Improving Company Processes by applying a Light-weight Process Approach based on the SPICE Maturity Model

K. John,D. Winkler, S. Biffl:
"Improving Company Processes by applying a Light-weight Process Approach based on the SPICE Maturity Model";
Vortrag: 16th Interdisciplinary Information Management Talks, Jidrichuv Hradec (Neuhaus), Czech Republic; 10.09.2008 - 12.09.2008; in:"Proceedings of the 16th Interdisciplinary Information Management Talks", Trauner Verlag, (2008), ISBN: 978-3-85499-448-0; S. 223 - 236.

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Company best practices and information availability are the backbone of successful software
development companies in the IT service domain. Typically, projects focus on the development of
individual and independent products. Reuse of software by applying modules or components requires
additional structured information and best-practice application approaches to deliver quality products
e.g. software in the financial sector for money transactions. Major challenges to enable the
construction of high-quality software products are (a) to implement and introduce an effective and
efficient information management system to support management processes, e.g., software
development, and (b) to manage Best-Practices for further improvement of products and processes.
Quality Management Systems, e.g. SPICE, CMMI and the ISO 9001 series, are common approaches for
information frameworks within companies. Nevertheless, common critics of heavyweight quality
management systems focus on process definitions (and documentation) under strict administrative
conditions. These restrictions and constraints are considered as barriers for software development
rather than supporting developers in their work. Thus, the acceptance of applying and improving
process definitions by means of continuous improving a quality management system is quite low. To
address theses issues, a lightweight process model seems to be a reasonable approach for improving
products and processes based on feedback.
This paper introduces a lightweight process approach based on the SPICE maturity model. Instead of
mapping as normally ISO 12207 reference model and SPICE to identify the maturity level, the
lightweight approach adopts company processes as reference model as a lightweight starting point for
process maturity evaluation and improvement. The identification of a process maturity model is based
on the compliance of current processes and the SPICE assessment framework. This lightweight process
approach promises to achieve a better acceptance of implementation into daily work by the employees.
To identify the impact of this lightweight process model approach we conducted a series of interviews
at an Austrian IT service provider by selecting three representative projects in the public application