Melita Kozina: SPI (Software Process Improvement) in Software Development Process

Melita Kozina

About the Talk (slides)

Many organizations today, not only software companies, but also organizations such as banks, insurance companies, manufacturing organizations, etc., recognize that the software and system engineering has become an important part of achieving their business goals.

SPI (Software Process Improvement) methodology has its own history and is based on the basic concepts of process improvements developed by Walter Shewhart, W. Edwards Deming, Philip Crosby, Joseph Juran, Watts Humphrey.

According to the objectives of SPI, the process must be predictable, under statistical control and should be continuously improved. The life cycle of process improvement includes assessment of the current level of process capability, determining the target level of process capability, prioritization of the process improvement, as well as the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of these improvements.

CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) and SPICE (Software Process Improvement and Capability Determination) (ISO/IEC 15504-5:2006) are important SPI models in today’s practice. Concept of these models are based on the two dimensional reference model for describing processes and process capability used in a process assessment. The reference model defines a set of processes (key process areas), defined in terms of their domain, purpose, outcomes and a framework for evaluating the capability of the processes through capability levels (0=incomplete; 1=performed; 2=managed; 3=defined;4=quant.managed; 5=optimizing).

Process Assessment Model (PAM) must be compatible with this reference model including assessment indicators. Accordingly, the process assessment requires the documented process for conducting assessment, the compatible assessment model(s) as well as the supporting assessment tools and adequate competence of the assessors.

The benefits arising from the use of these models include:

  • for acquirers: an ability to determine the capability of a supplier’s software processes;
  • for suppliers: an ability to determine the capability of their own software processes and an ability to define areas and priorities for software process improvement;
  • for assessors: a framework for conducting assessments.

The benefits of SPI are numerous. Major benefits include increased customer satisfaction, productivity,quality, cost savings, and cycle time reduction. SPI methodology is developed in order to achieve these goals and features not only for the production of software, but also other disciplines (complex IT systems, hardware systems, IT services, etc.). SPI models can be combined with other methods and standards such as Six Sigma, statistical process control, ISO/IEC 9000; ITIL, ISO/IEC 20000, ISO/IEC 12207, ISO/IEC 15288, etc.

About the Speaker

Melita Kozina is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Organization and Informatics, Croatia; Titles: Ph.D in information sciences from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Organization and Informatics, Croatia. Her field of research interests include : IT Management, Business Process Management, Quality Management, SPI (Software Process Improvement), ITSM (IT Service Management). She is working on the scientific project titled: developing the ICT management method (project code: 016-0161199-1718; The Ministry of Science, Education and Sports in the Republic of Croatia).


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