QWE2002 Paper 6M
Mr. Michael J. Hillelsohn
(Software Performance Systems)
Using SPICE as an Internal Software Engineering Process Improvement Tool
(Best Presentation - QWE2002)
- Using a framework like SPICE facilitates improving quality of products and services.
- The process of performing software engineering assessments inherently improves quality.
- The journey is more important than the certification.
This presentation will provide a brief overview of the SPICE framework and then present the case study of applying the framework, in a limited fashion, to obtain a "snapshot in time" of the organizations process maturity. The organization decided on using the framework because senior management saw a large benefit in improving overall organizational performance and commitment to quality. Well discuss the criticality of senior management support to the success of the effort. The presentation will emphasize the importance of achieving cultural changes that over the long term will show quantifiable improvements in internal processes that will enhance the ability of the organization to satisfy its mission.
Only a relevant subset of process areas and key features were assessed because the priority was to identify opportunities for performance engineering interventions rather then determining certification status. The results did establish a meaningful baseline against portions of the SPICE framework so that the organization can show measured improvement in the future. After the assessment was completed the findings were consolidated and prioritized, and action plans for addressing the highest priority items were formulated after the results of the assessment were presented to senior management. The quality improvements that were initiated, addressed underlying infrastructure issues that were revealed during the assessment, instead of focusing more narrowly on gaps that would improve scores in specific SPICE areas and features. The SPICE based interviews proved to be an invaluable tool in revealing the process improvement opportunities that most impact the organizations performance and responsiveness to its customers.
About the Author
Michael J. Hillelsohn is a Director, Product Assurance at Software Performance Systems (SPS) in Arlington, VA. SPS builds secure e-commerce, case management, and network solutions for government and industry clients. Mr. Hillelsohn is a certified quality professional with more than thirty years of experience doing development, management and performance improvement in software and systems development environments. His multi-disciplinary approach combines quality systems and training expertise to improve the performance of organizations and individuals. Mr. Hillelsohns process-oriented, performance engineering methods facilitate adoption of external frameworks (CMM, ISO, SPICE, Baldrige) to improve the quality of organizational products and services.