Making software process improvements happen
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Making Software Process Improvements Happen. Jimmie Johansson Richard Berntsson-Svensson Kashif Ahmed Kahn. Agenda. Launching Software Process Improvement Implementing Software Process Improvement Measuring the Benefits of Software Process Improvement.

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Making software process improvements happen

Making Software Process Improvements Happen

Jimmie Johansson

Richard Berntsson-Svensson

Kashif Ahmed Kahn


  • Launching Software Process Improvement

  • Implementing Software Process Improvement

  • Measuring the Benefits of Software Process Improvement

The stages for software process improvement
The Stages for Software Process Improvement

  • Launching

  • Implementing

  • Institutionalizing

  • Measuring

Launching software process improvement
Launching Software Process Improvement

  • The Vision Phase

  • The Strategy Phase

  • The Alignment Phase

  • The Motivation Phase

  • The Implementation Phase

The vision
The Vision

  • The vision of the business – Often long term

  • Senior Management and the vision

  • SPI:s vision must be inline with the business vision

  • SPI:s vision must be clear and tell how it will support the vision of the business

The strategy
The Strategy

  • Strategy is how to achieve the vision

  • Strategy consider what is feasible and what is not

  • Short, mid and long term to achieve vision

  • How to secure Senior Management Sponsorship

Alignment with organization
Alignment With Organization

  • Important for SPI to be successful

  • SPI program should reflect the priorities and interdependencies between organizations objectives

  • SPI program should fit within the organizations context


  • Motivate why the improvement work is important

  • Different stakeholders are in need of different motivation

  • Prove that effort of changes gives positive result

  • Monitoring improvements to show result

  • (Selling to senior and middle management)

Planning implementation 1 6
Planning Implementation (1/6)

  • Analyzing the organizational context

    • Supporters and Non-supporters of the changes

    • Potential champions

    • Are organization ready for changes? When?

    • Make a strategy for goals, changes and process improvement

  • Levels of organizational context

    • Corporate context

    • Department or project or team context

    • Personal or software engineering context

Corporate level

Whole organization




Planning implementation 2 6
Planning Implementation (2/6)

  • Corporate level

    • Financial and budgeting issues

    • Business condition – Growth of organization

    • How teams should fit best in an organization

    • Geographical widespread of teams

    • External restrictions – Customer, partners or suppliers

    • The culture of the corporation

Planning implementation 3 6
Planning Implementation (3/6)

  • Department or project or team level

    • Managerial style

    • Reward systems

    • Technological environment

    • Network infrastructure

    • Development standards

    • Development methodologies

    • Engineering tools

Planning implementation 4 6
Planning Implementation (4/6)

  • Personal or software engineering level

    • Experience and background of staff

    • Education and training

    • Knowledge of staff

    • Acceptable of changes

    • Process awareness

Planning implementation 5 6
Planning Implementation (5/6)

  • Define organizational and process boundaries for SPI

    • Stakeholders identifying

    • Focus for SPI will be on targeted areas

    • Management sponsors identifying

    • Roles and responsibilities for continues activities for SPI identifying

    • Implications of changes identifying – Managing of changes

Planning implementation 6 6

Business strategy and goals alignment

Win all stakeholders

Support from management

Dedicated resources for handle the implementation

Coordination of activities in process improvement

Handle organization context

Change management

Action prioritization

Create infrastructure for support

Monitoring result of SPI

Gain knowledge from feedback

Planning Implementation (6/6)

Ingredients in an implementation model

Implementation and institutionalization phase
Implementation and institutionalization phase

  • Before implementation phase

    • Launch and planning for SPI should be completed

    • Software process assessment resulted in recommendations for improvement

  • Stages of implementing and institutionalizing SPI

    • Creating SPI action plan

    • Allocating responsibilities for SPI

    • Implementing SPI actions

    • Institutionalizing SPI

Principles for implementing and institutionalizing spi 1 2
Principles for implementing and institutionalizing SPI (1/2)

  • Introducing and managing the change

    • Change model and plan to make change happen

    • Managing change, key to effective process improvement

  • SPI is a journey

    • SPI not a one-off exercise

  • First an assessment

    • Improvement based on status of the current process

  • Process behaviour needs to be embedded into the organization

    • Senior management support and commitment is important

Principles for implementing and institutionalizing spi 1 21
Principles for implementing and institutionalizing SPI (1/2)

  • Dedicated resources

    • Addition to software process improvement team

  • Management and staff commitment

    • SPI activities cost time and resources

Implementing spi actions and managing the change 1 4
Implementing SPI actions and managing the change (1/4)

  • Software Process Improvement Teams

    • Has responsibility for SPI project

    • Implements the SPI actions

  • Process design/redesign

    • Identify components of key process areas

    • Purpose and goal plus five common features

      • Commitment

      • Abilities

      • Activities

      • Measurement

      • Verification

Implementing spi actions and managing the change 2 4
Implementing SPI actions and managing the change (2/4)

  • Purpose and goals

    • Summarize key practices and process areas

    • The SMART criteria

  • Activities

    • Involves performing the work, plans and procedures

    • Eliminating NVAs, redundancy and duplication

  • Commitment

    • Actions the organization must take

  • Ability

    • Involves resources, training and organizational structures.

