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A controlled experiment on the effects of PSP training: detailed description and evaluation

Prechelt, Lutz; Unger, Barbara

Abstract: The Personal Software Process (PSP) is a methodology for systematic and continuous improvement of an individual software engineer's software production capabilities. The proponents of the PSP claim that the PSP methods improve in particular the program quality and the capability for accurate estimation of the development time, but do not impair productivity. We have performed a controlled experiment for assessing these and related claims. The experiment compares the performance of a group of students that have just previously participated in a PSP course to a comparable set of students from a ``normal'' programming course. This report presents in detail the experiment design and setup, the results of the experiment, and our interpretation of the results. The results indicate that the claims are basically correct, but the improvements may be a lot smaller than expected. However, we found an important additional benefit from PSP that is not usually mentioned by the PSP proponents: The performance in the PSP group was consistently less variable for most of the many variables we investigated. Less variable performance in a software team greatly reduces the risk in software projects.


Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Programmstrukturen und Datenorganisation (IPD)
Publikationstyp Forschungsbericht
Jahr 1999
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1432-7864
URN: urn:nbn:de:swb:90-AAA76996
KITopen ID: 7699
Verlag Karlsruhe
Serie Interner Bericht. Fakultät für Informatik, Universität Karlsruhe ; 1999,1
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