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Lifecycle Profiles for Very Small Entities

Lifecycle Profiles (ISO/IEC 29110) are standards defining subsets of other standards' elements that are relevant for Very Small Entities (VSE) developing software. The profiles has been developed to improve product and/or service quality, and process performance.

An international network has been established to accelerate the deployment of the profiles by developing guides and supporting their application. VSE Finland at Tampere University of Technology (Pori), a member of the VSE Network, develops electronic process guides (EPG) to support the application of the profiles.


Industry recognizes Very Small Entities (VSE - an enterprise, organization, department or project having up to 25 people) for their contribution of valuable products and services. As software quality increasingly becomes a subject of concern, and as process approaches are maturing and earning the confidence of companies, the use of international standards is spreading in organizations of all sizes. However, these standards were not written for VSEs and are consequently difficult to apply in such settings.

Profiles for Very Small Entities

The Working Group 24 of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC7 has been established to address these difficulties by developing profiles and providing guidance for compliance with ISO software engineering standards. The documents, published under the title ISO/IEC 29110 Lifecycle Profiles for Very Small Entities, are based on subsets of appropriate standards elements. The purpose of a VSE profile is to define a subset of ISO/IEC standards relevant to the VSE context, for example, processes and outcomes of ISO/IEC 12207 and information items of ISO/IEC 15289.

The working group has defined a Generic Profile Group applicable to VSEs that do not develop critical software and have typical situational factors. The Generic Profile Group is a collection of four profiles, providing a progressive approach to satisfying a vast majority of VSEs: Entry Profile, Basic Profile, Intermediate Profile, and Advanced Profile. The set of documents for the Basic VSE Profile should be published by ISO late 2010 or early 2011. The other profiles are under development.

Guides for Implementing the Profiles

The ISO/IEC 29110 document set contains management and engineering guides, which provide guidance for the implementation and use of a profile. After their publication the guides are available from the ISO site of freely available standards. The VSE Network supplements the guides published by ISO with Deployment Packages and Implementation Guides. A Deployment Package is a set of artefacts developed to facilitate the implementation of a set of practices. An Implementation Guide helps implementing a process by a supporting tool.

This site provides a wiki based Electronic Process Guides (EPG) to support the application of VSE Profiles. Currently, the following EPGs are available:

target-green Management and Engineering Guide for the Entry VSE Profile
target-blue Management and Engineering Guide for the Basic VSE Profile

NOTE! The profiles above are based on the draft versions of the emerging Technical Reports (ISO/IEC 29110-5-1-1 and 29110-5-1-2) and published here for commenting and development purposes. The EPG contents are subject to changes without notification.

Additional Information

The most recent information about the VSE Profiles and their supplements can be obtained from the Main VSE Site at ÉTS.
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Topic revision: r57 - 19 Apr 2011 - 13:11:58 - TimoVarkoi


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