A Model for the Implementation of Software Process Improvement: An Empirical Study

  • Mahmood Niazi
  • David Wilson
  • Didar Zowghi
  • Bernard Wong
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3009)


Advances have been made in the development of software process improvement (SPI) standards and models, i.e. Capability Maturity Model (CMM), more recently CMMI, and ISO’s SPICE. However, these advances have not been matched by equal advances in the adoption of these standards and models in software development which has resulted in limited success for many SPI efforts. The current problem with SPI is not a lack of a standard or model, but rather a lack of an effective strategy to successfully implement these standards or models. In the literature, much attention has been paid to “what activities to implement” rather than “how to implement” these activities. We believe that identification of only “what activities to implement” is not sufficient and that knowledge of “how to implement” is also required for successful implementation of SPI programmes.

The aim of this research paper is to empirically explore the viewpoints and experiences of practitioners regarding SPI implementation and based on the findings to develop a model in order to guide practitioners in effectively implementing SPI programmes. This SPI implementation model has six phases and provides a very practical structure within which to implement SPI programmes in organizations.


Software Quality Critical Success Factor Software Process Improvement Critical Barrier Capability Maturity Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Paul, B.: On for young and old as James and Kerry began to fret. The Sydney Morning Herald (2002), (Site visited 12-9-2003)
  2. 2.
    Finkelstein, A.: Report of the Inquiry Into The London Ambulance Service. In: International Workshop on Software Specification and Design Case Study Electronic (1993), (site visited 4-3-2003)
  3. 3.
    Lions, J. L.: (1997), (site visited 4-32003)
  4. 4.
    Pitterman, B.: Telcordia Technologies: The journey to high maturity. IEEE Software, 89–96 (July/August 2000)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Yamamura, G.: Software process satisfied employees. IEEE Software, 83–85 (September/October 1999)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Paulk, M., Curtis, B., Chrissis, M., Weber, C.: Capability Maturity Model for software, Version 1.1. CMU/SEI-93-TR-24, Software Engineering Institute USA (1993)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    SEI: Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMISM), Version 1.1. SEI, CMU/SEI-2002-TR-029 (2002)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    ISO/IEC-15504: Information technology - Software process assessment. Technical report - Type 2 (1998)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Goldenson, D.R., Herbsleb, J.D.: After the appraisal: A systematic survey of Process Improvement, Its benefits, And Factors That Influence Success. SEI, CMU/SEI-95-TR-009 (1995)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Herbsleb, J.D., Goldenson, D.R.: A systematic survey of CMM experience and results. In: 18th international conference on software engineering (ICSE-18), Germany (1996)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rockart, J.F.: Chief executives define their own data needs. Harvard Business Review (2), 81–93 (1979)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Stelzer, D., Werner, M.: Success factors of organizational change in software process improvement. Software process improvement and practice 4(4) (1999)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    El-Emam, K., Fusaro, P., Smith, B.: Success factors and barriers for software process improvement. Better software practice for business benefit: Principles and experience. IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos (1999)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rainer, A., Hall, T.: Key success factors for implementing software process improvement: a maturity-based analysis. Journal of Systems & Software (62), 71–84 (2002)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rainer, A., Hall, T.: A quantitative and qualitative analysis of factors affecting software processes. Journal of Systems & Software, Accepted awaiting publication (2002)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Florence, A.: Lessons learned in attempting to achieve software CMM Level 4, CrossTalk, 29–30 (August 2001)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Niazi, M., Wilson, D., Zowghi, D.: A framework for guiding the design of effective implementation strategies for software process improvement. In: International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Software Engineering (SEKE 2003), pp. 366–371 (2003)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Niazi, M., Wilson, D.: A Maturity Model for the Implementation of Software Process Improvement. In: International Conference on Software Engineering Research and Practice (SERP 2003), pp. 650–655 (2003)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Krippendorf, K.: Content Analysis: An introduction to its Methodologies. Sage, London (1980)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Coolican, H.: Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology. Hodder and Stoughton, London (1999)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Baddoo, N., Hall, T.: Motivators of software process improvement: An analysis of practitioner’s views. Journal of Systems and Software (62), 85–96 (2002)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Baddoo, N., Hall, T.: De-Motivators of software process improvement: An analysis of practitioner’s views. Journal of Systems and Software 66(1), 23–33 (2003)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Leedy, P., Ormrod, J.: Practical research: planning and design. Prentice Hall, New Jersey (2001)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bullen, C.V., Rockart, J.F.: A primer on critical success factor, Centre for Information Systems research. Sloan School of Management, Working Paper No. 69 (1981)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Baddoo, N.: Motivators and De-Motivators in software process improvement: an empirical study, PhD, University of Hertfordshire UK (2001)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Burnard, P.: A method of analysing interview transcripts in qualitative research. Nurse education today (11), 461–466 (1991)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Seaman, C.: Qualitative methods in empirical studies of software engineering. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 25(4), 557–572 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Weigers, K.E.: Software process improvement: Eight traps to avoid. CrossTalk, 9–12 (September 1998)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Moitra, D.: Managing change for (SPI) initiatives: A practical experience-based approach. Software Process Improvement and Practice (4), 199–207 (1998)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Butler, K.: Process lessons learned while reaching Level 4. CrossTalk, 1–6 (May 1997)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Paulk, M.: Practices of high maturity organizations. In: SEPG Conference, pp. 8–11 (1999)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Dyba, T.: An Instrument for measuring the key factors of success in SPI. Empirical software engineering (5), 357–390 (2000)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hall, T., Wilson, D.: Views of software quality: a field report. IEEE Proceedings on Software Engineering 144 (2) (1997)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Wilson, D., Hall, T.: Perceptions of software quality: a pilot study. Software quality journal (7), 67–75 (1998)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Huotari, M.: l. and Wilson, T. D.: Determining organizational information needs: the critical success factors approach. Information research 6 (3) (2001)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Khandelwal, V., Natarajan, R.: Quality IT management in Australia: Critical success factors for 2002. Technical report No. CIT/1/2002, University of Western Sydney (2002)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Somers, T., Nelson, K.: The impact of critical success factors across the stages of Enterprise Resource Planning Implementations. In: 34th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (2001)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Johnson, A.: Software process improvement experience in the DP/MIS function: Experience report. In: IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE, pp. 323–329 (1994)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Zubrow, D., Hayes, W., Siegel, J., Goldenson, D.: Maturity Questionnaire. CMU/SEI-94-SR-7 (1994)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Niazi, M., Wilson, D., Zowghi, D.: A Maturity Model for the Implementation of Software Process Improvement: An empirical study. Journal of Systems and Software (2003) (to appear)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Niazi, M., Wilson, D., Zowghi, D.: A model for the implementation of software process improvement: A pilot study. To appear in the proceedings of. International Conference on Software Quality, QSIC 2003 (2003)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahmood Niazi
    • 1
  • David Wilson
    • 1
  • Didar Zowghi
    • 1
  • Bernard Wong
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Information TechnologyUniversity of TechnologySydney

Personalised recommendations