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SPI patterns: learning from experience

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3 Author(s)

Thousands of organizations have been improving their software process maturity level since the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) appeared in 1991. Organizations have improved project management, automated configuration management, and introduced reuse practices. Some of them succeeded; others failed. If we could extract lessons for the software community from these experiences, organizations could avoid repeating mistakes. Publications such as the `Process Maturity Profile of the Software Community' show organizational trends assessed against the SW-CMM, They provide information about the organizations' state and the time spent moving from one level to the other, but say nothing about the different ways used to reach that state. Unfortunately, such information is embedded in experiences that are not public. However, initiatives such as the European Systems and Software Initiative facilitate some of these experiences. The European Commission has been funding around 400 process improvement experiments (PIEs) through ESSI since 1993. More than 250 are public and available through Vasie, a repository that can be accessed through the Internet. Many researchers have analyzed this repository (and the ESSI) many times, but none have focused on identifying patterns of solutions for specific problems or patterns for pursuing concrete business goals, or on determining that pattern's relative success of such patterns. Many disciplines have identified patterns by the analysis of past experiences, and we believe this approach is also valid for software process improvement

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Software, IEEE  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 3 )