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An Analysts’ Skills: Bespoke Software vs Packaged Software at Small Software Vendors



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An Analysts' Skills: Bespoke Software vs Packaged Software at Small Software Vendors
Issam Jebreen*
Department of Software Engineering, Zarqa University, Zarqa, 13110, Jordan
Article history:
Received: 10 October, 2020
Accepted: 21 November, 2020
Online: 08 December, 2020
SMEs usually succeed in today market since they achieve unique things in the business
market. Therefore, SMEs look to keep their business benefit by avoiding any regulation
conducted of software. Executed software packaged at SMEs consequently provides
obstacle concerning to misfits between software services process and SMEs business
process. Hence software analysts' skills are a critical factor for successfully overcome
obstacle relating to misfits. This study conducted a questionnaire by quantitative data to
understand in-depth analysts’ skills need during the process of software mismatch
adjustment. Based on our analysis of the data gathered, we represented a list of skills that
analysts applied to detect misfits between software service provided and SME's business
process. This study, therefore, explains skills that analysts used to overcome the obstacle of
software implementation at SMEs.
Small Software Vendors
Packaged Software
Analysts Skills
1. Introduction
In current years Small Software Vendors (SSVs) for Packaged
Software (PS) is increased they are competitive by selling their
products to large numbers of SMEs [1]. SSVs have, therefore
activated to mark SMEs less complicated products that have
developed [2]. SMEs are an essential business target many SSVs
as mentioned by [3] SMEs "with less than 500 employees provided
51 per cent of all employment in the USA as of March 2004 and
64 per cent of all Canadian private sector employment in 2005. In
the European Union, firms with 250 employees or less provided 67
per cent of employment" [3]. A study by [4] stated that SMEs
subsidize to economic growing to a great degree and incessantly
generating employ chances through the business. SMEs are an
essential economies part, SMEs surface particular challenges once
they are implementing a PS for their business [5, 6].
SMEs seem to remain different comparing to large companies
in several points [7]. Some individual features of SMEs contain
types of ownership, business structure, and target market [7].
Several studies have stated that SMEs have limited IT knowledge
and resource regarding IT adaptation/adoption [7]. These obstacles
lead to the implementation of PS presence a challenge for SMEs.
Researchers of SSVs have found that they cannot conduct the
process of implementing PS at a large business to SMEs [7].
Regardless of the importance of Packaged Software (PS)
conducting it is recognized by these SSVs researchers, there is a
little investigation to exploring these obstacles. In particular,
considerations about SMEs hardly investigate in the SSVs
literature and the question of how SSVs have overcome these
obstacles and what are the analysts' skills to successfully
conducted a PS at SMEs [2].
In [8], the author conducted research relating to the soft skills
of software development staff across four significant parts of the
world, which included North America, Asia, Europe, and
Australia. researchers conducted on the belief that soft skills are
complementary to technical skills, and thus essential attributes for
IT staff to have [8] claimed that during different project stages,
incredibly soft skills required. Therefore, various team members
should have a variety of soft skills. Those skills were
communication skills, interpersonal skills, analytical and problem-
solving skills, organizational skills, innovative skills, adaptability
to change, and the ability to work in a team and to work
independently. Other study by [9] regarding analysts’
communication skills a key factor for requirement gathering, they
found that knowledge about business process of users’ companies
and domain knowledge different business are the most critical
factor for requirements gathering.
It can claim that none of the previous studies related to analysts'
skills focuses on any detail on how analysts manage software
specificity and generality when implementing packaged software
compare to bespoke software [10]. Hence, they do not provide any
overview of what domain knowledge and estimation skills
required from analysts implementing packaged software. Nor do
they focus on the fact that there are pronounced differences
ISSN: 2415-6698
*Corresponding Author: Issam Jebreen,
Advances in Science, Technology and Engineering Systems Journal Vol. 5, No. 6, 1021-1026 (2020)
I. Jebreen / Advances in Science, Technology and Engineering Systems Journal Vol. 5, No. 6, 1021-1026 (2020) 1022
between bespoke software and packaged software. Therefore,
there is a need for an investigation of which domain knowledge
and estimation skills are required when analysts manage software
specificity and generality.
