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Software process improvement: a systematic mapping study on the state of the art

  • Software process improvement (SPI) has been 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 trends and emerging approaches? What are open issues? Still, we struggle to answer these questions about the current state of SPI and related research. In this article, we present results from an updated systematic mapping study to shed light on the field of SPI, to develop a big picture of the state of the art, and to draw conclusions for future research directions. An analysis of 769 publications draws a big picture of SPI-related research of the past quarter-century. Our study shows a high number of solution proposals, experience reports, and secondary studies, but only few theories and models on SPI in general. In particular, standard SPI models like CMMI and ISO/IEC 15,504 are analyzed, enhanced, and evaluated for applicability in practice, but these standards are also critically discussed, e.g., from the perspective of SPI in small to-medium-sized companies, which leads to new specialized frameworks. New and specialized frameworks account for the majority of the contributions found (approx. 38%). Furthermore, we find a growing interest in success factors (approx. 16%) to aid companies in conducting SPI and in adapting agile principles and practices for SPI (approx. 10%). Beyond these specific topics, the study results also show an increasing interest into secondary studies with the purpose of aggregating and structuring SPI-related knowledge. Finally, the present study helps directing future research by identifying under-researched topics awaiting further investigation.

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Author of HS ReutlingenMünch, Jürgen
Erschienen in:PeerJ computer science
Publisher:PeerJ Ltd.
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Journal article
Publication year:2016
Tag:SPI; software process; software process improvement; systematic mapping study
Page Number:38
First Page:1
Last Page:38
DDC classes:004 Informatik
Open access?:Ja
Licence (German):License Logo  Creative Commons - Namensnennung