Niclas Torstensson MSE-2010:08, pp. 54. COM/School of Computing, 2010.
The introduction of standards in software development is more or less common practice today and regarding software for space applications, standards are one of the primary mechanisms to ensure a sufficient quality level. The space industry has special requirements in terms of reliability and dependability and the European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS) standards is a tool used to fulfill them. The use of standards provides many benefits however it also comes with a compliance cost, in terms of, for example, additional documentation and activities. For making the right decisions on which development and quality assurance activities to focus on, it is important to know not only their added value but also their costs.
In this paper a method is presented for a Cost of Standard Compliance Analysis (CoSCA) in software development. It consists of seven steps and is based on a model which divides the costs into four different types based on the actual reason for conducting activities required by the standard. The four different types of compliance cost are quality-adding, confidence-adding, adherence and development necessary costs. The adherence costs are those costs that are required by or follow from the use of a standard but do not add any
immediate value to the functionality, quality or quality assurance of the software. As a result of a CoSCA analysis, the cost for complying with the standard for all the separate development activities is calculated. Initial results from applying the method to a company, that develops software for the space industry and
complying with the ECSS standards, are presented. The result gives an indication of potential optimization possibilities and for the top ten adherence activities examples are presented. The evaluation showed that the method is practical and usable with an acceptable level of effort and that it helps pinpoint development activities with high adherence costs.