Software process improvement problems in twelve software companies: An empirical analysis

S. Beecham, T. Hall, A. Rainer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)
98 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper we discuss our study of the problems 12 software companies experienced in software development. In total we present qualitative data collected from 45 focus groups that involved over 200 software staff. We look at how different practitioner groups respond to software process improvement problems. We show our classification and analysis of this data using a graphical data representation method new to software development research. The aim of the work we present is to develop a more holistic understanding of the problems practitioners are experiencing in their attempts to improve their software processes.
Our main finding is that there is an association between companies’ maturity and patterns of reported problems. Organisational problems are more associated with high maturity companies than with low maturity companies. Low maturity companies are closely linked to problems relating directly to projects such as quality, timescales, tools and technology. Senior managers cite problems with goals, culture and politics. Project managers are concerned with timescales, change management, budgets and estimates. Developers are experiencing problems with requirements, testing, documentation, communication, tools and technology. These associations are graphically displayed through the use of correspondence analysis maps
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-42
JournalEmpirical Software Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Computer Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Software process improvement problems in twelve software companies: An empirical analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this