R. Colomo-Palacios, M. BirĂ³, R. Messnarz: Special issue on software and service improvement in the scope of SMEs, Software Quality Journal First Online: 15 June 2016 doi: 10.1007/s11219-016-9326-6

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Reviews of Regional Innovation (2011), small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a main source of employment and economic growth in OECD member countries. SMEs are the dominant form of business organization, accounting, on average, for between 95 % and 99 % of all enterprises. However, in spite of their importance, it is clear from studies and surveys conducted in the literature that the majority of International Standards do not address the needs of SMEs in the field of software development and IT service management.
Recent efforts, such as the ISO/IEC 29110 Software engineering Lifecycle profiles for Very Small Entities standard, are aimed at bringing Software Engineering and Project Management good practices closer to SMEs. However, the practical and real influence of such initiatives in the software and service improvement scenario is still unclear. Following previous editorial efforts in software improvement scenarios devoted to aspects like standards (Colomo-Palacios et al. 2013), industrial experiences (BirĂ³ et al. 2014) or innovation (Colomo-Palacios et al. 2012), the aim of this special section is to give an overview of success cases as well as methods and standards to enable systems, software and service process improvement in organizations worldwide with a special focus on SMEs.