Software process improvement: where is the evidence?
Software process improvement (SPI) is around for decades: frameworks are proposed, success factors are studied, and experiences have been reported. However, the sheer mass of concepts, approaches, and standards published over the years overwhelms practitioners as well as researchers. What is out there? Are there new emerging approaches? What are open issues? Still, we struggle to answer the question for what is the current state of SPI and related research? We present initial results from a systematic mapping study to shed light on the field of SPI and to draw conclusions for future research directions. An analysis of 635 publications draws a big picture of SPI-related research of the past 25 years. Our study shows a high number of solution proposals, experience reports, and secondary studies, but only few theories. In particular, standard SPI models are analyzed and evaluated for applicability, especially from the perspective of SPI in small-to-medium-sized companies, which leads to new specialized frameworks. Furthermore, we find a growing interest in success factors to aid companies in conducting SPI. This summary refers to the paper Software Process Improvement: Where Is the Evidence? [Ku15]. This paper was published as full research paper in the ICSSP'2015 proceedings.
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