This study provides an overview of analysts' skills at small
software vendors (SSVs) regarding PS conducted at SMEs. It
explores this area from the perspective of small software vendors.
In focusing on an understanding of analysts' skills at SSVs, we
construct a questionnaire by quantitative data to represent high
demand for skills used during the conduct of PS at SMEs. This
study organized as follows: review literature; research method;
results and discussed, conclusion and considers future work.
2. Study Background
The purpose of this section is to provide a perception of the
theoretical concept of software packaged; analysts' skills and the
processes involved, and packaged software implementation. In this
section, we assumed that PS conducted at SMEs depend on a set
of techniques such as software integrations, customization,
adoption/adaption, and the identification of misfits between PS
services and SMEs business process. Hence these processes
require from PS analysts to interact with SMEs employees that
require different skills. Additionally, in this section, during the
review of previous studies relating to packaged software, we
present and define several PS elements. There are several elements
involved in the process of PS conduction such as PS customization,
adaption, and adoption [11]. If the efficiency of these elements
enhanced, this might lead to the increased success of PS
conduction at SMEs.
The market of PS is the fastest rising business for small
software vendors (SSVs), [12] study shown that PS market for
SSVs is growing to $64.88 billion in 2009. Therefore, such
procedures of software may be very targeted to viable SMEs
business [12].
Small software vendors shape their business to developing
small packaged software (SPS) instead of bespoke software.
However, those vendors have faced new management
development challenges [13], [14] recognized the lack of in
research investigate dedicated to reviewing the packaged software
area, he recognizing main differences between the packaged
software development process and bespoke software. The study
acknowledged variances at four levels that contain "industry
forces, approaches to software development, work culture, and
development team efforts". His argument of the conflicts increased
by recognizing and discoursing the five different participant
groups participate in both bespoke and PS development. In [14],
the author stated that "custom IS are those made by either an
organization's internal staff or by direct subcontract to a software
house". The study goes on to classify ERP product as the wildest
rising example of a packaged software product. PS requires wide
modifying for their application, which regularly involves the help
of variances parties such as training, consultants, and support staff
When associating noticeable differences between bespoke and
PS developing process, Sawyer states that time pressures are a
main critical factor for PS development rather than software cost
compare to bespoke software. Meanwhile, the successful
implementation criteria for PS software is different compare to
bespoke software, PS software assesses by software profit, several
target markets, and famous the product. However, successful
implementation criteria for bespoke software, that is measured by
specific company satisfaction about the services provided by the
software. Moreover, the PS development is relying on developers'
experience of business domain knowledge, but bespoke software
is depending on the needs of users.
In [14-17], and other research by [13] and [18], the authors
stated that software companies treat PS as a product. Therefore, the
effort is on carrying a product that can sell to many, and the product
vision relying on releases planned. Meanwhile, bespoke software,
the effort is on carrying on software development process in order
to have a user’s stratification. The primary assumption of these
researchers is that the process of software development is different
from PS and bespoke software, the most distinct is at software
company structure level, the process of development regarding
users' involvement, the culture of work, development effort by
software teams.
In recognition of these concerns, systematic studies have been
undertaken in the current year to increase the success of the method
of packaged software creation [11]. For example, in order to
understand the process of requirement engineering for PS, [14]
researched the process and challenges of the requirement
engineering process for PS in Swedish software companies. Many
of the problems they exposed were exclusive to PS and not suitable
for personalized applications. They therefore noted that
specifications for engineering approaches carried out by a tailor-
made software team might not be especially helpful in supporting
the development process for PS. In another study by [10], it was
reported that the personalized process of software requirement
engineering and the methods used have inadequate utility for PS.
