An Empirical Evaluation of the ISO/IEC 15504 Assessment Model

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TypeTechnical Report
AbstractThe emerging International Standard ISO/IEC 15504 (Software Process Assessment) includes an exemplar assessment model (known as Part 5). From data collected thus far, the majority of users of ISO/IEC 15504 employ the exemplar model as the basis for their assessments. This makes it important to perform systematic empirical evaluations of this model. Such evaluations would provide a substantiated basis for using the model, as well as give the developers of ISO/IEC 15504 information as to the necessary improvements to make. Questionnaire data was collected from the lead assessors of 57 assessments world-wide. Our findings indicate that a majority of the assessors used Part 5 as a source of indicators for conducting their assessments and they found Part 5 both useful and easy to use. Furthermore, they were satisfied with the level of detail of the exemplar model, although a minority indicated that less detail in the collected evidence would not have harmed the accuracy of their judgements. However, the assessors also expressed doubts about the consistency and repeatability of their process attribute ratings. A closer examination indicated a concern with ratings at levels 4 and 5. Finally, they found it easier to rate at the extremes of the rating scale, but clearly had more difficulty rating at the middle of the scale. These findings are encouraging in that they indicate that the current model can be used successfully in assessments. However, they also ,point out some weaknesses in the rating scheme that need to be rectified in future revisions of ISO/IEC 15504.
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AffiliationNRC Institute for Information Technology; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number43654
NPARC number8913347
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Record identifier2e363196-bc9b-439d-98ac-817835cd3b18
Record created2009-04-22
Record modified2016-10-03
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