Gamification for software process improvement: a practical approach Articles uri icon

publication date

  • April 2019

start page

  • 112

end page

  • 121


  • 2


  • 13

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1751-8806

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1751-8814


  • 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.


  • software development management; software process improvement; project management; human resource management; software houses; personnel; dp industry; formal specification; software engineering; spanish software development organisation; internal spi initiatives; implemented framework; spi improvements; gamification approach; implementation results; personnel motivation; spi tasks performance; spi-gamification framework; medium software development companies; software process improvement; practical approach; human capital intensive environments; software industry; software engineering; main issues; specific spi initiatives; defined gamification framework; spi efforts; software workers; spi results; success factors; initiatives; motivators; smes