Software Process Evaluation and Improvement
Significance of Software Process Evaluation and Improvement
The quality of the software development processes of an organization is one of its main foundations, since it is of great importance to its business culture, and because it serves as a differentiator for their customers. For an organization to ensure the quality of its processes, it is necessary to conduct a process of evaluation and improvement, aligning the development processes of the company with the best practices of Software Engineering.
The evaluation and improvement of the quality of software development processes is a widespread practice whose goal is to control the quality of the software through the institutionalization and continual improvement of the processes used in their development. In recent years, different models have emerged for the evaluation and improvement of the capabilidy of software development processes and the maturity of software factories, among which we can highlight CMMI and ISO/IEC 15504.
Software Process Quality Models
AQC currently works primarily with two models to support companies in the improvement of their software development processes:
ISO/IEC 15504 (SPICE: Software Process Improvement and Capability dEtermination)
ISO/IEC 15504 is an international standard developed by ISO whose main goal is the evaluation and improvement of process capability and maturity .
For software development companies, the standard ISO/IEC 15504 is used in conjunction with the standard ISO/IEC 12207 (which is the process reference model) to evaluate and improve the capability and maturity of software development and maintenance processes.
For software development companies in the automotive sector, the Automotive SIG “Special Interest Group” (consisting of AUDI, Fiat, Ford, BMW, Land Rover, Porsche, Volkswagen and Volvo among others) designed a schema that included specific evaluation of the specific characteristics of the automotive industry, known as Automotive SPICE.
Automotive SPICE follows the rules established by ISO 15504 and ISO 12207, and therefore it is very similar to the schema used generally for software assessment, the main difference being that it evaluates individual process capability for a specific subset of the processes defined in ISO 12207.
The main goal of Alarcos Quality Center in software process evaluation and improvement projects is to add value to the organization by analyzing the existing processes, reusing what is aligned to the standard, and defining and improving what is not aligned.
The phases of this type of project are:
- Evaluation of the initial situation of the organization.
- Adaptation and development of the required processes.
- Instantiation of the processes in organizational projects.
- Final evaluation to ensure compliance with the standard.
- Support during the certification process.
Benefits for our clients
- Working under an internationally recognized process framework, based on open ISO standards, aligned with other ISO standards that can be implemented in the organization such as ISO 9001, ISO 20000, or ISO 27000.
- Working under an updated and software-specific best practices framework (ISO 12207:2008).
- Evaluation of the organization maturity level, the most extended kind among assessment and improvement models.
- Reduced cost of certification in comparison to similar models.
- Obtnaining a certification according to the Software Engineering Maturity Model ISO/IEC 15504-SPICE, issued by AENOR (Spanish Association for Standardization and Certification).
- Getting recognition and competitive advantage.
- Create a software development culture that will allow the organization to:
- Implement a development methodology.
- Control all the management phases and areas of a software project.
- Detect and correct any potential faults at any stage of a project.
- Increase the benefits yoelded by the project.
- Increase customer satisfaction and trust.
Interested in implementing ISO 15504?
Alarcos Quality Center has been involved in more than 40 projects of evaluation, improvement and certification of software development processes using models such as CMMI, ISO/IEC 15504, and Automotive SPICE, reaching a 100% success rate on companies that achieved the intended maturity level during certification.
Furthermore, it is noteworthy that AQC was one of the entities participating in the definition and improvement of the Model for the evaluation of processes maturity in SMEs and small development groups according to the ISO/IEC 15504 standard, which is currently used in certification audits.