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Previous work looking at software process improvement (SPI) in small organizations has highlighted difficulties faced by small organizations in implementing SPI successfully, but there is little analysis to understand why this is from an organization theory perspective. This paper presents an analysis of SPI across six software teams in the UK using a framework based on Giddens' Structuration Theory. Using a structurational perspective helps to draw out how the process improvements are enabled and constrained by their context. By comparing these across the six situations the key similarities and differences across the cases are highlighted. This work extends the existing literature by helping to identify the areas of risk that need managing in small SPI initiatives. The study shows the issues as pertained to the six contexts and actions in each case. The paper highlights how the context influences the outcome.
Date of Conference: Sept. 29 2010-Oct. 2 2010