For analysts, these present a primary challenge in creating the
preliminary software for future marketing. However, as possible
consumers are accepted, they have become the primary source for
the selection of requirements. Nevertheless, the original software /
product specifications are typically generated by the creators of PS,
who have used their thoughts on business goals, understanding of
the business domain or a product vision [14]. This method makes
it rational to assume that not all packaged software services and
features are suitable for the business of SMEs [15]. In other words,
there can be misfits between the business processes of PS services
and SMEs. In order to minimize any unintended effects, SSVs and
recognized SMEs should reduce the possible gaps (a skills require
from analysts) in the PS to be effective.
Therefore, several studies conducted to investigate the critical
success factors (CSFs) for PS implementation. Instead of that, [19]
surveyed 86 organizations by an essential characteristic of success
PS implementation to generate the most important critical success
factors for PS implementation. They propose that the CSFs list
may include assistance leaders of PS projects to better apply
inadequate resources by using the CSFs that are existences at
SMEs and have a primary effect on the PS success implementation.
The study offers a brief clarification of critical success factors,
along with an interpretation of the value of each aspect. (1)
Management support, (2) product champion, (3) consumer
I. Jebreen / Advances in Science, Technology and Engineering Systems Journal Vol. 5, No. 6, 1021-1026 (2020) 1023
training, (4) expectation management, and (5) supplier / customer
relationships are the leading five variables recognized.
The purpose of [17] is not only to test the accuracy of the top
10 list of [16], but to build on the list by theorizing some of the
causal relationships between the individual CSFs. The research
question was: (1)” Can the list of [16] helps to gain a deeper
understanding of the root causes of success and failure in the
implementation of ERP?” [17] agreed to evaluate the top 10 CFSs
that have a mix of 'hard' and 'soft' success elements, and they noted
that the most significant factors are: top management support,
project team experience, interdepartmental cooperation, consistent
expectations and goals, and project management. Any of the stuff
on the top 10 list were originally ranked lower by [16]. Still, after
feedback received from 52 company managers approached to
provide input by [17], he moved the ranking up. In other IT
literature related to implementation, many of the items on the top
10 list also seem to appear frequently.
In [4], the author reviewed in the words of SMEs, the most
recent literature on the adoption and application of ERP systems in
SMEs. Noting that ERP systems have now been almost universally
implemented by large organizations, [4] said that ERP vendors
have now begun to turn their attention to small-medium-sized
organizations (SMEs). Although ERP systems can help small and
medium-sized enterprises, "the risks for small and medium-sized
enterprises of implementing an ERP system are different because
small and medium-sized enterprises are likely to have limited
resources and business features that are different from those of
large organizations." In [4], the author provided insight into the
areas missing from the current ERP adoption analysis in SMEs and
provided expertise to assist 'professionals, suppliers and SMEs'
while embarking on ERP projects.' In fact, 'Small and medium-
sized enterprises (SMEs) recognized as fundamentally different
circumstances relative to large enterprises'[18] have not published
any relevant literature on the implementation process in SMEs [4].
The literature mentioned by [4] shows that academic research
has shown a significant increase in the use of ERP in small and
medium-sized enterprises, and that case studies and surveys are the
most common methods used in research papers on this topic. They
discovered that the implementation method was the most discussed
in the literature on ERP use in SMEs. This result contributes to the
crucial topics of literature debate within larger organizations on
ERP systems. However, in the literature on the use of ERP in
SMEs, the adoption decision, the acquisition process, and the use
and maintenance step are also given acceptable levels of emphasis.
The processes for which literature has been rather scarce or non-
existent are ERP evolution and ERP system retirement [4]. Further
suggested that only two published papers found 'in-house built
systems' to be a viable option for small and medium-sized
enterprises. At the same time, "normal ERP solutions could require
straight lines and a lack of versatility for particular SMEs." It is
therefore safe to say that, from the point of view of SSVs, the
existing literature has paid little attention to the implementation of
PS activities by SSVs.
