Implementing Concepts from the Personal Software Process in an Industrial Setting

Author(s): Khaled El Emam, Barry Shostak, Nazim H. Madhavji
Venue: IEEE Computer Society
Date: December, 1996



After citing the general success of the PSP, this paper concerns itself with the methods of implementation in industry. The study was conducted with the ~1,200 software engineers at CAE Electronics Ltd located in Montreal, Canada.

The study had four main objectives: to tailor PSP to CAE, to support a climate for change within CAE towards a measurement oriented culture, to evaluate the extent to which the PSP implementation approach creates changes changes in practices for participating engineers, and to evaluate the benefits of PSP within CAE. The study breaks up its focus int four categories: planning, training, evaluation, and leveraging.

The study's results are quite long-winded, but are generally positive. The study finds that 7 months after starting, 46.5% of participants continued to use PSP concepts in their actual programming tasks. Additionally, those who used code reviews demonstrated substantial improvements in their defect removal skills. The study finds that some of the most important factors that should be considered in order to ensure a successful implementation are customizing the course materials to the organization, providing automated tools for use by the engineers, and obtaining management commitment and support for implementation.