Learning to Innovate: Methodologies, Tools, and Skills for Software Process Improvement in Spain

Learning to Innovate: Methodologies, Tools, and Skills for Software Process Improvement in Spain

Félix A. Barrio (National Institute for Information and Communication Technologies, Spain) and Raquel Poy (Universidad de León, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5182-1.ch016
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Using a large sample of Spanish organizations, in this chapter, the authors empirically reveal the state of health of the Spanish software industry in terms of software process improvement, both in the monitoring of working methodologies and the usage of tools, and they provide the necessary information in order to understand the real skills and efforts to improve the quality of products and end-user services. Having found that a significant number of organizations do not have specific training programs or their own software quality department, it is an essential point of departure for professionals to increase awareness of the need to implement quality processes to improve the competitiveness of the company. The state of knowledge of the methodologies aimed at quality and existing national and international standards shows that these are barely known by professionals in Spanish companies, especially among SMEs and micro-enterprises. However, most Spanish small businesses and large enterprises think the CMMI model best suits their needs, both business and technical. This growing interest is the main reason behind the fact that Spain has almost 38% of the European CMMI certifications, including 22 new certifications since 2010, and is the fourth country in the world in terms of number of CMMI appraisals.
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2. Methodology

For this study an online survey was conducted within Spain by the Spanish National Laboratory for Quality Software and the Observatory of the National Institute for Communications Technology1 between July 2008 and December 2012. 2,925 company managers and professionals from across the country were selected on the basis of their position within the software products and services market (supply and demand) and by their sector of activity in accordance with the CNAE2. In addition to the national sample, an oversample of 75 general managers, who are representatives of software factories located in Spain, were interviewed. Parallel documentary research and analysis were undertaken. These included previous works and studies, both national and international articles on software quality with particular reference to the knowledge and use of methodologies and tools in software projects.

The main reason behind this distinction is that business needs and objectives are believed to be different for organizations belonging to the supply side as opposed to the demand side and vice versa. In order to guarantee the representation of the study at a national level, the following research focus strata are defined:

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