Essays on Software Development Projects: Impact of Social and Technical Factors on Project Performance and Codiffusion of Sofwtare Sourcing Arrangements

Niharika Dayyala, University of Texas at El Paso


Software development is a complicated process which is accomplished by the combined effort of the key elements such as people, processes, and technology. Software development firms are on a constant quest to identify the best practices for managing the key elements to improve their software development project outcomes and to deliver successful software projects. This dissertation aims to study key elements that can influence the software development project performance through three distinctive studies. The first essay of this dissertation investigates the impact of people factors on software project outcomes. Specifically, it examines the impact of team characteristics on the software project outcomes of Capability Maturity Model (CMM) and Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) level software development projects. Teams and teamwork is a critical component of software development. Software organizations have long since identified the importance of teams and team building in software development. Nevertheless, there is a scarcity of studies on software development team management. Moreover, the role of team characteristics in the software projects that follow the CMM/CMMI practices has been underexplored. The first essay fills the gap by investigating the moderation effects of team characteristics such as team work experience, team turnover (attrition) and team functional heterogeneity on the software development project performance specific to projects that follow the capability maturity process models. The results of the study provide valuable insights into managing the employees such that the software project results in positive outcomes. The second essay of this dissertation investigates the impact of technological factors on effort and the quality of the software product. Technological factors used in the development process can influence effort estimation process and the quality of the end product. Moreover, the rapid technological advancements in the technologies used, can bring a huge difference in the quality, and the effort estimation of the software product delivered. Through this study, the influence of technical factors on project outcomes is investigated and also the impact of technological advancement in the technologies is analyzed. This study provides insights about the technologies that can improve the project quality and reduce the development effort. The third essay considers software sourcing arrangements such as offshoring, on-shoring, in-housing and outsourcing as strategic organizational innovations and analyzes the co-diffusion effects of software sourcing arrangements between 1) on-shoring and offshoring and 2) in-housing and outsourcing. A review of the existing diffusion, co-diffusion, and software sourcing literature revealed that the co-diffusion studies are lacking to understand, how the adoption of one type of software sourcing adoption can influence the adoption of the other. Through the third essay, this gap is filled by performing co-diffusion analysis to provide insights about the current and future trends in the diffusion process of the software sourcing phenomena.

Subject Area

Business administration|Information Technology|Computer science

Recommended Citation

Dayyala, Niharika, "Essays on Software Development Projects: Impact of Social and Technical Factors on Project Performance and Codiffusion of Sofwtare Sourcing Arrangements" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10280213.