A-SPICE – Start of a journey

Hi there,

I´m Denis and I want to welcome you on my first blog post.
Why am I doing this?
In my job I often encounter the challenge of fulfilling or understanding several regulatories and its requirements (ISO/norm).
And I must say. Its not an easy task!
Often I hear terms like ISO26262, A-SPICE, ISO9001 etc. But what does this actually mean?
From this wide area of challenges I want to take a closer look on A(utomotive)-SPICE. Explaining it with my own words and give you my thoughts to it.
But keep in mind, I´m not a expert or any kind of certified accessor.

Purpose

I want to start a series about A-SPICE and its containing processes. Explaining how I think the norm works and what my understanding of it is. Maybe this can give you an easier introduction to the norm than I had. If that has worked, than I´m already happy :).

What is A-SPICE?

A-SPICE stands for:
A = Automotive
S = Software
P = Process
I = Improvement
C = Capability
E = dEtermination

It is the European answer to CMMI ->(What is CMMI?)
And it describes basically two things:
– How your process should look like (V-Model)
– How you can measure your fulfillment (SPICE Level)

But before we dig to deep, maybe lets clarify first, what stakeholders are involved in this? A-SPICE applies to the whole development supply chain in the automotive segment. This means if you are a TIER 1 supplier, OEM, TIER 3 supplier, etc. You may be forced to fulfill a certain Automotive SPICE Level to continue as a part within the supply chain. A-SPICE focuses on the products involving software, which means you will see that the processes are more focused on that area

How can I measure my fulfillment?

In this case your processes will be evaluated and rated. In the end your processes will get grades in %, showing you how well you have performed in certain areas. Based on that you will receive your A-SPICE Level. That’s the short answer.

Now the longer answer (sorry for that)
To reach a certain Level you need to fulfill a set of capabilities and process attributes. Based on this your SPICE Level will be determined.
What kind of Levels do actually exist and how are they defined?

– Level 0: Incomplete process
So whatever you do and a product comes out at the end. You´ve successfully reached Level 0. That’s something 🙂

– Level 1: Performed process
Here you have defined the goal for your process which will be achieved at the end. From my point of view that also something which can be achieved very fast.

– Level 2: Managed process
Our process is now being managed, improved and observed. In addition your results (e.g. a Specification, Software, Requirements) are defined and managed as well.

– Level 3: Established process
Now we want to use our managed process and establish it so we can always reach our deliverables. This means your process should reach a quality of being a standard process for your development.

– Level 4: Predictable process
Your established process now works within determined boundaries to obtain its deliverables. From my perspective this means standardizing your process more and more and creating a controlled environment. This should prevent getting any bad surprises.

– Level 5: Optimizing process
Now we have reached the highest and last Level for A-SPICE. This is reached by continuously improving your process based on challenges and targets you have to fulfill in your projects.

Now to identify your Level you need to check the fulfillment of the capabilities of your process. Lets take a look what kind of process attributes we have:

Level 0: Does not contain any PA´s (process attributes).

Level 1:
PA1.1 Process performance

Level 2:
PA2.1 Performance management
PA2.2 Work product management

Level 3:
PA3.1 Process definition
PA3.2 Process deployment

Level 4:
PA4.1 Process measure
PA4.2 Process control

Level 5:
PA5.1 Process innovation
PA5.2 Continuous optimization

Now that you have your PA´s you can now evaluate your processes by using following rating scale.

  • (0-15%) not achieved
  • (15-50%) partially achieved
  • (50-85%) largely achieved
  • (85-100%) fully achieved

Now behind all those process attributes there are again sub packages. But that’s where I want to stop now. If you need more input on that I can recommend getting the A-SPICE Bible .

Thank you

so far for your time. I will continue in the next post with the part handling the processes.
This post originated from another blog post. But I wanted to provide my A-SPICE knowledge here.
You can find the original post here.

NEXT UP

  • A-SPICE – The journey continues

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