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Product-Focused Software Process Improvement: 12th International Conference, PROFES 2011

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On behalf of the PROFES Organizing Committee we are proud to present the proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement (PROFES 2011), held in Torre Canne, Italy. Since 1999 PROFES has grown in the software engineering community and has become a premium conference that brings together both academia and industry. The roots of PROFES lie in the professional software process improvement motivated by product, process and service quality needs. The conference retains its high quality and focus on the most relevant research issues by addressing both perspectives, research and practice, from an academic and industrial point of view.

Today’s software products and services are perceived as strategic assets for empowering business sectors at every level of the value chain, from strategic to operative. In this scenario, and considering the current global economic downturn, the challenge for developing software products and services consists in managing process diversity in order to reuse strategic software assets in various fields and environments quickly and cost effectively. This was the special theme for PROFES 2011.

In the last few years, many approaches and techniques have been proposed for managing diversity: experience bases for collecting and sharing knowledge and experiences; software development processes able to rearrange common assets in diverse products; process patterns as an instrument for filling the gap between process definition and the amount of customizations needed; estimation and calibration techniques that deal with the different processes in use; parametric and goal-oriented quality models; project management techniques able to fulfil the project goals in spite of project characteristics; cloud computing and service orientation for managing the diversity of hardware and software platforms. All these innovations provide exciting opportunities to make significant progress in understanding and facing real-world challenges.

This year’s technical program featured invited talks, research papers, and experience reports on the most relevant topics in the focus area. We received 54 papers submitted from 22 nations, with each paper receiving at least three reviews. After a thorough evaluation, the Program Committee selected 24 technical full papers. The topics addressed in these papers indicate that the PROFES theme is a vibrant research area, but is also of high interest for industry as demonstrated by several papers that report on case studies or experience gained in industry.

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