ISO/IEC 15504

SPICE ( Software Process Improvement and Capability Determination) or ISO / IEC 15504 is an international standard ISO for carrying out evaluations ( assessments) of business processes, initially with a focus on software development. He was as a Technical Report ( TR) adopted in 1998 in an earlier version and replaced in March 2006 by the first version as an international standard (IS). This is currently (2012 ) consists of ten parts. By the 2012 published Part 8 was added to the software development even the IT Service Management added according to the definitions of ISO / IEC 20000.

Key aspects of this standard

  • Improving processes of one's own organization (Process Improvement) and
  • The determination of process capability (Capability Determination).

As process here " Related activities to transform input products into output products " are defined. Similar to competing standards such as CMMI SPICE defines the meantime methods for assessment of complete process models and organizations.

Process assessment model

Process assessments are carried out using the two-dimensional reference and assessment model. The " process dimension " on one side serves for the identification and selection of the to be examined in the assessment process, the "ability degree Dimension" on the other side is for the determination and assessment of the individual performance of a process.

In the review is between the ability (capability ) for a process and the maturity ( maturity) to distinguish for an entire organization and the interaction of multiple processes.

Process dimension

The International Standard (IS) formulates requirements for Process Reference Models ( PRM), which processes are described, as well as process assessment models ( PAM), which, based on evaluation criteria and methodologies contain for these processes. In this way, neither binding processes are defined, yet committed, the evaluation criteria for it, but described only basic requirements for such models. In Part 5 of the IS such a PAM based on the more developed ISO / IEC 12207 is - processes in the software life cycle (as PRM) exemplarily defined.

As an alternative to PRM ISO / IEC 12207 and PAM in Part 5 of the standard has established itself in the German automotive industry Automotive SPICE. This standard is also based on ISO / IEC 12207, but defines an en PRM and PAM, which are compliant with the mandatory Part 2 of SPICE.

Capability or maturity dimension

The capability or maturity level dimension consists of the six degree levels " incomplete ", " done ", " controlled ", " established ", " predictable " and "optimizing " (compare structure CMM). This draw conclusions about the performance of the processes described in the process dimension. The individual steps are the activities associated with the cause, the results systematically developed and located on the end of the process in the defined quality.

The capability or maturity levels are associated with a total of nine process attributes. These are each described by the basic management activities associated with them and used to assess the processes. The capability level is determined for each process individually. It will not only assess the existence of a process activity, but also assess the adequate implementation of the activity. The evaluation of each process attribute is updated based on a four -point scale:

  • "Not fulfilled": 0% - 15 %
  • " Partially fulfilled " :> 15 % - 50 %
  • " Largely satisfied " :> 50 % - 85 %
  • " Completely satisfied ": > 85 % - 100 %

During the evaluation must be objective evidence that the requirements are satisfied at the appropriate level. This occurs, for example based on work products, which emerge as the results from the processes, or by statements of process performers in interviews.

For the evaluation of the assessment process and the capability dimension are merged. These valuations are prepared in the form of the performance levels of the nine process attributes for each process under study, resulting in the degree of maturity of this process results. In the totality of all processes investigated this results in a profile of strengths and weaknesses, will be apparent from the improvement. The descriptions of the next higher maturity level show ways to improve the processes.

ISO / IEC 15504 describes in Part 2 of the responsibilities of the assessors. The necessary skills can be demonstrated by an appropriate certification. In German-speaking countries for qualification are two schemes: iNTACS (International Assessor Certification Scheme) and IntRSA (International Registration Scheme for Assessors ).

Components of the ISO / IEC 15504

The ISO / IEC 15504 " Information technology - Process assessment" consists of ten parts Parts 1 to 6 represent the norm is (IS - International Standard ). The Parts 7-10 are supplements (TR - Technical Report or TS - Technical specification).

  • ISO / IEC 15504 Part 1 - " Concepts and vocabulary"
  • ISO / IEC 15504 Part 2 - " Performing an assessment"
  • ISO / IEC 15504 Part 3 - "Guidance on performing at assessment"
  • ISO / IEC 15504 Part 4 - "Guidance on use for process improvement and process capability determination"
  • ISO / IEC 15504 Part 5 - "To copy software life cycle process assessment model"
  • ISO / IEC 15504 Part 6 - "To copy system life cycle process assessment model"
  • ISO / IEC 15504 Part 7 - " Assessment of organizational maturity"
  • ISO / IEC 15504 Part 8 - "To copy process assessment model for IT service management "
  • ISO / IEC 15504 Part 9 - " target process profiles"
  • ISO / IEC 15504 Part 10 - "Safety extension"