FLEX-RCA: a lean-based method for root cause analysis in software process improvement
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2019

Software process improvement (SPI) is an instrument to increase the productivity of, and the quality of work, in software organizations. However, a majority of SPI frameworks are too extensive or provide guidance and potential improvement areas at a high level, indicating only the symptoms, not the causes. Motivated by the industrial need of two Swedish automotive companies to systematically uncover the underlying root causes of high-level improvement issues identified in an SPI project-assessing inter-departmental interactions in large-scale software systems development-this paper advances a root cause analysis (RCA) method building on Lean Six Sigma, called Flex-RCA. Flex-RCA is used to delve deeper into challenges identified to find root causes as a part of the evaluation and subsequent improvement activities. We also demonstrate and evaluate Flex-RCA's industrial applicability in a case study. An overall conclusion is that the use of Flex-RCA was successful, showing that it had the desired effect of both producing a broad base of causes on a high level and, more importantly, enabling an exploration of the underlying root causes.

Automotive industry

Process improvement



Software-intensive systems

Organizational management and coordination

Lean product development

Case study

Software engineering


J. Pernstal

Volvo Cars

Robert Feldt

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Software Engineering, Software Engineering for Cyber Physical Systems

T. Gorschek

Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, BTH

D. Floren

Volvo Cars

Software Quality Journal

0963-9314 (ISSN) 1573-1367 (eISSN)

Vol. 27 1 389-428


Produktionsteknik, arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi

Övrig annan teknik




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