OWPL Model has been designed with respect to the particular context of small businesses so that it could help them to improve their software practices accordingly. SME and VSE can not afford a lot of resources to assess and improve their processes. Therefore SME need a process improvement framework that can be deployed with a small set of resources and cost with a quick ROI. The OWPL model aims at assisting SMEs in their Software Process Improvement (SPI). Hence it provides SMEs and small public organizations with very simplified adequate models to initiate SPI approaches.
In fact, standard models like CMM were initially designed for bigger structures. So, they should be, more or less deeply, tailored and/or adapted to very small organizations like our target SMEs. The first reason is the cost of an evaluation process (+/ 25000$) and its duration (+/- 8 month) which are disproportional to the available resources. In addition, the maturity level our target SMEs would get according a general assessment model like CMM, would be very low. Brodman and Johnson show that a great number of process improvement plans based on the CMM encountered problems and that an important rate of those problems (53%) were related to the size. The success of a CMM process improvement plan actually grows with the number of people having software process in charge.
The OWPL model has been designed with respect to the particular context of small businesses so that it could help them to improve their software practices accordingly.
This model is based on the prior hypothesis that a key issue of success in any company lies on well-defined goals which should be structured on a hierarchical way depending on their level of operability (strategic vs. operational). This means that the company is the one that really defines its processes and the related objectives according to the business strategy.
The structure of OWPL model involves processes, practices and success factors (see Figure below). It defines 10 processes (requirements management, project planning, project tracking and oversight, development, documentation, testing, configuration management, subcontractors management, quality management, and experience capitalization process), each decomposed into a number of practices (from 3 to 12). It is also supported by success factors. The OWPL processes are issued from SPICE and CMM ones by assemblage and simplification. Each of the above processes is assigned a general goal in accordance with the organization’s defined objectives. It involves a number of practices and is supported by a number of success factors. Each practice is defined by its goal, its inputs and outputs, the resources assigned to support it and its weight. This last attribute is an indicator of the importance of the practice for the whole process improvement.
Success factors are general requirements related to the environment of the process. Those factors determine the processes effective success. They correspond in fact to CMM Common Features, or to SPICE Attributes and include organizational, management, technical and human resources factors.
The OWPL Model is supported by a complete suite including: questionnaires, tool and template to perform an assessment of processes, practices and success factors.
The entire assessment suite is available at an affordable price.