In [5], the author make some more remarks about the existing
literature after giving specific critical of the reviewed literature and
suggest more avenues for research. First of all, they say that, even
though 77 papers identified and examined, this was still a minimal
number of documents to be conducted within ten years on the
subject, considering the increasing significance of ERP technology
in response to SMEs. They conclude that "in contrast with ERP in
LEs, SMEs have not earned sufficient attention." "that include a
lack of" ex-ante cost estimate, economic viability and investment
appraisal studies of ERP ventures "research, a lack of contrast
between" SME-specific ERP and general ERP systems " or
"industry-specific ERP vs general ERP packages" studies.
In [4], the author found that only a few studies were performed
on the growth of ERP systems in small and medium-sized
enterprises, and no study on small and medium-sized enterprises
discussed the implementation phase of an ERP system. Finally,
while they found 77 articles related to ERP systems in small and
medium-sized enterprises, [4] recorded that the majority of small
and medium-sized enterprises were engaged in traditional
manufacturing, and that it could be important to achieve results
compared to different industries, or it could be beneficial if recent
studies on the use of the ERP system in small and medium-sized
enterprises were carried out. They also found that almost all
research studies have found that businesses are concentrated in
America, Australia, Europe, and Asia. There has been a shortage
of studies that examine SMEs in Africa or the Middle East.
Therefore, a one-sided viewpoint (in data collection) has been
adopted by current literature, e.g. on the client-side, whereas other
views might strengthen the perception of such phenomena. Any
studies that examine instances of failed ERP implementations
within SMEs are also absent.
After reviewing the literature on this subject, package software
often created in many sequential releases but that there is intense
competition among various formats within the packaged software
industry. This is only one of the components unique to packaged
software, which explains part of why the features of packaged
software vary significantly from the elements of customized
software. Alternatively, there are potential clients, an imagined
group of people who may fit the profile of the product's intended
customer. The elicitation of specifications from this group of users
and customers is one of the tasks that separates bundled
applications from bespoke. The elicitation of such requirements is
primarily handled by ads, technical assistance, user groups and
trade publication testers. Therefore, it seems reasonable to say that
not all the applications functionalities will be appropriate for the
customers’ business requirements. In other words, when packaged
software is implemented by tech firms, there would be
inconsistencies between the features provided by packaged
software and customers ' business requirements. Therefore,
different skills are required from PS analysts in order to
successfully implement a PS.
Packaged program development can be a massive undertaking
that needs a substantial amount of time, effort and adjustments in
the implementation organization. The implementation of the PS is
often the single largest project ever launched by an organization.
3. Research Design
A survey questionnaire on the skills adopted was used to
collect quantitative data based on [8-10] and shows the skills
required in PS. The skills mentioned in the table below in terms of
how analysts used them.
I. Jebreen / Advances in Science, Technology and Engineering Systems Journal Vol. 5, No. 6, 1021-1026 (2020) 1024
In cases where expectations of one's competence affect the way
he or she interacts, the Self-report instruments are suitable [20].
Besides, claimed that people could have more contextual
information about themselves than anyone else does, offering
some encouragement for the use of such a system.
As show in table 2, our sample of software companies involved
in this research covers the area of software development,
integration of systems, and localization of software. A total of 60
participants presented, including analysts and developers. Seven of
the participants made up of team leaders.
Table 1: Survey Questionnaire Sample
Skills & Knowledge
Assessment Level
Communication skills
Low, Moderate, and High
Interpersonal skills
Low, Moderate, and High
Organizational skills
Low, Moderate, and High
Team Player
Low, Moderate, and High
Ability to Work
Low, Moderate, and High
Table 2: Sample descriptions
Analysts &
System analysts and developers were most of the participants
at the same time. Most participants had a cumulative experience of
3-10 years in the industry, while a few had the experience of more
than ten years. Most of the participants had experience working
concurrently as researchers, designers, and developers. As analysts
only, some participants had the expertise and some as developers
only. Most participants had experience with software for company
applications and software for database systems.
