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Process Maturity Study

Introduction

There are several factors involved in the success and failure of the project. Many researchers have researched on variety of projects to find the factors influencing the success and failure of the project. Massey (2003) suggested that process maturity plays an important role in the outcome of the project. Massey (2003) defines process maturity as an indication of the project's capability to improve the ability of the product through quantitative measure and feedbacks received. In this paper, the success of free software and open source project, Linux is critically reviewed. This paper discusses about the factors that has influenced the success of the project. Free software and open source project is taken up for review in this paper because of its unique nature. It is publicly available and anyone can contribute to the development of the product and it involves people from different parts of the world and a common software engineering process could not be applied. This paper reviews the strategies involved in the development of the Linux project and the effectiveness of those strategies. There are many free software and open source projects launched and some of them have been successful and some of them have not. So, in this paper the process maturity will be analysed to find out if that can influence the outcome of the project. Linux is considered as one of the major successes in the free software and open source project world and reviewing the strategies and processes adopted for this can give a good insight of the factors that has the impact on the success and failure of the project. This paper also reviews the role of process maturity adopted in Linux project to its success.

Review of Linux Project

The development model applied to Linux is unique in two different ways. Volunteers develop it and the volunteers are from different parts of the world. The nature of the free software and open source projects is also different as all the source code is publicly available and shared with other developers. Raymond & Trader (1999) suggest that the open source development model attracts a wide variety of users, high-level user review and involvement. Fagan (1976) recommended that the user reviews contribute to the quality of the product. It is not possible to apply all the software engineering strategies in free software and open source projects because different motivations drives the development of the product rather than the software projects developed in a software company. The review of the Linux project is divided into following five strategies used in Linux:

Conclusion

This paper identified the key factors that are responsible for the success and failure of the software projects and concentrated on the free software and open source project Linux as this project is widely accepted as a successful software project. This paper discussed about different areas of the project and identified the level of importance of those that has made the Linux project a successful software project. There are advantages and disadvantages that need to be managed in any free software and open source projects because of its unique development model than the traditional software engineering approach. This is mainly due to its worldwide presence of the developers involved in the project with different backgrounds and software approach techniques.

There are several other factors that contribute to the success of the Linux project such as multi-tasking ability, compatibility with other software packages, fast and easy installation, stability etc. A lot of factors are responsible for the outcome of the project and only major factors with higher contribution levels are discussed in this paper. Further research can be undertaken in this area to identify some other factors influencing the success and failure of the project.

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