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ISO 15504 (SPICE)

We are experts in ISO/IEC 15504.

Our principal has worked with the ISO 15504 suite of standards for over 15 years, and is the ISO representative for Switzerland. He recently completed authoring ISO 15504 part 9, the latest extension of the standard.

ISO/IEC 15504 process assessment standard is also known as SPICE. The standard was created with the aim to consistently assess processes against a reference measurement framework. The standard consists of 3 main elements:

  • A measurement framework with 6 defined Process Capability Levels.
  • A set of requirements for defining processes.
  • A set of requirements for how to perform consistent assessments.

The standard provides a means to harmonize process assessment methods, such as SPICE for SPACE, Automotive SPICE and OOSPICE; it aims to allows organizations to “compare apples against apples”. ISO/IEC 15504 differs from many preceding standards in two fundamental ways. First, it does not prescribe a way of working (i.e. the processes to be followed). It is important to note that while the standard refers to processes, they are meant to be typical examples for the purpose of assessment, not required processes to run an enterprise! Secondly, it does not focus on process compliance, but rather on how well processes are performed and managed (using the capability levels). We generally perform process assessments using ISO 15504. The assessment provides a client organisation with a report on their process strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. We also perform in-house training and coaching.  It is also possible to use CMMI assessments with our networked resources.

It is a second generation process assessment standard. It uses two dimensions, processes and capability which are not coupled. The SEI CMMI Continuous representation also uses this approach, and is generally compatible with the standard. This provides much greater flexibility than the older SW CMM standard because any processes can be managed at any capability level. In addition, it allows use of several different process life cycles, including system and software life cycles.

I am the originator and technical editor for the new part 9 of the ISO/IEC 15504 standard. This covers Target Process Profiles which are the requirements for setting target process capability levels. As a result, the Practical Process Profiles methodogy will be fully compatible with the emerging standard.

To learn more about the standard, refer to the author's books.

Use the published expert for your ISO 15504 needs!


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