Making Sense of ISO 15504 (and SPICE)
ISO 15504 was initiated in 1993 as the SPICE (Software Process Improvement and Capability dEtermination) Project, then formally moved into ISO/IEC as JTC1/SC7’s Working Group 10. The first draft appeared around June of 1995 and the second, around October of 1996. Several ballot and comment periods followed and ISO 15504 was issued as a Technical Report (TR) in 1998. Immediately thereafter, work was begun to plan the implementation of changes deemed needed to move the TR to full International Standard (IS) status. This work continues today and, during this time, activities under the name "SPICE" have continued as well such as a series of trials, which have used various versions of ISO 15504, including the TR. Though SPICE activities are not under ISO/IEC auspices, many of the people involved in the ISO 15504 standards effort are also associated with SPICE activities.
This paper describes the work which has been going on to move ISO 15504 from a TR to full IS status including reducing the document set from 9 to 5 documents and removing the Process Dimension from the standard in favor of Process Reference Models. Since ISO 15504 is still being developed and the target completion of the parts spans 2003-2004, the presentation will attempt to provide the most up to date information with regard to the provisions of the standard as well as the schedule for its completion.