Herramienta de soporte a la valoración rápida de procesos software (A support tool for rapid software process assessment)

Francisco J. Pino (fjpino@unicauca.edu.co)1, Félix García (Felix.Garcia@uclm.es)2, Mario Piattini (Mario.Piattini@uclm.es)2

1Grupo IDIS. Facultad de Ingeniería Electrónica y Telecomunicaciones. Universidad del Cauca
2Grupo Alarcos. Escuela Superior de Informática. Universidad Castilla-La Mancha

This paper appears in: Revista IEEE América Latina

Publication Date: July 2007
Volume: 5,   Issue: 4 
ISSN: 1548-0992

In order to carry out a processes appraisal in a company, it is necessary to follow a method that produces quantitative results which characterize the process capability (or the organization maturity). These results give information that help to determine the current state of software processes, its strengths, weaknesses and risks. This information serves to define processes improvement execution strategies. The process appraisals a company carries out internally that spend short time, a small budget and without much rigor are known as rapid process assessments and they are useful to get important information about process performance. Rapid assessments applied in organizations are the key to successfully implement process improvement because they can be frequently done, in shorter time and with fewer resources than usual. This allows to get information about the impact of the improvement actions on the processes which make use of SPI strategies. To obtain relevant information about the processes, it is important to provide companies with software tools to facilitate the rapid process assessments execution. This kind of tools support repetitive actions, by reducing the cognitive load of people involved on the assessment activity and any administrative load associated to the manual application of this activity. The rapid process assessments are useful to get relevant information about the performance of processes for its control and improvement. In order to facilitate the collection of relevant information about the processes, this paper describes a tool to support the rapid software processes assessment, named SPQA.web. This tool has two main features: firstly it supports different assessment instruments obtained from process reference models, and secondly it allows to manage the assessment instruments according to the requirements of the environment. The goal of using SPQA web to do assessment activities is to reduce the time and resources consumed by these activities. Furthermore, the experience of its application and utilization on a small software organization which implements a SPI programme is also shown.

Index Terms:
Software process improvement, SPI, Software process assessment, Rapid process assessment, Very Small Software Organizations, VSEs, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Software tool   

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