Learning to improve software processes: making sense of practice

Ian Allison, Yasmin Merali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Software Process Improvement (SPI) programs are frequently considered to be planned in nature. However, there is recent evidence to suggest that SPI can be understood as a form of learning.
Drawing on the organizational learning literature, this paper proposes an active learning perspective of improvements in processes. This view recognizes the various actors in the project to be reflective in their actions, making sense of the current context and thus designing their use of the process to best suit their
needs at the time. The changes in the processes emerge through ongoing adjustments, experimentation and improvisation as developers and managers seek to improve their product development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalCommunications of the IIMA
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Software Process Improvement
  • Reflective Practitioners
  • Organizational Learning
  • Sensemaking


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