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Supporting the allocation of software development work in distributed teams with multi-criteria decision analysis


  • Barcus, Ana
  • Montibeller, Gilberto


In the fast moving software industry, projects have been increasingly developed by distributed teams, which are located in geographically remote offices and collaborate using information communication technologies. In such environments, project distribution presents specific challenges, as work in distributed teams increases project technical complexity, communication lines multiply and stakeholders' interests may be divergent. Despite the importance and complexity of this type of problem, it seems that there is a lack of reports, in the literature, of systems that could support these decisions. This paper presents a real-world case study, where we developed a multi-criteria model for supporting the distributed team work allocation decision for a major global software company. It was developed with a group of software development project managers, using decision conferencing and multi-attribute value analysis. The model deals not only with software engineering attributes, but also "soft" and strategic issues, like team satisfaction and training opportunities. We also discuss some issues and challenges faced during this modelling process.

Suggested Citation

  • Barcus, Ana & Montibeller, Gilberto, 2008. "Supporting the allocation of software development work in distributed teams with multi-criteria decision analysis," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 464-475, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:36:y:2008:i:3:p:464-475

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eden, Colin, 1995. "On evaluating the performance of `wide-band' GDSS's," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 302-311, March.
    2. Lai, Vincent S. & Wong, Bo K. & Cheung, Waiman, 2002. "Group decision making in a multiple criteria environment: A case using the AHP in software selection," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 134-144, February.
    3. Bana e Costa, Carlos A. & Oliveira, Rui Carvalho, 2002. "Assigning priorities for maintenance, repair and refurbishment in managing a municipal housing stock," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 138(2), pages 380-391, April.
    4. Stamelos, Ioannis & Tsoukias, Alexis, 2003. "Software evaluation problem situations," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 273-286, March.
    5. Roy, Bernard, 1993. "Decision science or decision-aid science?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 184-203, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Franco, L. Alberto & Rouwette, Etienne A.J.A., 2011. "Decision development in facilitated modelling workshops," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 212(1), pages 164-178, July.
    2. Jessop, Alan, 2014. "IMP: A decision aid for multiattribute evaluation using imprecise weight estimates," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 18-29.
    3. Franco, L. Alberto & Lord, Ewan, 2011. "Understanding multi-methodology: Evaluating the perceived impact of mixing methods for group budgetary decisions," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 362-372, June.
    4. Deanna House, 2012. "Factors that Inhibit Globally Distributed Software Development Teams," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 2(6), pages 135-153, November.
    5. Franco, L. Alberto & Montibeller, Gilberto, 2010. "Facilitated modelling in operational research," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 205(3), pages 489-500, September.
    6. Montibeller, Gilberto & Franco, Alberto & Lord, Ewan & Iglesias, Aline, 2008. "Structuring multi-criteria portfolio analysis models," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 22693, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Fasolo, Barbara & Bana e Costa, Carlos A., 2014. "Tailoring value elicitation to decision makers' numeracy and fluency: Expressing value judgments in numbers or words," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 83-90.
    8. Montibeller, Gilberto & Franco, L. Alberto & Lord, Ewan & Iglesias, Aline, 2009. "Structuring resource allocation decisions: A framework for building multi-criteria portfolio models with area-grouped options," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 199(3), pages 846-856, December.


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