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ISO 15504 (SPICE)

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 SEICMMI 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.

ISO 15504 Part 9

Leistungs Consult is sponsoring and Han van Loon is the author and project editor for a
new standard within the ISO 15504 suite. This new part 9 describes the use and definition
of Target Process Profiles.

ISO/IEC 15504 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.

A Target Process Profile provides a desired target for the purpose of selecting suppliers
for specific projects, programmes and product types, and for targeting improvement of
processes to meet defined business needs.
Overview of Target Process Profile use.

ISO 15504 Part 9

The new standard will guide users how to select processes and set a Capability Level or
Process Attributes for each process. It is based on ground-breaking research into how
processes can mitigate risk and create business value. Unlike conventional risk analysis
that is about adding risk specific processes or activities, it looks at business risk and
determines what key processes and their capability are needed in normal operation so that
the risks are reduced or eliminated. The cost of doing this is much less than the cost of
fixing problems when a risk becomes a problem. The Practical Process
Profiles methodology is fully compatible with the emerging standard.

Latest news - ISO 15504-9 has completed working draft and reached CD (Committee
Draft) stage, an important step forward in the standards process. The contents cover:

• Introduction to the standard

• Target process profiles sponsor role and responsibilities
• Target process profiles overview - purpose and outcomes
• Deploying a documented process to create profiles

Defining a target process profile

• Defining the purpose of the target process profile

• Select the community of use
• Define the business requirements
• Define the domain of application
• Define categories for the domain of application
• Define target process profile factors used to convert the intended use into process
• Define criteria for data and information collection
• Select business processes and practices, PRM and PAM
• Define target process profile output content and format
• Define target capability statement

Process for creating, selecting and using Target Process Profiles

• Create the target process profiles

• Using target process profiles
• Application for gap analysis

Qualification of persons creating and using the target process profiles

To learn more about applying the methodology for implementing the standard,
see Practical Process Profiles methodology, refer to theauthor's books or contact the

ISO/IEC 15504
Modelo para la mejora y evaluación de los procesos de desarrollo y mantenimiento de
sistemas y productos de software.


En enero de 1993 la comisión ISO/IEC JTC1 aprobó un programa de trabajo para el

desarrollo de un modelo que fuera la base de un futuro estándar internacional para la
evaluación de los procesos del ciclo de vida del software. Este trabajo recibió el nombre
de proyecto SPICE (Software Process Improvement and Capability dEtermination), y en
junio de 1995, con la publicación de su primer borrador, desde ISO fueron invitadas
diferentes organizaciones para aplicarlo y valorar sus resultados.

En 1998, pasada la fase de proyecto, y tras las primeras evaluaciones, el trabajo pasó a la
fase de informe técnico con la denominación ISO/IEC TR 15504. La instrucción técnica
consta de 9 apartados, recogidos en volúmenes independientes que se han ido
publicando como redacción definitiva del estándar internacional ISO/IEC 15504 durante el
periodo 2003 - 2005.

• Establece un marco para métodos de evaluación, no es un método o modelo en sí.

• Comprende: evaluación de procesos, mejora de procesos, determinación de
• Está alineado con el estándar ISO/IEC 12207 que define los procesos del ciclo de
vida del desarrollo, mantenimiento y operación de los sistemas de software.
• Equivalencia y compatibilidad con CMMI. ISO forma parte del panel elaborador del
modelo CMMI y SEI mantiene la compatibilidad y equivalencia de ésta última con
15504. Sin embargo CMMi aún no es conforme a SPICE - ISO 15504.


Tiene una arquitectura basada en dos dimensiones: de proceso y de capacidad de


Desde la dimensión de proceso agrupa a los procesos en tres grupos que contienen cinco
categorías de acuerdo al tipo de actividad:

Procesos primarios

CUS: Cliente - Proveedor

• ENG: Ingeniería

Procesos de soporte

• SUP: Soporte

Procesos organizacionales

• MAN: Gestión
• ORG: Organización

Para todos los procesos se definen los componentes: Identificador, Nombre, Tipo,
Propósito, Salidas y Notas.
Desde la dimensión de capacidad el modelo define una escala de 6 niveles para
determinar la capacidad de cualquier proceso:

• Nivel 0: Incompleto
• Nivel 1: Realizado
• Nivel 2: Gestionado
• Nivel 3: Establecido
• Nivel 4: Predecible
• Nivel 5: En optimización