Persuading developers to buy into software process improvement: an exploratory analysis
In order to investigate practitioners' opinions of software process and software process improvement, we have collected information from 13 companies, in a variety of ways i.e. the use of Repertory Grid Technique, survey and focus group discussions. Both the Repertory Grid Technique and the focus group discussions (43 discussions occurred, in total) produced a large volume of qualitative data. At the same time, other researchers have reported--investigations of practitioners, and we are interested in how their reports may relate to our own. Thus, other research publications can also be treated as a form of qualitative data. In this paper, we review advice on a method, content analysis, that is used to analyse qualitative data. Content analysis is a method for identifying and classifying words and phrases used in--ordinary language. We use content analysis to describe and analyse discussions on software--process and software process improvement. We report preliminary findings from an analysis--of both the focus group evidence and some publications. Our main finding is that there is an--apparent contradiction between developers saying that they want evidence for software process improvement, and what developers will accept as evidence. This presents a serious problem for research: even if researchers could demonstrate a strong, reliable relationship between software process improvement and improved organisational performance, there would still be the problem of convincing practitioners that the evidence applies to their particular situation.