The data has analyzed as the percentage of participants answers
regarding skills required for bespoke software and packaged
Table 3: Responses regarding software type.
Software type
As show in table 3, it was 27 responses from bespoke software
analysts and developers and 33 responses from packaged software.
The top of questionnaire, the participants were chosen the type of
software they would like to fulfill up the questionnaire for.
4. Result & Discussion
The table 4 below follows a list of skills adopted by [8-10] and
shows the skills required in PS vs Bespoke software. The skills
mentioned in the table in terms of how analysts used them.
It can be seen from the table 4 that the skills generally required
of analysts practicing Packaged software implementation (PSI) are
much the same as those required of analysts engaged in bespoke
software, but that some of the skills are required to be practiced at
a higher level or to use more often. There are some differences
involved in terms of how skills are needed and practiced about
skills and knowledge, development skills, software knowledge,
business skills, problem-solving, and hardware knowledge.
Table 4: Skills Assessment Level
Skills & Knowledge
Communication skills
Interpersonal skills
Organizational skills
Team Player
Ability to Work Independently
Development skills
General knowledge of
Development methodologies
Knowledge of technological
Quality assurance
Programming language
Operating systems / platforms
General knowledge of s/w
Business skills
General knowledge of business
Function specific
Industry specific
Problem Solving
Technical expertise
General problem solving
Adaptive / flexible
Analytical / critical / logical
General knowledge of h/w
Note that the bolded italics in the PS column show the differences
Bespoke software requires the analyst to show a certain level
of skills and knowledge related to communication skills,
interpersonal skills, organizational skills, ability to work in a team,
and ability to work independently. PSI requires the same kinds of
skills, but some of these skills demanded at a different level as
shown in figure 1.
I. Jebreen / Advances in Science, Technology and Engineering Systems Journal Vol. 5, No. 6, 1021-1026 (2020) 1025
For example, the analyst engaged in PSI will need to meet
higher demands in terms of their development of interpersonal
skills, and their ability to work independently.
Figure 1: Skills & Knowledge
Figure 2: Development Skills
Figure 3: Software
When it comes to development skills as shown in figure 2, the
analyst engaged in PSI will need to have a higher level of skill
when it comes to dealing with software integration, quality
assurance, and knowledge of technological trends. In bespoke
software, these skills only required at a 'low' level. In PSI, the need
for these skills categorized as 'high'.
When it comes to knowledge of software and the ability to use
the software as shown figure 3, the skills required of bespoke
software analysts and PSI analysts also differ. In Bespoke
software, the analyst's knowledge about operating
systems/platforms and packages only needed to be at a 'moderate'
level. In PSI, these skills required to be at a 'high' level.
Bespoke software and PSI also require a different use of
business skills as shown in figure 4. The analyst engaged in
bespoke software needs a high level of knowledge about the
business, as does the analyst employed in PSI.
Figure 4: Business Skills
Figure 5: Problem Solving Skills
However, in bespoke software, the analyst needs only a
'moderate' understanding of specific functions. In PSI, this
knowledge of particular procedures must be high. In bespoke
software, the analyst's industry-specific and enterprise-wide skills
are 'low', whereas, in PSI, they practiced at a 'high' level.
The skills related to 'problem-solving' also differ between
bespoke software and PSI as shown in figure 5.
The ability to be adaptable or flexible required at the 'low' level
in both forms of RE. Several other skills needed to differ in terms
of use, however. For example, skills related to general problem-
solving, technical expertise, the ability to be analytical, critical, or
logical, and to engage in customer-oriented problem solving
0 1 2 3 4 5
Skills & Knowledge
PS Bespoke software
0 1 2 3 4 5
Development skills
PS Bespoke software
PS Bespoke software
Business Skills
PS Bespoke software
0 1 2 3 4 5
Problem Solving
PS Bespoke software
I. Jebreen / Advances in Science, Technology and Engineering Systems Journal Vol. 5, No. 6, 1021-1026 (2020) 1026
practiced at a 'low' level in bespoke software. These same skills
practiced at a 'high' level in PSI.
