Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Gamification is a research field that is intended to increase motivation, so it is especially indicated in human capital intensive environments such as the software industry. Within Software Engineering, one of the main issues regarding software process improvement (SPI) is personnel motivation in specific SPI initiatives. These issues are stronger in small and medium software development companies where employees have to deal with the pressure of deadlines and occasional work overload. To address the adoption of SPI initiatives, the researchers implemented a defined gamification framework for deployment in SPI efforts in order to increase motivation among software workers and to enhance SPI results. The framework was rolled out in a small Spanish software development organisation, which is conducting internal SPI initiatives. To validate the effectiveness of the implemented framework, a controlled experiment was carried out in which an experimental group adopted SPI improvements using a gamification approach. The implementation results show that the application of the framework does not increase personnel motivation in SPI tasks although it contributes to enhancing the SPI tasks performance. This study discusses the limitations and recommendations to implement appropriately the SPI-gamification framework in the scope of small and medium software development companies.