    • Software PIT responsible for defining what training or awareness

  • Measurement

    • Describes basic measurement practices

    • Used to control and improve the process

    • Specifying the process measurement and analysis

Implementing spi actions and managing the change 3 4
Implementing SPI actions and managing the change (3/4)

  • Verification

    • Reviews and audits

    • External verification procedures

  • Managing the change

    • Important for success

      • Cultural changes

      • Behavioral changes

      • Organizational changes

      • Technological changes

      • Environmental changes

    • Potential sources of resistance to change

Implementing spi actions and managing the change 4 4
Implementing SPI actions and managing the change (4/4)

  • Failure of implementing SPI

    • Culture

      • Assuming that changing the culture is a trivial matter

    • Resistance to change

      • Not involve people that is affected

      • Ignore feedback

    • Sponsorship

      • Short-term commitment

      • Unrealistic expectations

  • Implementing organizational change

    • Military

      • Reliance on brute force – people cannot relax

      • Put pressure – force met by force

    • Engineering

      • If job is changed, people will be forced to change – can break up good team and people do not like to be treated like a machine.

Institutionalizing spi
Institutionalizing SPI

  • ‘Institutionalization: The building of infrastructure and culture that support methods, practices, and procedures so that they are the ongoing way of doing business, even after those who originally defined them are gone’

  • Organizational policies

    • Rewards for process achievements

    • Penalties for not following the process

    • Process training and retraining

  • Management practices

    • Process talk is the natural way of communication

Ideal model 1 2
IDEAL model (1/2)

  • Initiating

    • Starting the improvement program

      • Set context and establish sponsorship

      • Establish improvement infrastructure

  • Diagnosing

    • Assessing the current state of practice

      • Develop recommendations and document result

  • Establishing

    • Setting the implementation strategy and action plans for the improvement program

      • Set strategy and priorities

      • Plan actions (SPI action plan)

      • Establish action teams

Ideal model 2 2
IDEAL model (2/2)

  • Acting

    • Executing the plans and recommended improvements

      • Define the process and measures (design/redesign)

      • Plan and execute pilots

      • Plan, execute and track installation

  • Leveraging

    • Analyzing the lessons learned and the results of the improvement effort

      • Document and analyze lessons

      • Revise organizational approach

Measuring software process performance
Measuring Software Process Performance

  • Major obstacles to the adoption of software process improvement (SPI):

    • Reluctance of business management to invest in SPI

    • No convincing evidence of the return on investment

    • Lack of reliable information

    • People don’t like to measure

Why measure software process performance
Why measure Software Process Performance?

  • Measurement is necessary to managers to monitor performance and efficiency of staff.

  • Provides a feedback loop necessary for any system to improve

  • Feedback loop is necessary for any system to stabilize and adjust with its environment

  • In software process environment, feedback loop helps in reaching state of continuous process improvement

What to measure
What to measure?

  • Chaos cannot be measured.

  • Measuring the performance of a chaotic process will lead to inconsistent results.

  • Measuring product quality and process performance are both important.

  • Need for a balance in choosing the measurement indicators.

  • Process measurement should be related to process goals.

Principles of software process measurement
Principles of Software Process Measurement

  • Define clear objectives of measurement programme.

  • The measurement programme must have management support.

  • Measurement roles and responsibilities must be allocated.

  • Measurement should cover both the process and the product.

Issues with software process measurement
Issues with Software Process Measurement

  • People believe it is difficult to conduct experiments in a difficult discipline of software engineering.

  • There is difficulty in measuring software process and comparing results consistently across organizations.

  • Quantifying the return on investment from investing in SPI is a challenging task.

  • Effective and meaningful measurements could only happen in a disciplined process environment.

An example of software process measurement method
An Example of Software Process Measurement Method

  • October 1990, consortium of European Companies (nine from Six European States)

  • Comprised of experts in software measurement and users applying quantitative approaches to the management of their project.

  • Result: “application of metrics in industry (ami) project”

Ami approach
ami Approach

  • ami approach adopts “goal-oriented measurement (GOM)”.

  • Application of GOM requires a structured method.

  • Each organization constructs its own measurement framework.

  • ami approach provides a commonsense framework for quantifying software projects.

Ami activities
ami Activities

  • Method itself consists of a 12-step sequence

  • Main activities are:

  • Assessment of the project environment.

  • Analysis of assessment conclusions and primary goals.

  • Metrication by implementing measurement plan

  • Improvement based on the measurement data and implementation actions

Ami metrics
ami Metrics

  • ami methodology distinguishes metric from primitive metric as:

    • A metric is a measurable attribute of an entity, e.g. attribute ‘projecteffort’ is a measure (metric) of project size. To calculate this metric, time-sheet bookings are needed.

    • A primitive metric is a raw data item that is used to calculate a metric. Time-sheet bookings are the primitive metric.

    • A primitive metric is typically a metric that exists in a database but is not interpreted in isolation.

    • Each metric is made up of one or more collected primitive metrics.

Ami measurement roles and responsibilities
ami Measurement Roles and Responsibilities

  • Roles defined in the ami method could be mapped to the roles and responsibilities involved in SPI.

  • Guidelines

    • Managers must be involved.

    • Measurement tasks must be clearly allocated and budgeted.

    • Metrics promoter must be present to write and implement the measurement plan, organize the presentation and distribute the information.

    • Work environment must be feasible for goal-oriented measurement.

    • Staff must be trained to overcome the resistance.