Implementing Concepts from the Personal Software Process in an Industrial Setting

Author(s): K. El Emam, B. Shostak, and N. H. Madhavji
Venue: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on the Software Process (ICSP '96)
Date: 1996


This study focuses on determining the effectiveness of PSP training by measuring the number of engineers who use PSP processes in their daily tasks after receiving the training. The training for this study was given over a five month period where engineers were taught the first phase of the PSP process and then given 5 months to adopt the process to accommodate their workload and tasks. After this period, engineers were taught the next phase in the process and were then interviewed two months later.
The study started with 28 engineers and after seven month only 13 (46.5%) remained in the study because 12 engineers were reassigned to other groups or took personal leave and 3 engineers withdrew from the experiment. Of the sixteen engineers that completed the training, thirteen of the sixteen (81%) continued to use PSP in the programs they encountered in their work. Also, the results of the study show that there is no significant relationship between individuals adopting PSP and the number of their group members also using the process. This indicates that PSP can be effectively used by a sole individual on a team to improve their own productivity assuming that they can stay self-motivated to maintain the documentation needed for the process.

This study demonstrated that similar results to those demonstrated in academic settings can be achieved in industry. The one significant difference between industry and academia as related to PSP training is that far fewer individuals actually complete the training in industry because of personnel changes that occur in the workplace.