Analysing the Organisational Risk and Change of CMM Software Process Improvement in a Nearshoring Firm

M. Macias-Garza, R. Heeks

Research output: Working paper


Nearshoring and offshoring of software work to developing countries is an activity with high uncertainty. Developing country firms have tried to reduce uncertainty by adopting software process improvement initiatives - such as ISO 900X and CMM - that lead to appraisal or certification. Relatively little, though, is known about the organisational risks and change involved with such appraisal in developing countries. This paper provides a case study to address this issue: the attempt by a Mexican nearshoring software firm - Softtek - to attain CMM's highest level of quality measure.Avoiding the limitations of simple factor-based approaches to analysing software process improvement the paper, instead, uses a contingent model - the design-reality gap model - as its framework for analysis. It applies the model to identify initial sources of risk, and then shows how those risks were addressed by management in order to successfully achieve CMM appraisal. The design-reality gap model is thus shown to be a useful tool for analysis of risk and change in software firms - nearshoring, offshoring, and others. Some tentative lessons for management of software process improvement are also drawn.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationManchester
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Publication series

NameIDPM Development Informatics Working Papers
PublisherCentre for Development Informatics

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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