Software Process Improvement is the application of a systematic approach to the identification, evaluation, and improvement of software processes which is critical for computational science and engineering projects. The overall goals of software process improvement in scientific computing are to enhance the quality, efficiency, reliability and sustainability of software development in scientific research.
The goal of Software Process Improvement is a systematic methodology to improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of software development and maintenance. Improvement efforts can implemented in a variety of ways, but it typically involve the following steps:
Identify the need for improvement: This can be done by conducting a process assessment, which involves gathering data on the current state of the software development process.
Establish goals and objectives: These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-boxed.
Develop a plan: This plan should include a timeline, resources, and responsibilities.
Implement the plan: This involves implementing the changes (often couched as experiments) that have been identified and putting the collection of metrics in place to see if they are effective.
Monitor and evaluate the improvement effort: This involves collecting metrics data on the effectiveness of the changes (i.e. the experiments) that have been implemented and making adjustments as needed based on feedback.
There are various ways to implement improvement efforts, but they generally involve the following steps:
- Improve the quality of software products
- Reduce development costs
- Increase productivity
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Enhance organizational reputation
- Increase market share
There exists a range of software process improvement techniques in scientific computing that can be applied in a lightweight manner for small and large teams with the objective of improving the quality, efficiency, reliability, and sustainability of software development in scientific research.