The adoption of process-oriented standards such as the CMMI and SPICES is a problem for small structures because they targets large organisations and are much too complicated and too expensive to implement.
CETIC has developed software improvement approach for use by very small development structures. This approach is staged in the following way :
The first stage is a very simplified questionnaire called the Micro-Assessment is used to collect information about the current software practices and to make people sensitive to the importance of software quality aspects. This questionnaire covers six key axes selected as the most pertinent and the most prior. Taking one day, it provides a risk-based evaluation and proposes concrete recommendations for improvement. It can be repeated on a regular basis (eg. every 6 months) to monitor the evolution. See the complete service description
The second stage is OWPL, directly inspired from CMM and SPICES but yet simplified for SMEs, especially of small size, limited complexity and a low process maturity level. It covers ten processes which are decomposed into practices. Key success factors are also defined and grouped in four categories about the organisation, the management policy, the human resource management and technical means mobilised. OWPL provides a more detailed assessment and more precise recommendations without being too resource consuming. It can open the way to future CMMI or SPICE certification. See the complete service description
Recently a specific specialization of the micro-assessment method was also defined for lightweight security audit to evaluate security maturity and help companies to prioritize security investments needed to cover security