Software process improvement in small and agile organizations is often problematic, but achieving good SPI-assessments can still be necessary to stay in the marked or to meet demands of multinational owners. The traditional norm driven, centralized and control centered improvement approaches has been reported ineffective in small firms and a lot of research is done to find more suitable improvement approaches. Only very few of these alternative approaches breaks with the underlying values of a rational system development process that seems to fit so badly. But is it at all possible to stay agile and innovative, while striving for certification according to traditional rational SPI norms? This paper reports from a action research project in a small agile Danish firm (Techsoft) conducting a improvement initiative. The firm had just been met by the demand for a CMMI level-3 certification from their new multinational owners. In the project we experimented to reach a less centralized and control centered SPI approach trying to meet the agile culture of the firm both within diagnosing, improvement planning, process design and evaluation eventhough the goal was applying to the norm. After having chosen the improvement area; requirement management, a more formal culture assessment and comparisons with the culture of the CMM-norm helped guiding the design of the new processes and tools. The paper suggests a SPI -approach based on problem diagnosis instead of formal CMMI-assessment, culture analysis to support designing processes that balance the firm-culture with that of the CMM-model and achieving real change in practice by building commitment and engagement through participative SPI-planning and design.
|Status||Udgivet - 2006|
- Software Process Improvement