Software process improvement programs
What are the pitfalls that lead to abandonment?
Keywords:Software and its engineering, Software Quality, Software Process Improvement, Abandonment of Software Process Improvement
While many organizations successfully embrace and experience software process improvement (SPI) benefits, others abandon the effort before realizing the total potential result of an SPI initiative. Therefore, researchers' interest in understanding the reasons why software organizations that have a successful start in adopting SPI abandon improvement initiatives after evaluation has increased. Thus, this work aims to investigate how the abandonment of SPI programs based on maturity models occurs after the evaluation. The multiple case study method was used with eight organizations. Data were analyzed using Grounded Theory open and axial coding procedures. The results show that SPI initiatives failed because of internal factors (people, SPI project management, organizational aspects, and processes) and external factors to the organizational context (country economic crisis, outsourcing, governmental political influence, and external pressure from the client). As a contribution, we highlight the identification of these factors that organizations can use to learn about their initiatives and avoid pitfalls that can lead to the abandonment of SPI.
Albuquerque, R., Fontana, R.M., Malucelli, A., Reinehr, S. (2019). Agile Methods and Maturity Models Assessments: What's Next? In: Proceedings of the Systems, Software and Services Process Improvement (EUROSPI), Edinburgh, Scotland, pp 619-630.
Albuquerque, R., Malucelli, A., Reinehr, S. (2018). Software Process Improvement Programs: What happens after official appraisal. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering (SEKE), San Francisco, USA.
Albuquerque, R., Santos, G., Malucelli, A., Reinehr, S. (2020). Abandonment of a Software Process Improvement Program: Insights from Case Studies. In: Proceedings of the Brazilian Symposium on Software Quality (SBQS), Maranhão, Brazil.
Almeida, C.D.A., Albuquerque, A.B., Macedo, T. C. (2011). Analysis of the continuity of software processes execution in software organizations assessed in MPS.BR using Grounded Theor. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering (SEKE), Miami, Florida, USA.
Alqadri, Y., Budiardjo, E. K., Ferdinansyah, A., Rokhman, M. F. (2020) The CMMI-Dev Implementation Factors for Software Quality Improvement: A Case of XYZ Corporation. In: Proceeedings of the 2nd Asia Pacific Information Technology Conference (APIT), pp.34-40.
Anastassiu,M., Santos, G. (2020). Resistance to Change in Software Process Improvement - An Investigation of Causes, Effects and Conducts. In: Proceedings of the Brazylian Symposium on Software Quality (SBQS), Maranhão, Brazil.
Canedo, E. D., Santos, G. A. (2019). Factors Affecting Software Development Productivity: An empirical study. In: Proceedings of the XXXIII Brazilian Symposium on Software Engineering (SBES), September in Brazil. p.3017-316.
CMMI INSTITUTE (2018). CMMI for Development v2.0. Available at: [link].
CMMI INSTITUTE (2019). Radix: Delivers Results with CMMI and Behavioral Driven Development in Agile Environment. Submitted by: CMMI Institute. Published: 25 July, 2019.
Coleman, G., O'Connor, R. (2008). Investigating software process in practice: A grounded theory perspective. Journal of Systems and Software, v.81, issue 5, p.772-784.
Eisenhardt, K. (1989). Building Theories from Case Study Research. Academy of Management Review, v. 14, issue 4, pp. 532-550.
Fontana, R.M., Meyer, Jr. V., Reinehr, S., Malucelli, A. (2015). Progressive outcomes: A framework for maturing in agile software development. Journal of Systems and Software, v. 102, pp. 88-108.
Guerrero, F., Eletrovic, Y. (2004). Adopting the SW-CMM in a small IT organization, IEEE Software, v.21, issue 4, July-Aug. 2004, pp.29-35.
ISO/IEC (2015). ISO/IEC 33020:2015: Information Technology - Process Assessment – Process measurement framework for assessment of process capability, Geneve: ISO.
ISO/IEC (2017). ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017 Systems and software engineering. Software life cycle processes.
Kalinowski., M., Weber, K., Franco, N., Zanetti, D., Santos, G. (2014). Results of 10 Years of Software Process Improvement in Brazil Based on the MPS-SW Model. In Quality of Information and Communications Technology (QUATIC) in Portugal, p. 28-37.
Montoni, M.A., Rocha., A. R. C. (2011). Using grounded theory to acquire knowledge about critical success factors for conducting software process improvement implementation initiatives. International Journal of Knowledge Management, v.7, issue 3 (jul 2011), pp. 43–60. DOI: 10.4018/jkm.2011070104.
Nalepa, G., Fontana, R.M., Reinehr, S., Malucelli, A. (2019). Using Agile Approaches to Drive Software Process Improvement Initiatives. In: Proceedings of the Systems, Software and Services Process Improvement (EUROSPI), Edinburgh, Scotland, pp 495-506.
Narciso, H; Allison, I. (2014). Overcoming structural resistance in SPI with Change Management. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on the Quality of Information and Communications Technology (QUATIC), p.8-17.
O'Connor, R (2012). Using Grounded Theory Coding Mechanisms to Analyze Case Study and Focus Group Data in the Context of Software Process Research. Published in the United States of America by Information Science Reference (an imprint of IGI Global), 2012. Cap.13, p.256-270. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0179-6.ch013.
Peixoto, D.C.C., Batista, V. A., Resende, R.F., Isaías, C. (2010). How to Welcome Software Process Improvement and Avoid Resistance to Change. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Process (ICSP), Alemanha, p.138-149.
Reinehr, S., Pessôa, M S. P., Burnett, R.C. (2008). Software product lines in the financial sector in Brazil. In: Proceedings of the XXVIII National Congress on Production Engineering (ENEGEP). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Runeson, P., Host, M., Rainer, A., Regnell, B. (2012) . Case Study Research in Software Engineering: Guidelines and Examples.. March 2012 256 pages.
Shin, C.C., Huang, S.J. (2010). Exploring the relationship between organizational culture and software process improvement deployment, In Information & Management, v.47, p.271–281.
Society for the Promotion of Brazilian Software Excellence – SOFTEX (2020). MPS General Guide to Software. [link].
Strauss, A., Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of Qualitative Research, 2ª ed.: Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, London New Delhi, 1998, 312p.
Sulayman, M., Urquhart, C., Mendes, E., Seidel, S. (2012). Software process improvement success factors for small and medium Web companies: A qualitative study, In Information and Software Technology v.54, p.479–500, 2012.
Uskarci, A., Demirörs, O. (2017). Do staged maturity models result in organization-wide continuous process improvement? Insight from employees. In Computer Standards & Interfaces, v.52 p.25–40.
Yin, R. (2017). Case Study Research: Design and Methods (Applied Social Research Methods), 6th edn. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Regina Albuquerque, Gleison Santos, Andreia Malucelli, Sheila Reinehr
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.