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7 Assessing and Improving the Development and Test Processes

7 Assessing and Improving the Development and Test Processes

This chapter describes different assessment and improvement models that relate either generally to the improvement of processes, products, or services (TQM, Kaizen, Six Sigma), or specifically to the software development or test process. It also explains four appraisal or assessment models: CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration), ISO/IEC 15504 (the “SPICE” model for software development), TMM (Testing Maturity Model) and TPI (Test Process Improvement); the two latter ones are designed specifically for the test process.

A whole range of studies and statistics have shown that many software development projects do not achieve their required objectives at all or achieve them only partly. One of the well-known publications is the Standish Group Chaos Report ([URL: Standish Group]). Over the past years, the percentage of successful projects—i.e., projects that have stayed within the estimated budget and schedule and have delivered the required functionality—has leveled at around 33%. Approximately one fifth of the projects are a total failure. The remaining and largest proportion of projects deliver their software systems too late, at considerably higher costs, and with a functionality unsatisfactory to the customer.


  

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