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Software process improvement has become the primary approach to improving software quality and reliability, employee and customer satisfaction, and return on investment. Although the literature acknowledges that SPI implementation faces various problems, most published cases report success, detailing dramatic improvements. Such best-practice cases are a great benefit when learning how to effectively implement SPI. On the basis of experiences from SPI initiatives and insights into organizational-change management, we offer the following advice for successful SPI implementation: software managers must appreciate that each SPI initiative is unique and carefully negotiate the context of change. Managers must also understand the elements of change involved. SPI can't succeed without managerial commitment and a mastery of appropriate change tactics.