State of the Art
In general, software process improvement (SPI) approaches are either inductive (bottom-up) or prescriptive (top-down) . On the one hand, inductive approaches, such as the Basili’s Quality Improvement Paradigm , start by identifying and understanding the most critical processes in a software organization which are required to be improved. Improvement goals are, consequently, set and the process improvement is realized by a pilot project. However, inductive approaches have been criticized that they are applicable only when the organization processes are characterized by an adequate level of maturity . One the other hand, prescriptive approaches, such as the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)  and ISO/IEC 15504 (also known as SPICE) , follow the “one size fits all” paradigm. They define sets of best practices (Key Process Areas) which are required to be evaluated, regardless the characteristics or the needs of an individual software organization under assessment. A prescriptive approach supports the benchmarking of an organization’s processes against these practices. A typical software process assessment/improvement project according to a prescriptive approach often demands large amount of resources and investment costs. For example, it can last between 18 and 24 months  and, thus, the SPI project imposes time and resource constraints which are difficult to be met by a small or a medium sized SW enterprise. To meet the above problems
All the above limitations create a constant research interest in continuous re-thinking, re-aligning and re-evaluating RE practices to cope with practical challenges and emergent demands. Effective balancing the challenges of specificity, comparability and accuracy in a SPIRE project, by considering also resources’ constraints, is a practical problem, especially for SW SMEs interested in investing limited resources at a Software Process Improvement project. Field surveys  regarding the current practice of RE reveal that rather small subset of available techniques is actually utilized in practice by requirements engineers/project managers. We believe that there are possibilities for further research and empirical study towards more integrated and synergetic methodologies which will inter-relate available analysis methods into coherent, systematic and synergetic engineering processes.
This is actually the main research orientation of the SPRINT SMEs project. The project is expected to result in.
Expected Benefits from the Project Results
Software process improvement frameworks (e.g., CMMI , ISO/IEC 15504 – SPICE  and “lightweight” process improvement models [1, 7]) draw attention of many companies, especially of SW SMEs.