Approaches to promote product quality within software process improvement initiatives: A mapping study

Gabriel Alberto García-Mireles*, Ma Ángeles Moraga, Félix García, Mario Piattini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Enhancing product quality might be a main goal of a software process improvement initiative (SPI). Quality is, however, a complex concept, and experts recommend identifying relevant product quality characteristics to satisfy users/customers' needs. There is thus a need to understand how SPI initiatives contribute to the improvement of software product quality characteristics. This paper aims to provide an overview of an up-to-date state-of-the-art regarding initiatives that focus on promoting product quality improvement by applying SPI approaches. This goal was achieved by conducting a systematic mapping study, as a result of which we identified 74 primary papers including both theoretical (75.7%) and empirical (24.3%) papers. The main product quality characteristics addressed are security, usability and reliability. Security-related process models, on the other hand, are those most cited (53%). The empirical papers suggest that traditional process reference models, such as CMM, CMMI or ISO 9001, moderately increase product quality characteristics, these principally being maintainability and reliability. However, there is a need for more empirical research to evaluate the impact of SPI initiatives on software product quality by considering contextual factors. SPI initiatives should be more driven by performance goals related to product quality characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-166
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 1 May 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Software process improvement
  • Software product quality
  • Systematic mapping study


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