Ngwenyama & Nielsen (2003) Competing Values in Software Process Improvement

Abstract

Competing Values in Software Process Improvement: An Assumption Analysis of CMM From an Organizational Culture Perspective

The capability maturity model (CMM) approach to software process improvement is the most dominant paradigm of organizational change that software organizations implement. While some organizations have achieved various levels of success with the CMM, the vast majority have failed. In this paper, we in- vestigate the assumptions about organizational culture embedded in theCMMmodels and we discuss their implications for software process improvement (SPI) initiatives. In this paper, we utilize the well-known competing values model to surface and analyze the assumptions underlying the CMM. Our analysis reveals contradictory sets of assumptions about organizational culture in the CMM approach. We believe that an understanding of these contradictions can help researchers address some of the difficulties that have been observed in implementing and institutionalizing SPI programs in organizations. Further, this research can help to open up a much-needed line of research that would examine the organization theory assumptions that underpin CMM. This type of research is important if CMM is to evolve as an effective organizational change paradigm for software organizations.

Citation Ojelanki K. Ngwenyama, Peter A. Nielsen (2003). Competing Values in Software Process Improvement: An Assumption Analysis of CMM From an Organizational Culture Perspective. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, vol. 50 no. 1, pp. 100–112. PDF

BibTex entry for this article:

BibTex entry for this article:

@article{ngwenyama2003competing,
author = {Ngwenyama, Ojelanki K. and Nielsen, Peter A.},
journal = {IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management},
number = {1},
pages = {100--112},
title = {{Competing Values in Software Process Improvement: An Assumption Analysis of CMM From an Organizational Culture Perspective}},
volume = {50},
year = {2003}
}

Key ideas

SPI ~ Software Process Improvement
CMM ~ Capability Maturity Model

Notes

1. Introduction

2. Organizational Culture

Our primary objective is to surface and analyze the assumptions about organizational culture that are embedded in the CMM. Some of these assumptions are explicitly addressed in the CMM, while others are not explicated and we need to go beyond the claims made by its developers and proponents. To assist in surfacing the assumptions, we look particularly for inherent contradictions and hidden meanings in the CMM texts. (p. 101)

Framework for analysis

In this research, we take the view that organizational culture can be interrogated via organizational artifacts, such as: (p. 101)

  1. Visible organizational structures and processes;
  2. Values and underlying assumptions; and
  3. Symbols.

We have selected the competing values framework of Quinn and McGrath and its extensions as the lens through which we examine the artifacts of the CMM paradigm. (p. 101)

Method of analysis

3. Research findings

CMM

SM-CMM

P-CMM

Tensions of Developmental and Hierarchical Cultures

4. Conclusion

Tables and figures

Keywords:

Capability maturity model (CMM), INF6001W, competing, deductive, organizational culture, software engineering, software process improvement (SPI)., traditional qualitative research, values model

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