Background: Issues with software product quality are commonly reported when organisations engage in outsourcing relationships. To address this issue, value-based software engineering literature emphasises the need for all success-critical stakeholder groups to work towards a mutually agreed goal.
Aim: This paper presents a case study that aims to compare and contrast the priority two groups place on software product quality — stakeholders internal to the development organisation, and stakeholders from outsourcing relationships.
Method: A model of software product quality was developed and used for this study based on ISO 9126 standard. Questionnaires were collected from 38 representatives of the two key stakeholder groups, in which each person rates the relative importance of aspects of software product quality using the hierarchical cumulative voting (HCV) technique. The results of these two groups were then analysed and compared.
Results: The results show the stakeholders priorities to be a merging of the priorities from both the software development organsiation, and the firm providing the outsourced services. Further, stakeholders from outsourced relationships had greater difficulty define an ideal future balance of software product qualities.
Conclusions: One of the keys to success when outsourcing is to ensure both the internal and external groups understand the needs of each other — and ensure they can work towards a sufficiently compatible goal. It may be necessary to change the way work is outsourced to align the goals of both firms to be compatible.