Lastly, analysts' skills related to hardware also differ as shown
figure 6. The analyst doing bespoke software requires only a 'low'
level of skills concerning general knowledge about hardware,
knowledge about servers, desktop PCs, and knowledge about
devices and storage. The requirement of these skills is slightly
different for the PSI analyst. In PSI, the analyst has 'moderate'
skills concerning general knowledge about hardware, desktop
computers, and PCs. As in bespoke software, they need only 'low'
knowledge about devices, storage, and printers. However, they
will need to have a 'high' level of knowledge about servers.
Figure 6: Hardware
5. Conclusion
This study provides an account of the distinction between the
skills of analysts for packaged software and bespoke software with
an emphasis on the activities of analysts. Through this report, we
offer a detailed discussion of the skills of analysts required to be
effectively implemented by PS and the challenges faced when
implementing packaged software at SMEs. The numerous factors
involved in seeking buyers, eliciting requirements and detecting
misalignments, designing a packaged software product, and
updating or adapting existing packaged software have been
The expertise and abilities of analysts to communicate with
consumers should be considered as crucial factors when
attempting to enhance the actions and results of the application of
the PS. By enhancing their development skills, in particular
integration, awareness of technical developments, and quality
assurance skills, analysts will gain confidence, strengthen their
critical thinking capabilities and problem-solving skills, and
enhance their ability to connect, engage, and cooperate with the
implementation of PS.
Business skills are the most important for understanding the
business process of SMEs based on the responses of our 60
participants. In view of this, it is important to improve well-
developed function-specific skills to minimize misunderstandings
and increase the efficacy of such communication. In addition, the
involvement of analysts with inadequate skills to work efficiently
during the implementation of PS, showing weak or poorly
performed interaction skills, may also lead to fragmented teams
and disagreements between team members, resulting in an
unsatisfactory experience for both users and analysts. This analysis
of skills analysts in PS can help to shed light on areas of practice
that can be focused on by an analyst to reduce the risk of
problematic implementation of PS. Future studies will seek to
establish a theoretical framework that describes the interaction
techniques that analysts apply during the production and
implementation of the PS, as this research is ongoing.
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Full-text available
Abstract: Requirements Determination (RD) is regarded as a critical phase of software development, In particular, the involvement of human interaction with RD diversity increase of communication issues such as miscommunication, misunderstandings between stakeholders that impact on software projects time and cost. Therefore, the software analysts’ communication skills are a key factor in project success. Originally analysts’ responsibility is RD tasks, however, due to the variety and the number of tasks that need to be covered, as well as different skills for each task, the sphere of their job is usually extended. This study is explored analysts’ proficiencies in requirement determination. An Ethnography method has been used with software Development Company in order to investigate the analysts’ proficiencies. Our research design conducted through an interpretive philosophy using thematic analysis data-driven approach. We have found that 18 critical proficiencies are impacting situations in which requirement determination occurs. We propose that the analysts’ proficiencies are a set of activities between analysts and users in which requirement determination situations consists of gathering users’ initial requirements follow by deeply understanding of the users’ requirements. Surprisingly, knowledge of requirements analysis and design solution methodologies including the traditional approach did not seem to be critical proficiencies for requirements analysts. In another hand, knowledge of commercial software and business process for various types of commercial business seem to be one of the most important critical proficiencies for requirements analysts.
