Advanced

A knowledge process perspective on the improvement of software processes

Schönström, Mikael LU (2005)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

I och med att mjukvarubaserade produkter ökar i antal ökar också vikten av en effektiv mjukvaruutvecklingsprocess, ur ett konkurrensperspektiv. Bristfällig produktkvalitet och höga utvecklingskostnader är något som mjukvaruutvecklingsorganisationer under många år har kämpat med. Studier inom SPI (software process improvement) syftar till att förbättra produktkvalitet och sänka utvecklingskostnaderna genom att studera hur mjukvaruutvecklingsprocesserna kan förbättras. Det underliggande antagandet inom SPI är att det finns en koppling mellan processens kvalitet och produktens kvalitet. Utgångspunkten i denna avhandling är att trots många SPI projekts ansträngningar så har många organisationer... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

I och med att mjukvarubaserade produkter ökar i antal ökar också vikten av en effektiv mjukvaruutvecklingsprocess, ur ett konkurrensperspektiv. Bristfällig produktkvalitet och höga utvecklingskostnader är något som mjukvaruutvecklingsorganisationer under många år har kämpat med. Studier inom SPI (software process improvement) syftar till att förbättra produktkvalitet och sänka utvecklingskostnaderna genom att studera hur mjukvaruutvecklingsprocesserna kan förbättras. Det underliggande antagandet inom SPI är att det finns en koppling mellan processens kvalitet och produktens kvalitet. Utgångspunkten i denna avhandling är att trots många SPI projekts ansträngningar så har många organisationer fortfarande problem med produktkvalitet och höga kostnader. Mjukvaruutveckling är en problemlösande aktivitet och denna avhandling argumenterar att kunskapsprocessperspektivet endast i begränsad omfattning hanteras av existerande SPI metoder och ramverk. Målet med denna avhandling är att utöka den teoretiska kunskapsbasen inom SPI genom att använda teorier från IS (information systems) och KM (knowledge management) i en SPI kontext, samt att empiriskt studera hur mjukvaruutvecklingsprocesser kan förbättras genom att använda ett kunskapsprocessperspektiv. För att nå forskningsmålen har sex studier genomförts i två större högteknologiska företag. Studierna genomfördes antingen med hälp av fallstuder eller aktionsforskning. Forskningen fokuserade i synnerhet på hur utvecklingsmetoder och kunskapsnätverk underlättade kunskapsprocesser såsom kunskapsskapande och kunskapsspridning i mjukvaruutvecklingsorganisationer. Undersökningsdata insamlades genom intervjuer och observationer. Avhandlingen argumenterar för att som ett komplement till preskreptiva förbättringsmodeller som CMM, som fokuserar på mjukvaruprocesser, att mjukvaruutvecklingsorganisationerna i större grad bör försöka förstå och förbättra kunskapsprocesserna i mjukvaruutvecklingsprocessen. Avhandlingen diskuterar också olika typer av innovation relaterat till produktens livscykel. Forskningsresultaten föreslår att en utvecklingsmetods fokus på explicit kunksap och "best practice" gör att den är särskilt lämpad för att stödja kunskapsprocesser när mogna produkter utvecklas. Metoder anses stödja kunskapsprocesserna i stora organisationer genom metodens möjlighet att underlätta skapandet av ett gemensamt språk och gemensamma mentala modeller. Kunskapsnätverk är bättre lämpade att stödja kunkspasprocesserna när helt nya produkter utvecklas. Kunskapsnätverket har egenskaper som underlättar integration av kunskap från olika organisatoriska enheter, vilket är viktigt under innovationsfasen. (Less)
Abstract
The number of software-based products is increasing, which is why the importance of an efficient software development process is also increasing, from a competitive advantage perspective. For years, software development organizations have been plagued by poor product quality and high development costs. Studies in software process improvement (SPI) have concerned themselves with improving the software process as a way of improving software product quality and reducing development costs. The basic tenet of SPI is that a relationship exists between process maturity and product quality. The departure point of this thesis is the fact that, despite the best efforts of SPI programs, organizations are still struggling with software product quality... (More)
The number of software-based products is increasing, which is why the importance of an efficient software development process is also increasing, from a competitive advantage perspective. For years, software development organizations have been plagued by poor product quality and high development costs. Studies in software process improvement (SPI) have concerned themselves with improving the software process as a way of improving software product quality and reducing development costs. The basic tenet of SPI is that a relationship exists between process maturity and product quality. The departure point of this thesis is the fact that, despite the best efforts of SPI programs, organizations are still struggling with software product quality and runaway budgets. The development of software is a problem-solving activity and this thesis argues that the knowledge process perspective on software development is only addressed to a limited degree in existing SPI methods and frameworks. The goal of this thesis is to add theoretical knowledge to the field of SPI by using theories from IS (information systems) and KM (knowledge management) in the context of SPI, and to empirically study how software development processes are being, or can be, improved using a knowledge process perspective, hence a KM approach to SPI. In order to meet the research goals, six studies employing case and action research were performed at two major high-tech companies.



