Process Assessment Models

A process assessment model defines the overall structure and logistics of the process assessment, the organization and application of assessment questions, the process attributes that are considered during the assessment, and the manner in which process maturity is determined. Assessment models can be broadly categorized as follows:

■ Models developed by large companies and originally intended for internal use, such as the Hewlett-Packard Software Quality and Productivity Analysis (SQPA) and the Bell Canada Software Development Capability Assessment Method

■ Models developed as an adjunct to consulting services, such as Howard Rubin Associates, R.S. Pressman & Associates, Inc., Software Productivity Research, Inc., and many others

■ Models developed by government/industry consortiums such as the Software Engineering Institute Capability Maturity Model, which is the best known of these

■ Models packaged as do-it-yourself products for use by any software development organization

In addition, the International Standards Organization (ISO) is currently at work on a standard for software engineering process assessment to ensure compliance to ISO 9000 quality standards. At present, no assessment model meets all of the proposed requirements for the ISO assessment standard.

A detailed discussion of all types of assessment models is beyond the scope of this chapter. However, to provide a further understanding of the assessment approach, two representative assessment models are considered in the following sections.

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