Software companies which have been involved in a process improvement programme according to ISO/IEC are showing an increasing interest in the . INTERNATIONAL. STANDARD. ISO/IEC. Second edition. Information ISO’s member body in the country of the requester. ISO copyright. INTERNATIONAL. STANDARD. ISO/IEC. Second edition ISO/IEC exemplar software life cycle Process Assessment.
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SPICE is still used for the user group of the standard, and the title for the annual conference.
The first versions of the standard focused exclusively on software development processes. This was expanded to cover all related processes in a software business, for example project managementconfiguration managementquality assuranceand so on.
The list of processes covered grew to cover six business areas: The issued standard now specifies the measurement framework and can use different process reference models. There are five general and industry models in use. The initial International Standard was recreated in 5 parts. This was proposed from Japan when the TRs were published at The 7th part is currently in an advanced Final Draft Standard form  and work has started on part 8.
The reference model defines a process dimension and a capability dimension. With new parts being published, the process categories will expand, particularly for IT service process categories and enterprise process categories. The capability of processes is measured using process attributes. The international standard defines nine process attributes:.
Each process attribute consists of one or more generic practices, which are further elaborated into practice indicators to aid assessment performance. The rating is based upon evidence collected against the practice indicators, which demonstrate fulfillment of the process attribute. One of the requirements is to use a conformant assessment method for the assessment process. The actual method is not specified in the standard although the standard places requirements on the method, method developers and assessors using the method.
An assessor can collect data on a process by various means, including interviews with persons performing the process, collecting documents and quality records, and collecting statistical process data. The assessor validates 15504-55 data to ensure it is accurate and 155044-5 covers the assessment scope. The assessor assesses this data using his expert judgment against a process’s base practices and the capability dimension’s generic practices in the process rating step.
Process rating requires some exercising of expert judgment on the part of the assessor and this is the reason that there are requirements on assessor qualifications and competency.
The process rating is then presented as a preliminary finding to the sponsor and preferably also oso the persons assessed to ensure that they agree that the assessment is accurate. In a few cases, there may be feedback requiring further assessment before a final process rating is made. The process assessment model PAM is the detailed model used for an actual assessment. This is an elaboration of the process reference model PRM provided by the process lifecycle 155004-5.
The process assessment model in part 6 is based on the process reference model for systems: There exist several assessment tools. Iwo simplest comprise paper-based tools. In general, they are laid out to incorporate the assessment model indicators, including the base practice indicators and generic practice indicators. Assessors write down the assessment results and notes supporting the assessment judgment.
There are a limited kso of computer based tools that present the indicators and allow users to enter the assessment judgment and notes in formatted screens, as well as automate the collated assessment result i. For a successful assessment, the assessor must have a suitable level of the relevant skills and experience. ISO provides a standard for assessing the organization’s capacity to deliver at each of these stages.
It specifies requirements for improvement programmes and provides guidance on planning and executing improvements, including a description of an eight step improvement programme.
Following this improvement programme is not mandatory and several alternative improvement programmes exist.
An organization considering outsourcing software development needs to have a good understanding of the capability of potential suppliers to deliver. The organization can determine a target capability for suppliers, based on the organization’s needs, and then assess suppliers against a set of target process profiles that specify this target capability.
Target process profiles are particularly important in contexts where the organization for example, a government department is required to accept the cheapest qualifying vendor.
This also enables suppliers to identify gaps between their current capability and the level required by 15054-5 potential customer, and to undertake improvement to achieve the contract requirements i. Work on extending the value of capability determination includes a method called Practical Process Profiles – which uses risk as the determining factor in setting target process profiles. This has been for several reasons:. In addition there are methods available that adapt its use to various contexts.
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