Software quality is one of the most important issues in offshore development. We’d like to consider the difference in thinking about software quality, which is one of the causes of software quality. Offshore development between Japan and Vietnam, countries with different nationalities, so it is expected that differences in thinking will inevitably have an effect.
1. Impact of national character differences on software quality in offshore development
1.1. Software quality and differences in national character
First, we will consider the national character of Vietnamese people. Generally speaking, Vietnamese are diligent and serious. But that’s a little different from the Japanese ones. Vietnamese are not different from other Asian countries and loose in time. You can’t count on the start time of the wedding. It is natural that nobody comes when you go to the time written on the invitation. Also, they don’t always keep what we promised. When you are looking for an apartment and you have plan to meet with the landlord of the apartment, they sometimes cancels without any contact.
It seems that the custom of not being criticized even if they do not keep what you have decided and promised is also affect their awareness of software quality.
1.2. Software quality assurance within deadline
Failure to keep the specified time leads to the problem that they cannot keep software quality assurance within the time. It goes without saying that software quality is important in offshore development, but its balance with delivery time is even more important.The more time they spend, the fewer bugs and the better the quality.
However, it is important to ensure sufficient quality within the specified time. It takes a lot of effort to get them to understand that in a real offshore development site. Fortunately, Vietnamese people are serious and hardworking in Asian countries, so we expect that they can understand that well.
2. How can you tell the difference in software quality between the countries?
When explaining the quality of Japanese people, we sometimes talk about the following so that Vietnamese understand.
”Suppose you buy land and have a contract with a contractor to complete it in four months to build your own house there. The day before the scheduled date you noticed that the roof was completed but the water and electricity didn’t work, and that there was some material left around. Furthermore, the second floor was completed, but the third floor was still under construction. Do you pay if the contractor demands money in this situation?”
Of course they basically say no. But if you try to find acceptable conditions, you will find differences in consciousness. They have various opinions such as that it is enough to complete up to the second floor, or that it is acceptable that the material is left. If you explain that this difference leads to a difference in quality consciousness in software development, they will understand that there is a difference in quality consciousness there.
Of course, even if they understand this, what to do for it is another matter.
Differences in quality awareness can be resolved through education and mechanisms. It seems to be more effective for serious and hardworking Vietnamese.
3. How to software quality control?
3.1. Build software quality control system based on mutual understanding
As for education, going step by step is the best way, but how should we build the system?
We demand the quality of Japan the Vietnamese side, so we think it is best to apply the software quality control of Japan in Vietnam offshore development.
However, it is clear that the Japanese method is not a global standard. Therefore, imposing Japanese style on Vietnamese would not be good way. It would be great if we could build a system after understanding each other’s ideas. But understanding each other’s ideas is actually a very high hurdle.
In the case of a general Vietnamese offshore company, a Japanese expatriate or a business trip from Japan takes the opinions of the Japanese side and the site and work on PDCA cycle for good software quality assessment.
3.2. Software quality control of BAP
In the case of our company (BAP Co., Ltd.), the president is Vietnamese, but since he has worked for a Japanese IT company for many years, he can fully understand the concept of Japanese quality. Also, most of the executives are from Hanoi University of Technology and are excellent members who have been involved in the HEDSPI project.
Naturally, they also understand the general Vietnamese people’s quality consciousness, so they can easily communicate differences in ideas to Vietnamese engineers and indicate the direction to aim for. In addition, we have a Japanese corporation, and we are proud to be able to create quality that satisfies Japanese customers, in addition to being able to always contact customers.
In offshore development, different countries inevitably have different values. It is important to create a system to fill this gap and improve the software quality while respecting the national character of the other party. Then, you can find the benefits of offshore development.