Software Process Capability Self-Assessment Support System Based on Task and Work Product Characteristics: A Case Study of ISO/IEC 29110 Standard


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E103-D   No.2   pp.339-347
Publication Date: 2020/02/01
Publicized: 2019/10/17
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2018EDP7303
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Software Engineering
software development capability,  gap analysis,  self-assessment,  knowledge-based approach,  

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A key driver of software business growth in developing countries is the survival of software small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Quality of products is a critical factor that can indicate the future of the business by building customer confidence. Software development agencies need to be aware of meeting international standards in software development process. In practice, consultants and assessors are usually employed as the primary solution, which can impact the budget in case of small businesses. Self-assessment tools for software development process can potentially reduce time and cost of formal assessment for software SMEs. However, the existing support methods and tools are largely insufficient in terms of process coverage and semi-automated evaluation. This paper proposes to apply a knowledge-based approach in development of a self-assessment and gap analysis support system for the ISO/IEC 29110 standard. The approach has an advantage that insights from domain experts and the standard are captured in the knowledge base in form of decision tables that can be flexibly managed. Our knowledge base is unique in that task lists and work products defined in the standard are broken down into task and work product characteristics, respectively. Their relation provides the links between Task List and Work Product which make users more understand and influence self-assessment. A prototype support system was developed to assess the level of software development capability of the agencies based on the ISO/IEC 29110 standard. A preliminary evaluation study showed that the system can improve performance of users who are inexperienced in applying ISO/IEC 29110 standard in terms of task coverage and user's time and effort compared to the traditional self-assessment method.