ISO/IEC TR 15504:1998 provides a framework for the assessment of software processes that is appropriate across all application domains and organization sizes. This framework can be used by organizations that plan, manage, monitor, control, and improve the acquisition, supply, development, operation, evolution, and support of software.
The SPICE standard provides a structured approach for assessing software processes by, or on behalf of, an organization with the objectives of:
Understanding the state of the organization’s processes for process improvement (establish process baselines), Determining the suitability of the organization’s processes for a particular requirement or class of requirements, Determining the suitability of another organization’s processes for a particular contract or class of contracts
One important feature of this model is that it produces a profile of all the assessed processes with a capability level rating for each, rather than simply a pass/fail rating. During the trial period these profiles are being used to determine target profiles, which apply to different sized organizations and domains. Suppliers can then use the target profiles for process improvement goals and acquirers can use the profiles to set acceptable standards for proposals.