Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems


Software Process Improvement (SPI) is a recognised systematic approach for improving the capability of software organisations. Initiatives of this kind have met a number of difficulties such as: scaling the SPI initiatives, setting realistic goals, coping with the complexity of organisational changes, and dealing with the organisational culture. Organisations with no previous experience of SPI might therefore run the risk of the first initiative being the last. This paper provides the results of a collaborative research project in which the first SPI initiative in an organisation was analysed according to a framework that maps the characteristic features of SPI (the MAP framework). On the basis of our findings it is argued that the first SPI initiative: 1) should be organised as a project aiming to improve a few software processes, 2) should satisfy organisational goals rather than routinely follow a normative model for reaching a maturity level, and 3) should include a MAP analysis early in the project to better understamd the nature of SPI activities.