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Software process improvement is generally regarded as a key to economic success by increasing the quality of software systems, accelerating time-to-market and decreasing development costs. Component-based software engineering, as an emerging development paradigm, targets very similar goals by focusing on the assembly of software systems from components and emphasising software reuse. This paper firstly provides an overview on the breadth and complexity of component-based development and then considers software process assessment and improvement in the context of component-based software engineering, identifying the major deficiencies of both fields with respect to the other. Based on these insights, an introduction to the EU-funded project OOSPICE (IST-1999-29073) focusing on overcoming these deficiencies is provided by detailing the project's domain, its rationale, objectives and outcomes.