Software Procurement & Automotive SPICE

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Management Consultant, South Africa

Software Procurement & Automotive SPICE

From the perspective of an OEM buyer, managing the commodity group, electronics and software, what experience do my fellow 12manage colleagues have with using automotive SPICE (Software Process Improvement and Capability Determination) as a means to assess a non tangible product?
What areas do you feel are still open to further investigation & research? Thank you for your much welcomed feedback.

  Koen Vandermarliere
Business Consultant, Belgium

Automotive SPICE in Software Procurement

Hi Hylton,
I'm not a SPICE (ISO 15504) expert, but I reviewed it some time ago as a possible assessment method.
It is a very complete framework that guides you trough the definition of a supplier's ability to create a qualitative software. It looks at 2 main axes:
  • Processes in place
  • Organisation of the vendor
To come back to your question, I don't use SPICE. WHY?
  1. A lot of companies that are on the edge of technology will not pass it. As my customers are mainly in fast moving and high tech domains, their suppliers are small, flexible engineering companies with sparkling minds, that will not pass the assessment, because they lack documented processes and an organisation that controls them.
  2. In many cases I'm looking for a solution, not a company that will build the solution for me. In that case SPICE is not adequate.
Do not forget that this is just one part of the evaluation; the technical skills, knowledge of your business, financial health, ... remain important assessments as well.

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