The results of the different studies are presented in six different articles. In particular, this thesis studied how development methods and knowledge networks have supported knowledge processes such as knowledge creation and sharing in large software organizations. During the research, data was collected by means of interviews and observations. This thesis argues, as a complement to prescriptive improvement models such as the CMM, which focuses on software processes, that software organizations should pay more attention to understanding and improving the knowledge processes of software development.



The research conducted recognises the various levels of innovation in relation to product lifecycles. The research results suggest that the focus of a method on explicit knowledge and best practice makes it suitable for supporting knowledge creation and sharing when mature products are being developed. Furthermore, development methods support knowledge creation and sharing in large organizations by means of their ability to provide a common language as well as shared mental models. Knowledge networks, for their part, are better suited to supporting knowledge creation and sharing when radically new products are being developed. The network has the characteristics enabling it to integrate knowledge originating from different units, which is important during problem solving. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Johannesson, Paul, Stockholms universitet
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Knowledge Sharing, Commercial and industrial economics, Knowledge Creation, Software Development, CMM, Software Process Improvement (SPI) Knowledge Management, Industriell ekonomi
pages
190 pages
publisher
KFS AB
defense location
Sal 101, Informatik, Ole Römers väg, 223 63 Lund
defense date
2005-12-01 13:00
ISBN
91-628-6670-2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f2a588b6-1268-4b78-a055-e7df2f9c2dc0 (old id 545594)
date added to LUP
2007-09-27 11:50:08
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:13
@misc{f2a588b6-1268-4b78-a055-e7df2f9c2dc0,
  abstract     = {The number of software-based products is increasing, which is why the importance of an efficient software development process is also increasing, from a competitive advantage perspective. For years, software development organizations have been plagued by poor product quality and high development costs. Studies in software process improvement (SPI) have concerned themselves with improving the software process as a way of improving software product quality and reducing development costs. The basic tenet of SPI is that a relationship exists between process maturity and product quality. The departure point of this thesis is the fact that, despite the best efforts of SPI programs, organizations are still struggling with software product quality and runaway budgets. The development of software is a problem-solving activity and this thesis argues that the knowledge process perspective on software development is only addressed to a limited degree in existing SPI methods and frameworks. The goal of this thesis is to add theoretical knowledge to the field of SPI by using theories from IS (information systems) and KM (knowledge management) in the context of SPI, and to empirically study how software development processes are being, or can be, improved using a knowledge process perspective, hence a KM approach to SPI. In order to meet the research goals, six studies employing case and action research were performed at two major high-tech companies.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The results of the different studies are presented in six different articles. In particular, this thesis studied how development methods and knowledge networks have supported knowledge processes such as knowledge creation and sharing in large software organizations. During the research, data was collected by means of interviews and observations. This thesis argues, as a complement to prescriptive improvement models such as the CMM, which focuses on software processes, that software organizations should pay more attention to understanding and improving the knowledge processes of software development.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The research conducted recognises the various levels of innovation in relation to product lifecycles. The research results suggest that the focus of a method on explicit knowledge and best practice makes it suitable for supporting knowledge creation and sharing when mature products are being developed. Furthermore, development methods support knowledge creation and sharing in large organizations by means of their ability to provide a common language as well as shared mental models. Knowledge networks, for their part, are better suited to supporting knowledge creation and sharing when radically new products are being developed. The network has the characteristics enabling it to integrate knowledge originating from different units, which is important during problem solving.},
  author       = {Schönström, Mikael},
  isbn         = {91-628-6670-2},
  keyword      = {Knowledge Sharing,Commercial and industrial economics,Knowledge Creation,Software Development,CMM,Software Process Improvement (SPI) Knowledge Management,Industriell ekonomi},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {190},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xaff1508)},
  title        = {A knowledge process perspective on the improvement of software processes},
  year         = {2005},
}