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Abstract: This study investigates the practices of Requirements Engineering (RE) for packaged software implementation, as enacted by Small Packaged Software Vendors (SPSVs). Throughout the study, a focus on the actions carried out by SPSV analysts during RE is maintained, rather than a focus on the actions of client companies. The study confirms assertions in the literature, finding that most contemporary RE practices are unsuitable for SPSVs. The research investigated the means by which SPSVs can adopt, follow and adapt the best possible RE practices for Packaged Software Implementation (PSI), an explanation of the collection of qualitative and quantitative data during an case study in packaged software vendors. The research findings lead to introduced new methods of documentation, was not as concerned as general RE practice with looking for domain constraints or with collecting requirements and viewpoints from multiple sources, was more likely to involve live software demonstrations and screenshots to validate user needs, and was more likely to involve the compilation of a user manual. In PSI, prioritising requirements is not a basic practice; instead, analysts collect requirements in a circular process, with managers then directing analysts regarding which requirements to direct most attention toward. PSI was also found to place emphasis on assessing requirements risks and on considering the relationship between users’ needs and the inter-relationships between software functions, as analysts engaging in PSI do not wish to disrupt functions of their software when making modifications in response to client requests.
Small and Medium scale Enterprises in developing economies tend to stay small or become even smaller in contrast to their counterparts in developed economies, which grow substantially. SMEs contribute to economic growth to a large extent and have been continuously creating employment opportunities throughout the space. The capability of Indian SMEs is immense and can match with its foreign counterparts, yet it is evident that they lag in growth. Such enterprises are more inclined to manufacture goods which are market driven rather than creating innovative products. Innovations in SMEs can boost the sector and can make Indian SMEs on par with developed countries. This paper probes into the current scenario of Indian SMEs, their innovation status and factors affecting them. The study concludes by proposing strategies to enhance innovation in these enterprises.
This article describes how small packaged software vendors' enterprises (SPSVEs) have played a massive role in a software environment and contributed dramatically to economies. The purpose of this article is to investigate and categorize the most recent of literature addressing small packaged software vendors' enterprises through a systematic snapshot research in order to identify current research topics and highlight some areas needing more consideration. The pattern of the authors' systematic approach is based on developing a classification scheme which targets a collection of papers published within the period of 2007-2017. The authors analysed one hundred and one papers from peer-reviewed conferences, journals, and workshops to examine the current state of SPSVE's research in order to provide systematic snapshot mapping (SSM) that includes the small packaged software life cycle, research methods used, and country of study. The systematic snapshot of 101 papers reveals that the majority of the literature has focused on the planning and implementation phases of SPSVEs. Figuring out a new model of packaged software life-cycle in SMEs will occur by applying the model of categorizations with regard to the life cycle with its factors and sub factors. Moreover, it will contribute to finding research methods, regions, top ten citation, articles type classifications, and other kinds of classifications. This research is targeted to small packaged software vendors' enterprises (SPSVEs). The authors' finding is intended for software research areas more than economic research areas. This article has presented a high degree of benefits in order to assist researchers in evidence-based decision making in terms of investigating hot research areas in line with the small packaged software vendors' enterprises (SPSVEs).
This paper analyses and harmonizes the existing body of literature concerning enterprise resource planning system (ERP) adoption in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). It conducts a single case study focused on challenging existing knowledge in a the rather scarce field of scientific research. We found the importance of success factors such as the “project champion”, proper “project/change management” and “strong partnership” as well as risk such as “inadequate training and instruction” or “low key-user involvement” supported. Additionally our case further unveiled additional previously not mentioned success factors/risk, such as the “flexibility” provided by Open Source Software, “poorly specified legacy applications and interfaces” and “inadequate user acceptance and end-to-end testing”
ERP systems are large integrated packaged software systems used by thousands of major organizations around the world. Yet outcomes from ERP use can be very different, and there is still not an adequate understanding of how and why organizations have such varying outcomes. Using a case study approach, we retrospectively examined the post-implementation periods in four manufacturing companies as processes within context over time. Analysis of the cases identified nine themes that explain "how" and "why" and form the components of a framework for understanding the achievement of business benefits in the post-implementation period. The new framework extends knowledge in two ways. It identifies new themes and the underlying relationships between them that explain and increase our understanding of how and why organizations have or have not achieved business benefits from ERP systems.
