The Many Forms of Process Improvement – Results of an International Survey
When discussing process improvement, different authors assign different goals of improvement and describe different methods of improvement. Several process improvement methods and theories of organizational performance are examined to reveal how each might give rise to different concepts and concerns of process improvement. There is little empirical information available to support or refute such expectations about improvements made to software development processes, whether through formal process improvement initiatives or through responses to changes in the development environment. In the absence of such information those involved in process improvement, from standards development through to consultants and those who implement process improvement projects, risk making poor decisions about what changes should be made to the processes. A project to develop and run an international survey was conducted by a number of researchers from different parts of the world to understand various forms of process improvements, their goals and motivations. The result of the study indicates that the motivations for process improvement are not matched by the improvement goals that are themselves not achieved by the implemented improvements. The study also contradicted commonly cited beliefs that process improvement changes are seldom reviewed, are seldom permanent and can make the situation worse.
KeywordsProcess improvement motivation software development service management
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