Jessica Rodríguez MSE-2010:32, pp. 87. COM/School of Computing, 2010.
Software Process Improvement initiatives have been implemented by many companies in order to achieve
quality of products and practices. Many models like CMMI and IDEAL have been adopted as a means
to gain competitive advantages among competitors and trustworthiness of customers. Although these
models have proved successful results, the inherent characteristics of SMEs make it difficult and in many
cases unfeasible to implement such models, without meaning that those companies are less capable of
producing quality products or adopting well-defined practices.
This research presents a model to guide Software Process Improvement (SPI) according to the context of
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) using the Open Maturity Model (OMM) elaborated by the
QualiPSo consortium. Different literature reviews, a survey and a focus group were done in order to
build the theoretical foundations that support the structure of the proposed SPI model, validate the
findings and evaluate the resulting SPI model. SPI in SMEs, CMMI implementations in SMEs, issues
affecting SPI programs, and Knowledge Management approaches supporting improvement of software
processes and practices are the four main pillars of the theoretical background supporting the design of
the proposed SPI model, which is the major outcome of this thesis project and is aimed to guide SPI
programs considering OMM assessment results.
The proposed SPI model was subject of a preliminary evaluation with researchers and a validation with
practitioners. The results have confirmed that SPI outcomes are more valuable when business
requirements and SPI objectives are chosen to drive the improvement actions. The importance of
organizational awareness and the value of knowledge management strategies to mitigate potential
problems faced when implementing SPI has also been highlighted when evaluating the model.