Proceedings of the European Conference on Software Process Improvement, 1999
IT businesses today cannot survive without software process improvement. Efficient and cost-effective development processes are vital for being competitive. Before process improvement can be initiated a measure of the current set of processes needs to be established. An assessment is one approach to measuring processes to identify where to start the process improvement initiative. Assessments provide a disciplined examination of the software processes within an organisation. Assessments results show which processes are being performed and how well they are being performed. One of the enduring challenges in software process assessments is linking the assessment scope to an organisation's business focus. We present a rule based approach that can be used to identify some of the most relevant processes that ought to be assessed, leading to a more optimal scoping for an assessment given the company's business drivers. We describe how this has been integrated into an assessment method. Finally, we also present some advances in benchmarking the assessment results with practical examples. Benchmarking provides a way to learn from industries best practices and incorporate these practices into the organisation.