Original Date: 08/10/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Software Design Process
In the past, quality software development at Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC), Lakehurst was hindered by weak software baselines, poor configuration management, minimal quality checks, moving/changing requirements, and no clear allocation of undefined resources. To remain competitive, NAWC, Lakehurst’s Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) Software Center needed to alter its philosophy and operate the facility more like private industry. The Center wanted to develop better software products, reduce project costs, improve organization, and meet/exceed industry guidelines through the use of the Software Engineering Institute’s (SEI’s) Capability Maturity Model (CMM). As a result, the ATE Software Center developed and implemented the Software Design process.
The ATE Software Center supports various aircraft systems’ ATE software development and support projects, including the versatile avionics shop tester, hybrid test station, computerized automated tester, radar communication tester, and consolidated automated support system. The Software Design process establishes a more structured setting via policies, plans, procedures, and software reviews. The process also uses the SEI’s CMM, MIL-STD-498 guidance, defined documentation, configuration management, quality assurance (QA), and metric analysis. The ATE Software Center has received Level 2 SEI CMM certification (October 1998) which covers six key process areas (KPA): requirements management, project planning, project tracking and oversight, configuration management, QA, and subcontractor management. MIL-STD-498 deliverables and data item descriptions are linked to the Level 2 KPA as defined procedures. As a part of the overall process, the ATE Software Center generated a Software Development Plan (SDP) which describes a developer’s plan for conducting a software development effort. The SDP provides insight, organization, monitoring tools, software development processes and methods, approaches for each activity, project schedules, and resources.
Since implementing the Software Design process, the ATE Software Center realized many benefits. These include established guidance and standardization for software development on all projects; a definition of metrics (e.g., lines of code, deviations, completion times); increased communication; improved morale and working environments; a streamlined organization with better utilization of resources; and increased capability to handle larger, more complex programs with the same size workforce.
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