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. Effective balancing the challenges of specificity, comparability and accuracy in a process assessment/improvement project, by considering also resources’ constraints, is a practical problem, especially for SW SMEs interested in investing limited amount of resources in any improvement . Therefore, SPRINT SMEs project results are expected to be useful for SW SMEs which would like to be facilitated in improving their development processes by using effective/efficient process analysis techniques, without the need for expensing vast resources in process assessment/improvement. The project will emphasize on a value-based approach for SPI and will result in a unified application of analysis techniques which will facilitate this approach. As B.W. Boehm states : “Much of current SW engineering practice and research is done in a value-neutral setting … however, most studies of the critical success factors distinguishing successful from failed SW projects find that the primary critical success factors lie in the value domain”.
At a European R&D level, research in the areas of SPI and RE certainly tries to improve the success rate of ICT projects and the competiveness of European SW SMEs, in an arena that is characterized by emerging demands to capitalize on global resource pools, decrease development costs, develop innovative, widely accepted and more usable software systems which reflect changing users’ needs. Many new challenges, especially in RE, have arisen in the recent years, while the transfer of new practice problems to research has been less successful. Therefore, the European research & practice community needs to be constantly proactive in identifying RE research problems and solutions which will leverage successful and practical results.
For Greek SW SMEs, in particular, the SPRINT SMEs project will result in a set of best practices for the SMEs which are involved in the project that will constitute a publicly available guide for other Greek SW SMEs interested in gaining competitive advantages by changing their role from bespoke to market-driven product developers.