In recent years, Software Process Improvement (SPI) has achieved a good level of penetration in medium-large enterprises. Several well-known methodologies exist and are applied as standard tools in the organisational processes devoted to continuous improvement. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many small and micro enterprises that often are simply unaware of the existence of such methodologies. The need for making such enterprises aware of SPI concepts as well as the potential benefits of their application was one of the driving motivations for the TOPS project, funded by the European Community as the ESPINODE for Central Italy within the ESSI programme. In order to overcome the typical inertia showed by enterprises toward usual dissemination initiatives, we adopted rapid-assessment meetings to allow enterprises to “taste” SPI. Such activity was part of the goals of TOPS toward the regional industry. Rapid assessments, based on the tailoring of SPICE model, have been offered as a free service to enterprises that joined TOPS. This paper describes rapid assessment as a powerful way for both diffusing software best practices and proposing actual improvement paths to enterprises. Data collected through the assessments are presented together with some findings about software proces
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