—At its core, Requirements Determination (RD) is fundamentally a collaborative social practice that involves multiple stakeholders who must work together to communicate, discuss and finally confirm the requirements for the system to be implemented or updated. With a potentially large number of (groups of) stakeholders involved, each with their own perspective on the system as well as their own level of understanding, the form and nature of communication in the RD process are worth investigating and improving, particularly given the impact of RD on other stages of software development, operation, and support. The many human interfaces associated with RD can lead to a variety of communication challenges, including miscommunication between users and analysts and misunderstandings between analysts and developers, all of which can add time and cost to software projects. In this paper we report on our use of the Communicative Adaptability Scale (CAS) questionnaire to assess the communicative competence of 45 novice analysts in social interaction. Through the questionnaire we have investigated the perceptions of analysts regarding the most effective channels through which to receive and send relevant RD information. Analysis leads us to confirm that first, face-to-face communication is the channel that our novice analysts prefer to employ in order to communicate with users during RD. Second, our novice analysts consider themselves to have the ability and desire to communicate in novel social contexts. The outcome of these experiences is the development and refinement of a social communication repertoire. Third, and less positively, our novice analysts consider themselves to have a lesser ability to engage in conversations with others who were not known previously. Furthermore, our analysis shows that our novice analysts perceive themselves to have limited competence to clearly express their ideas. Specifically, our analysts believe they have limited competence in word choice, pronunciation, and grammatical structure to express their ideas in a manner appropriate to the social context. Preferred channels of communication are confirmed, but their utility will be moderated by analysts’ ability to interact in social settings. Additional training in communication skills, particularly articulation, may be of particular benefit to novice analysts.
Purpose – Most of the studies carried out on human factor in software development concentrate primarily on personality traits. However, soft skills which largely help in determining personality traits have been given comparatively little attention by researchers. The purpose of this paper is to find out whether employers' soft skills requirements, as advertised in job postings, within different roles of software development, are similar across different cultures. Design/methodology/approach – The authors review the literature relating to soft skills before describing a study based on 500 job advertisements posted on well‐known recruitment sites from a range of geographical locations, including North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The study makes use of nine defined soft skills to assess the level of demand for each of these skills related to individual job roles within the software industry. Findings – It was found that in the cases of designer, programmer and tester, substantial similarity exists for the requirements of soft skills, whereas only in the case of system analyst is dissimilarity present across different cultures. It was concluded that cultural difference does not have a major impact on the choice of soft skills requirements in hiring new employee in the case of the software development profession. Originality/value – Specific studies concerning soft skills and software development have been sporadic and often incidental, which highlights the originality of this work. Moreover, no concrete work has been reported in the area of soft skills and their demand as a part of job requirement sets in diverse cultures, which increases the value of this paper.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate possible reasons for enterprise resource planning (ERP) system customization in small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs), with a particular focus on distinguishing influential factors of the SME context. Design/methodology/approach An exploratory qualitative research approach was employed, to identify new insights within the SME context. A multiple case study of four SMEs was conducted. Data were collected through 34 qualitative interviews with multiple informants across the four cases. Findings The paper reports findings from four SMEs where ERP customization has been applied to match organizational needs. First, the level and type of ERP system customization applied by the case organizations were investigated. Then, the reasons for ERP system customization were explored. The analysis identified seven possible reasons leading to ERP system customization, classified according to two phases of the ERP life‐cycle (prior to “going‐live” and after “going‐live”). Reasons specific to the SME context include unique business processes, ownership type, and organizational stage of growth. Research limitations/implications The study is based on four cases only. Further research is needed to investigate the applicability of the findings in different contexts. Practical implications The study findings are believed to be valuable for organizations about to implement an ERP system, as well as for ERP vendors. By identifying the reasons leading to ERP system customization and investigating the effect of the SME context, the study contributes to a better understanding of ERP system implementation in SMEs. Originality/value The paper contributes to the scarce literature on reasons for ERP system customization in SMEs. By classifying the reasons into two phases of the ERP life‐cycle, the study also contributes by exploring ERP system customization practice in different phases of the ERP life‐cycle.