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A Comparison of U.S. and Japanese Software Process Maturity

December 1991 Technical Report
Watts S. Humphrey, David Kitson, Julia Gale

This 1991 report characterizes the software processes used by U.S. and Japanese software managers and practitioners.


Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number


DOI (Digital Object Identifier):


This report characterizes the software processes currently used by software managers and practitioners in the U.S., Japan. 

The U.S. data for this comparative study of the state of software practice in the U.S. and Japan is drawn from extensive SEI assessments conducted from 1987 through 1989. The Japanese maturity data was gathered during a three-week trip to Japan by the authors. This includes data on 168 U.S. software projects and 196 Japanese software projects. 

This data is not a statistically valid sample of the software capabilities of either the U.S. or Japanese software industries. However, the data does indicate that the Japanese software industry is, in some respects, both weaker and stronger than that in the U.S. There are also significant differences in the maturity findings between the U.S. and Japanese organizations. These differences have important implications for software organizations in both countries.