A Knowledge-based Framework for Software Development Outsourcing Decision

M. Wu and H. Leung (PRC)


Software Development Outsourcing, Decision Support System, FAHP, System Dynamics Modeling


Outsourcing is a growing trend. The decision to outsource involves various factors, qualitative and quantitative, tangible and intangible. How to aid managers to make suitable decisions is an open question that is worth more research. Focusing on software development outsourcing, this paper presents a structured framework of related factors, which includes six categories: (1) Outsourcing Goals; (2) Macro Environment; (3) Product Characteristics; (4) In-house Characteristics; (5) Vendor Characteristics; and (6) Relationship and Strategy. Based on this framework, a decision support system was developed, and its three main subsystems: expert system, vendor selection system and dynamics simulation system were introduced. A general process is presented that illustrates the way the system aids management making outsourcing decision with knowledge support.

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