Quality Aspects in Process Improvement and Assessment

Foreword by the Chair

Many organisations only recognise their pain and use painkillers without taking into account the adverse reactions in the healthy organs. It is the art of process assessment to provide the right diagnosis in order to keep what is good and change what need to be improved.

Standards and maturity models are used as reference in assessments. There is an underlying assumption that these references define the state of the art and therefore an assessment using them provides a useful picture with hints what to keep as it is and where to change what. The development of such references and of the underlying models is a job with great responsibility. And with the current speed of technology change a challenge for the bodies maintaining the standards and maturity models.

With reliable assessment results at hand the improvements need 'only' to be implemented in the identified areas. The only problem is 'only'. Organisations have a great inertia, development organisations working on innovation for others the greatest. Therefore is the topic of approaches used for process improvement of prevalent interest. And even more so experience / insights gained by applying these approaches.

Another indication how well a process performs is measuring it. It requires well-defined metrics with practical and objective measurement methods. To find the right metric that allows to control the process is a challenge. What a great life if you succeed to have an early indication that the process will not deliver.

The focus of improvement can be any process. Contracting the development is a process on a different level than a ‘simple’ test process. A significant improvement will take a different period of time depending on the process complexity. The size of the organisation is another factor influencing the speed of change. Generally speaking, the bigger the need to standardise or improve a (complex) process in a (big) organisation the longer it takes to achieve it. No surprise. Small organisations often do not feel the need of process standardisation and that makes their improvement life harder. Even more so with very small enterprises.

All topics mentioned above are discussed in this track.

Karol Frühauf is co-founder and president of INFOGEM AG, Informatiker Gemeinschaft für Unternehmensberatung in Switzerland, since 1987 consulting in the field of software project and quality management. He worked 12 years for BBC Brown Boveri & Cie in the area of power system control in different positions and helped since 1987 as consultant many companies to improve their processes and software products. He co-authored two books and is a frequent speaker, tutor and teacher in the field of software engineering. Karol initiated and directs the "Bridge Guard Art/Science Residence Centre" in Štúrovo, Slovakia (www.bridgeguard.org).

Track Committee

Chair: Karol Frühauf, INFOGEM AG, Switzerland

Program Committee:

Amalia Alvarez, Qualy IT, Uruguay

Michael Felderer, University of Innsbruck, Austria

Gerhard Fessler, Steinbeis Beratungszentrum Prozesse, Exzellenz und CMMI (PEC)

Ferdinand, Gramsamer, INFOGEM AG, Switzerland

Ralf Kneuper, Dr. Ralf Kneuper Beratung, Germany

Marion Lepmets, Regulated Software Research Centre, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland

Isabel Margarido, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Portugal

Andreas Nehfort, Nehfort IT-Consulting KG, Austria

Clenio F. Salviano, CTI Renato Archer, Brazil

Srinath Vaidyanathan, Six-Group, Switzerland

Matthias Würgler, SBB (Swiss Railways), Switzerland

Call for papers:

We know it by now well that most problems in ICT development and maintenance are of human nature, and not technological obstacles.

The way how developers co-operate in teams and projects is key to success.

Process engineering is an attempt to facilitate co-operation by providing the chance to establish a common view on how the work should be done. ICT organizations face the challenge to have strong processes to reduce cost and keep the processes flexible so that the teams can quickly adapt their approach to the rapidly changing requirements. Far more important than process capability is the attitude of continuous improvement. Only fast learning organisations are competitive and likely to survive.

Software Process Improvement (SPI) requires an effective assessment of the software process, leading to the identification of improvement challenges and opportunities. We seek contributions to a better understanding of how process improvement and assessment does work and how does it help ICT organizations.

Suggested topics of interest include, but are not restricted to:

  • Methods, models and tools for process assessment and improvement

  • Interrelationship between process assessment models and process models

  • Maturity models: where are we, where are we going

  • Quantitative effects of process improvement using maturity models

  • Process improvement and assessment in small to medium companies

  • Agile approaches to process improvement and assessment

  • The cohabitation of traditional and agile approaches in an organisation or even in a project

  • Process improvement techniques in agile frameworks

  • Process improvement and assessment in the “trenches” (aka case studies)

  • Empirical studies concerning process improvement and assessment

  • Metrics for process control in ICT

  • Quantitative process improvement

  • Approaches to process improvement without assessment

Submission process:

Authors should submit to http://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=quatic2016 a PDF version of their paper. Full Papers must be in CPS format and not exceed 6 pages, including figures, references, and appendices. Work In Progress (WIP) works with relevant preliminary results are limited to 3 pages. Submissions must be original and will be reviewed by the Track Program Committee. Accepted papers will be included in the electronic proceedings of QUATIC’2016 published by Conference Publishing Services (CPS), submitted for archiving in Xplore and CSDL, and submitted for indexing in ISI Web of Science, SCOPUS, ACM Portal, DBLP and DOI System, subject to one of the authors registering for the conference. The authors of the best papers of this thematic track will be invited to submit extended versions to the main track of the conference.

Important dates:

    • Paper submission: Sunday, April 17, May 15, 2016

    • Author's notifications: Sunday, May 15, June 12, 2016

    • Camera ready submission: Sunday, June 19, June 26, 2016

Previous edition:

See details of the QUATIC 2014 edition of this track.