Deploying a Software Process Lifecycle Standard in Very Small Companies

Deploying a Software Process Lifecycle Standard in Very Small Companies

Rory V. O'Connor (Dublin City University, Ireland)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch073
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Background

This section will introduce the problem with standards and explain the specific case of very small entities, before presenting the ISO/IEC standard as a solution specifically designed to address these problems for very small companies.

Problems with Standards

Although commercial SPI models have been highly publicized, they are not being widely adopted and their influence in the software industry therefore remains more at a theoretical than practical level (O'Connor & Coleman, 2009). For example, in the case of CMMI, an Australian study found that small organizations considered that adopting CMMI would be infeasible (Staples et al., 2007) and an Irish study found significant resistance due to negative perceptions surrounding levels of bureaucracy and required documentation (Coleman & O’Connor, 2006). Further investigation of the SEI CMMI by Staples and Niazi (2006) discovered, after systematically reviewing 600 papers, that there has been little published evidence about those organizations who have decided not to adopt CMMI.

There is evidence that the majority of small and very small software organizations are not adopting existing standards / proven best practice models because they perceive the standards as being developed by large organizations and orientated towards large organizations, thus provoking the debate the in terms of number of employees, size does actually matter (O'Connor & Coleman, 2008a). Studies have shown that small firms’ negative perceptions of process model standards are primarily driven by negative views of cost, documentation and bureaucracy. In addition, it has been reported that SMEs find it difficult to relate standards to their business needs and to justify the application of the international standards in their operations. Most SMEs cannot afford the resources for, or see a net benefit in, establishing software processes as defined by current standards and maturity models (O'Connor & Coleman, 2008b).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Very Small Entity: An enterprise, organization, department or project having up to 25 people.

Project Implementation: A specified set of activities designed to put into practice an activity or program of known dimensions.

Process Assessment: The disciplined examination of the processes by an organisation against a set of criteria to determine capability of those processes to perform within quality, cost and schedule goals.

Software Process Improvement (SPI): the software process as it is used within an organisation and thus drive the implementation of changes to that process to achieve specific goals such as increasing development speed, achieving higher product quality or reducing costs.

Software Process: A set of activities, methods, practices and transformations that people use to develop and maintain software and the associated products.

Project Management: The process and activity of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals.

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