Industrial experiences with software process assessment and improvement: (Special Issue with Selected Industrial Experience Papers of EuroSPI2 2010)



EuroSPI is an initiative with 4 major goals (

  • An annual EuroSPI conference supported by Software Process Improvement Networks from different EU countries.
  • Establishing an Internet-based knowledge library, newsletters, and a set of proceedings and recommended books.
  • Establishing an effective team of national representatives (from each EU country) growing step by step into more countries of Europe.
  • Establishing a European Qualification Framework for a pool of professions related with SPI and management. This is supported by European certificates and exam systems.
  • An annual EuroSPI conference supported by Software Process Improvement Networks from different EU countries.
  • Establishing a worldwide newsletter with articles from key industry and key European research associations helping to implement the SPI manifesto worldwide.

EuroSPI established a newsletter series (, an SPI Manifesto (SPI = Systems, Software and Service Process Improvement), an experience library (, which is continuously extended over the years and is made available to all attendees, and a Europe-wide certification for qualifications in the SPI area (, European Certification and Qualification Association).

A typical characterisation of EuroSPI was stated by a company using the following words: ‘… the biggest value of EuroSPI lies in its function as a European knowledge and experience exchange mechanism for SPI and innovation’.

EuroSPI'2010 was held in Grenoble, a historical city in the Alps region of France. Located in the Rhone-Alpes region, Grenoble is the capital of the department of Isere. Grenoble is a major scientific center, especially in the fields of physics, computer science and applied mathematics: Joseph Fourier University is one of the leading French scientific universities while the Grenoble Institute of Technology (Grenoble INP) trains many thousand engineers every year in key technology disciplines.

As in previous years at the conference, a joint best paper award was given by EuroSPI and the ASQ (American Society of Quality) together.

This year EuroSPI started with the creation of open workshop communities aligned with the conference and focusing on specific SPI topics. This included SPI in SMEs, creating innovation environments, system design principles for SPI, researcher entrepreneurship, and the implementation of SPI in combination with safety standards.

Also at EuroSPI2 2010 we continued to extend the scope of the conference from software process improvement to systems, software service based process improvement.

Networking, experience exchange, and continuous improvement can help to create a competitive advantage on the market.

Among the 24 countries represented at EuroSPI2 2010, the contributions were highly relevant for the European industry. The SPI manifesto from 2009 created a future vision, the extension of SPI to the systems and product level led to involvement of major European manufacturing firms, the building of workshop communities for specific topics created further networking opportunities, and the contributions included good practices about how to achieve that.

System, Software, and Service based Process Improvement meanwhile is a major learning and success factor worldwide to stay competitive on a global and dynamically developing world market.

The next conference in the EuroSPI series was held in Roskilde/Copenhagen, Denmark, from 27th to 29th June, 2011.


Since 1994, the EuroSPI initiative has been financed and coordinated by a group of leading applied research companies and quality networks. Since 1998 the following board members have been important drivers for the initiative:

In 2010, the Grenoble Institute of Technology, France, collaborated with this board to coordinate EuroSPI2 2010.


The value of this selection of papers lies in the fact that they present actual industrial experiences. Research oriented EuroSPI2 2010 papers were published in a separate proceedings.

Since its beginning in 1994 in Dublin, the EuroSPI initiative outlines that there is no single silver bullet to solve SPI issues, but you need to understand a combination of different SPI methods and approaches to achieve real benefits. Therefore, each proceeding covers a variety of different topics, and at the conference, we discuss potential synergies and combined use of such methods and approaches. This special issue contains selected industrial experience papers for different complementary themes, such as:

  • SPI and Systems Improvement
  • SPI and Agile
  • SPI and Assessment
  • SPI Experience Reports

This strategy reflects the EuroSPI multidimensional approach in which the three fundamental components of process improvement are people and skills, process, and technology. A further component that is considered in several papers in this special issue is ‘business’. We will use these general components and their special approach to categorize the papers.

Martin Neumann and Andreas Riel give insight into the automotive industry-sector-specific characteristics of innovation management based on Kolbenschmidt Pierburg AG experiences, and outline a basic scheme for developing an innovation management system with the goal to improve.

Volker Bachmann and Richard Messnarz describe industry experiences with improving safety and availability of complex systems by using an integrated design approach in development. The paper discusses design principles to combine ISO 15504 and functional safety standards such as IEC 61508 and ISO 26262.

Philippe Kruchten presents a contextual model for software-intensive systems development to guide the adoption and adaptation of agile software development practices.

Fergal Mc Caffery and Valentine Casey describe how a lightweight assessment method was developed to educate Irish software development organisations in relation to becoming medical device software suppliers for the Medical Device (MD) and diagnostic industry.

Anne Kramer presents an analysis of the new standard ISO 26262 for the automotive industry. She compares this standard to existing regulations of another safety-critical domain, that is, the medical device industry. She discusses the question ‘Can we learn from each other?’ to identify synergies between the automotive and the medical industry.

Morten Korsaa, Jörn Johansen, Tomas Schweigert, Detlef Vohwinkel, Richard Messnarz, Risto Nevalainen, and Miklos Biro discuss people aspects to implement the values and principles of the SPI Manifesto, which has been published worldwide in 2009. They also discuss the role and necessary skills necessary for SPI Management in the future.

Ismael Edrein Espinosa-Curiel, Josefina Rodríguez-Jacobo, and José Alberto Fernández-Zepeda address SPI implementation in small companies and propose a framework of factors that influence the SPI initiative in SMEs. This framework helps to identify potential threats to the SPI initiatives and to adapt SPI strategies to small companies.


We would like to express our thanks to the members of the EuroSPI2 2009 Industrial Programme Committee for their contribution to the review and selection of the papers:

Volker Ovi BACHMANN SIBAC GmbH GERMANY, Bo BALSTRUP Center for Software Innovation DENMARK, Miklos BIRO Corvinus University of Budapest HUNGARY, Eva BRESKE Robert Bosch GmbH GERMANY, Mads CHRISTIANSEN DELTA DENMARK, Taz DAUGHTREY James Madison University USA, Carol DEKKERS Quality Plus Technologies USA, Klaudia DUSSA-ZIEGER Method Park Software AG GERMANY, Damjan EKERT ISCN GmbH AUSTRIA, Detlef FEHRER SICK AG GERMANY, Stephan GOERICKE iSQI GmbH GERMANY, Philipp HAGENMEYER ZF Friedrichshafen AG GERMANY, Tim HIND AXA UK, Jörn JOHANSEN DELTA DENMARK, Mika JOHANSSON Finnish Software Measurement Association FiSMA FINLAND, Gerhard LICHTENECKER Magna Steyr AUSTRIA, Richard MESSNARZ ISCN Ltd. IRELAND, Risto NEVALAINEN FISMA FINLAND, Minna PIKKARAINEN VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland FINLAND, Alexander POTH SQS Software Quality Systems AG GERMANY, Andreas RIEL Grenoble Institute of Technology, Laboratory G-SCOP FRANCE, Samuel RENAULT Centre de Recherche Public Henri Tudor LUXEMBOURG, Cristina ROMCEA Conti Temic microelectronic GmbH GERMANY, Tomas SCHWEIGERT SQS Software Quality Systems AG GERMANY, Gunther SPORK Magna Powertrain AUSTRIA, Maria STEFANOVA-PAVLOVA Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer-Global BULGARIA, Peter VON BRONK Systemberatung Software-Qualität GERMANY