What is SPICE?
SPICE (Software Process Improvement and Capability dEtermination) is the common name given to the 5th part of the ISO norm 15504.
SPICE consists of 48 process areas each comprising results (outcomes) and corresponding best practices (Base Practices) as well as further information such as advice and work products. These process areas cover all important elements of IT product development, they are ordered into different categories and are complementary. For each SPICE process area a defined Capability Level can be achieved.
ISO/IEC 15504 Parts
The ISO/IEC 15504 standard currently (2008) consists of five parts:
- Part 1 (ISO/IEC 15504-1) defines the fundamental concepts and terminology
- Part 2 (ISO/IEC 15504-2) defines the requirements for assessments and for reference models. These differentiate between process reference models (PRM) and process assessment models (PAM). Process reference models describe requirements for processes and process assessment models build on these to define criteria and methods for assessing these processes. Only this part of the standard is normative, the other parts serve as examples, explanations and information
- Part 3 (ISO/IEC 15504-3) provides help for the execution of assessments
- Part 4 (ISO/IEC 15504-4) provides help for the application of assessments for process improvement
- Part 5 (ISO/IEC 15504-5) defines an exemplary process assessment model (PAM) which is based on the ISO/IEC 12207 standard (processes in the software lifecycle) as a process reference model (PRM). In general, when the term SPICE is used, then this means this part of the ISO/IEC 15504 standard.
- Part 6 (ISO / IEC TR 15504-6) was published in 2008 as a Technical Report and includes a process assessment model for system usage based on the ISO 15288.
- Part 7 (ISO / IEC TR 15504-7) was published in 2008 as a technical report and addresses maturity levels of organizations and assessment classes.
Within the German automotive industry, Automotive SPICE® has established itself as the alternative to Part 5 of ISO/IEC 15504 i.e. the generic SPICE.
SPICE Assessments according to iNTACS™ standard
For SPICE; the ISO standard body has left the industry free to define a training standard for assessors. This service is offered internationally by the non-profit organization iNTACS™. Official SPICE assessments can be performed by principal assessors authorized by iSQI™.