "Virtual Workgroups in Offshore Systems Development," Information and Software Technology, vol. 47, no. 5, 2005, pp. 305–318.

Index Terms:
distributed teams, risk management, cmmi
John Stouby Persson, Lars Mathiassen, "A Process for Managing Risks in Distributed Teams," IEEE Software, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 20-29, Jan.-Feb. 2010, doi:10.1109/MS.2009.157
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.