Using extended Axiomatic Design theory to reduce complexities in Global Software Development projects

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Global Software Development (GSD) projects could be best understood as intrinsically complex adaptive living systems: they cannot purely be considered as ‘designed systems’, as deliberate design/control episodes and processes (using ‘software engineering’ models) are intermixed with emergent change episodes and processes (that may perhaps be explained by models). Therefore to understand GSD projects as complex systems we need to combine the state-of-the-art of GSD research, as addressed in the software engineering discipline, with results of other disciplines that study complexity (e.g. Enterprise Architecture, Complexity and Information Theory, Axiomatic Design theory). In this paper we study the complexity of GSD projects and propose an upper bound estimation of Kolmogorov complexity (KC) to estimate the information content (as a complexity measure) of project plans. We demonstrate using two hypothetical examples how good and bad project plans compare with respect to complexity, and propose the application of extended Axiomatic Design (AD) theory to reduce the complexity of GSD projects in the project planning stage, as well as to keep this complexity as low as possible during the project execution stage.




Kandjani, H., Tavana, M., Bernus, P., Wen, L. and Mohtarami, A. (2015) ‘Using Extended Axiomatic Design Theory to Reduce Complexities in Global Software Development Projects,’ Computers in Industry, Vol. 67, pp. 86-96.