Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Software Processes
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis instituted three new processes to help define and manage software development to lower the risks and make software development more affordable. Historically, this development was a poorly defined and unreliable process and usually resulted in significant schedule slips and cost overruns.
The first of these processes is software planning and management, and it includes all activities necessary to start new software projects and manage the development process. The process is based on the Software Engineering Institute’s certification program and has been certified Level 3 (Figure 2-6). Certification at this level requires that repeatable standard processes be used throughout an organization. This includes a process improvement plan for Level 4 and Level 5 certification and process improvement metric tracking. It is documented in a Software Engineering Process Manual, a Software Engineering Metrics Manual, and supporting Model Process guidebooks.
Model Processes are based on MDA-St. Louis internal practices which have proved to be successful on past projects. Examples of Model Processes include Software Estimating, Risk Management, and Subcontract Management. Software Estimating includes the use of multiple estimating methods and a process for reconciliation of results. Software Risk Management includes risk assessment, analysis, abatement and tracking. Software Subcontract Management includes definition and planning, evaluation criteria, reviews and coordination, and supplier monitoring and management. Each Model Process is fully documented.
The second process is the Software Development Process which is based on MIL-STD-2167A life cycle activities. This process includes peer reviews, integrated software test planning and test development, configuration management, risk assessment, and software quality assurance standard practices.
The last process pertains to the software environment. This involves computer systems and software required to support software development. It includes long range strategic software engineering environment planning for the definition of requirements and acquisition of components in order to reduce duplication and promote commonality within MDA-St. Louis. There is also a software tool evaluation and development process to control the potential proliferation of very specialized tools and skills.
MDA-St. Louis provides orientation and training of these software processes for all development personnel.
Figure 2-6. Software Process Improvement History at MDA-St. Louis
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