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Increasingly, software engineering organisations are defining and implementing processes as a means to support, guide and control project execution. An assumption underlying this process-centric approach to business improvement is that the quality of the process will influence the quality, cost and time-to-release of the software produced. Given this presumed relationship, a critical question arises of what constitutes quality for software engineering processes. This paper describes the results of research undertaken to investigate this question and presents a perspective-based model of quality for software engineering processes that is derived from the stated experiences of software engineering practitioners. The model proposes that practitioners perceive the overall quality of a process with respect to the four quality attributes of suitability, usability, manageability and evolvability and that these judgements are influenced by key process properties and environmental factors. The paper also suggests how knowledge of these quality attributes, properties, environmental factors and their relationships can be practically applied to support software process engineering activities.
Date of Conference: 14-17 April 2009