Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 543–560 | Cite as

A business maturity model of software product line engineering

  • Faheem Ahmed
  • Luiz Fernando Capretz


In the recent past, software product line engineering has become one of the most promising practices in software industry with the potential to substantially increase the software development productivity. Software product line engineering approach spans the dimensions of business, architecture, software engineering process and organization. The increasing popularity of software product line engineering in the software industry necessitates a process maturity evaluation methodology. Accordingly, this paper presents a business maturity model of software product line, which is a methodology to evaluate the current maturity of the business dimension of a software product line in an organization. This model examines the coordination between product line engineering and the business aspects of software product line. It evaluates the maturity of the business dimension of software product line as a function of how a set of business practices are aligned with product line engineering in an organization. Using the model presented in this paper, we conducted two case studies and reported the assessment results. This research contributes towards establishing a comprehensive and unified strategy for a process maturity evaluation of software product lines.


Software product line Software process assessment Maturity evaluation Business process Organizational management Software process model 


  1. Aguilar-Sav’en, R. S. (2004). Business process modeling: review and framework. International Journal of Production Economics, 90, 129–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmed, F., & Capretz, L. F. (2007). Managing the business of software product line: an empirical investigation of key business factors, information and software technology. Elsevier Science, 49(2), 194–208.Google Scholar
  3. Ansoff, H., & Stewart, J. (1967). Strategies for technology-based business. Harvard Business Review, 43, 71–83.Google Scholar
  4. Bayer, J., Flege, O., Knauber, P., Laqua, R., Muthig, D., Schmid, K., et al. (1999) PuLSE: a methodology to develop software product lines. Proceedings of the 5th ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on Software Reusability, 122–131.Google Scholar
  5. Bergstrom, A. (2000). Cyber branding: leveraging your brand on the internet. Strategy and Leadership, 28(4), 10–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Birk, G. H., John, I., Schmid, K., von der Massen, T., & Muller, K. (2003). Product line engineering, The state of the practice. IEEE Software, 20(6), 52–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Böckle, G. (2005) Innovation management for product line engineering organizations. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Software Product Lines, 124–134.Google Scholar
  8. Campbell, D. T., & Fiske, D. W. (1959). Convergent and discriminant validation by the multitrait-multimethod matrix. Psychological Bulletin, 56(2), 81–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cattell, R. B. (1966). The Scree test for the number of factors. Multivariate Behavioral Research, (1), 245–276.Google Scholar
  10. Chen, J. C. (2002). Enterprise computing assets management: a case study. Industrial Management and Data System, 102(2), 80–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clements, P. C., Jones, L. G., Northrop, L. M., & McGregor, J. D. (2005). Project management in a software product line organization. IEEE Software, 22(5), 54–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clements, P. C. (2001) On the importance of product line scope. Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Software Product Family Engineering, 69–77.Google Scholar
  13. Clements, P. C., & Northrop, L. M. (2002). Software product lines practices and pattern. Addison Wesley.Google Scholar
  14. Comrey, A. L., & Lee H. B. (1992). A first course on factor analysis, 2nd ed. Hillsdale, N.J.Google Scholar
  15. Crosby, L., Evans, K., & Cowles, D. (1990). Relationship quality in services selling: an interpersonal influence perspective. Journal of Marketing, 54, 68–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cronbach, L. J. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal consistency of tests. Psychometrica, 16, 297–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Davenport, T. H. (1993). Process innovation. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  18. De Castro, J. O., & Chrisman, J. J. (1995). Order of market entry, competitive strategy and financial performance. Journal of Business Research, 33, 165–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ebert, C., & Smouts, M. (2003). Tricks and traps of initiating a product line concept in existing products. Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Software Engineering, 520–525.Google Scholar
  20. Fritsch, C., & Hahn, R. (2004). Product line potential analysis. Proceedings of the 3 rd International Conference on Software Product Lines, 228–237.Google Scholar
