The Finsiel Group is achieving ISO 9000 certification for most of its Business Units and continuous process improvement is one of its major management goal. The goal of the experiment is to demonstrate how the use of an assessment method such as the emerging SPICE standard and a goal-oriented measurement approach like ami along with specific tools can help a medium to large critical and complex software development project improve its development process in its weakest areas and achieve ISO 9001 compliance. The areas identified and selected for improvement are Project Management, Configuration Management and Testing. Indeed, matching deadlines and delivering successful software in terms of costs and quality are common problems in software industry.
The baseline project selected for the experiment is a CASE tool development project. A self-assessment has been carried out using SPICE, as well as a successful third-party ISO 9001 audit. A goals tree will be developed using ami and suitable metrics will be derived to monitor the achievement of the management goals. An improvement plan will be defined and commitments established with all project working groups involved. The plan will describe specifications for each improvement action in terms of what practices to implement according to what model (SPICE BPG or CMM).
The implementation of improvement actions in the baseline project will include the definition of improved standard processes, the installation of selected tools, training, and the collection of process effectiveness and efficiency data. Progress will be periodically monitored and improvements will be confirmed by carrying out a second SPICE assessment. The experiment will be accomplished by the Tecsiel Business Unit within the Finsiel company. Tecsiel employs 250 people.
EXPECTED IMPACT AND EXPERIENCE
In case of success (i.e. achieving the SPICE target capability levels) the new processes and methods will be integrated in the Tecsiel Quality System first and then properly adjusted to be exported to the whole Finsiel Group. Furthermore the expertise gained and the lesson learned in the experiment concerning the SPICE procedures and the ami method can be capitalised for general internal process assessment and improvement. For a wider exploitation of the experiment results an ami case study will be produced at the end of the project in order to provide a good basis for replicability and feed-back will be provided to the SPICE project on the application of the current standard. An evaluation of the effectiveness of the CASE Tools will be produced as well.