  21. Harrison, E. F. (1995). Strategic planning maturities. Management Decisions, 33(2), 48–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jones, L. G., & Soule, A. L. (2002). Software Process Improvement and Product Line Practice: CMMI and the Framework for Software Product Line Practice, (CMU/SEI-2002-TN-012, ADA403868), Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.
  23. Kaiser, H. F. (1970). A second generation little jiffy. Psychometrika, 35, 401–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kaiser, H. F. (1960). The application of electronic computers to factor analysis. Educational and Psychological Measurement, (20), 141–151.Google Scholar
  25. Kang, K. C., Donohoe, P., Koh, E., Lee, J., Lee, K. (2002). Using a marketing and product plan as a key driver for product line asset development. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Software Product Lines, 366–382.Google Scholar
  26. Kohli, A., & Jaworski, B. (1990). Market orientation: the construct, research propositions, and managerial implications. Journal of Marketing, 54, 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Knauber, P., Muthig, D., Schmid, K., & Wide, T. (2000). Applying product line concepts in small and medium-sized companies. IEEE Software, 17(5), 88–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kuvaja, P. J., Simila, J., Krzanik, L., Bicego, A., Saukkonen, S., & Koch, G. (1994). Software process assessment and improvement—The bootstrap approach. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  29. Martensen, A., & Dahlgaard, J. J. (1999). Strategy and planning for innovation management: a business excellence approac. International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, 16(8), 734–755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Narver, J. C., & Slater, S. F. (1990). The effect of a market orientation on business profitability. Journal of Marketing, (54), 20–35.Google Scholar
  31. Niemelä, E. (2005). Strategies of product family architecture development. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Software Product Lines, 186–197.Google Scholar
  32. Nunnally, J. C., & Bernste, I. A. (1994). Psychometric theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  33. Osterhof, A. (2001). Classroom applications of educational measurement. NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  34. Paulk, M. C., Curtis, B., Chrissis, M. B., & Weber, C. V. (1993). Capability maturity model, Version 1.1. IEEE Software, 10(4), 18–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Robinson, W., Fornell, C., & Sullivan, M. (1992). Are market pioneers intrinsically better than later entrants? Strategic Management Journal, (13), 609–624.Google Scholar
  36. Schmid, K., & Verlage, M. (2002). The economic impact of product line adoption and evolution. IEEE Software, 9(4), 50–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Stevens, J. (1986). Applied multivariate statistics for the social sciences. NJ: Hillsdale.Google Scholar
  38. Sutton, B. (1993). Long-range planning in public libraries: staff perspectives. Library and Information Science Research, 15(4), 299–323.Google Scholar
  39. Toft, P., Coleman, D., & Ohta, J. (2000). A cooperative model for cross-divisional product development for a software product line. Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Software Product Lines, 111–132.Google Scholar
  40. van der Linden, F. (2002). Software product families in europe: the Esaps & Café projects. IEEE Software, 19(4), 41–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. van der Linden, F., Bosch, J., Kamsties E., Känsälä, K., & Obbink, H. (2004). Software product family evaluation. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Software Product Lines, 110–129.Google Scholar
  42. van de Ven, A. H., Ferry D. L.: Measuring and Assessing Organizations. JohnWiley & Son: NY (1980)Google Scholar
  43. Verlage, M., & Kiesgen, T. (2005). Five years of product line engineering in a small company. Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Software Engineering, 534–543.Google Scholar
  44. Wang, Y., & King, G. (2000). Software engineering processes: Principles and application. NY: CRC.Google Scholar
  45. Wappler, T. (2000). Remember the basics: key success factors for launching and institutionalizing a software product line. Proceedings of the 1st Software Product Line Conference, 73–84.Google Scholar
  46. Weiss, D. M., & Lai, C. T. R. (1999). Software product line engineering: A family based software development process. Addison Wesley.Google Scholar
  47. Wijnstra, J. G. (2002). Critical factors for a successful platform-based product family approach. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Software Product Lines, 68–89.Google Scholar
  48. Wilson, D. T. (1995). An integrated model of buyer–seller relationships. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, (23), 335–345.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Information TechnologyUnited Arab Emirates UniversityUAE UniversityUAE
  2. 2.Department of Electrical & Computer EngineeringUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Personalised recommendations