Systems and software engineering -- Life cycle management -- Specification for process description

This document provides an explanation of considerations involved in defining a process. This document gives requirements and recommendations for the description of processes by identifying elements and rules for their formulation. This document also describes the use of process views. This document explains how conformance to a process can be defined, when the process is described in accordance with this document. This document does not describe how processes are composed or otherwise aggregated into larger frameworks or life cycle models. Nor does the document cover how to assess or evaluate the performance of a process, or the output (products) of a process. NOTEÂ Â Â Â Â Â Two prominent International Standards in process description for software and system engineering are ISO/IEC/IEEEÂ 12207 and ISO/IEC/IEEEÂ 15288. These two standards have very similar process models. The information items associated with their process definitions are given in ISO/IEC/IEEEÂ 15289. Other International Standards provide further characterization of a single life cycle process by elaborating the process elements and levying specific requirements on the execution of the process. This document is applicable when processes are described for various process definitions in any party, organization or standard relating to systems and software engineering processes.

Ingénierie du logiciel et des systèmes -- Gestion du cycle de vie -- Spécification pour la description des processus

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INTERNATIONAL ISO/IEC/
STANDARD IEEE
24774
First edition
2021-05
Systems and software engineering —
Life cycle management —
Specification for process description
Ingénierie du logiciel et des systèmes — Gestion du cycle de vie —
Spécification pour la description des processus
Reference number
ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
ISO/IEC 2021
IEEE 2021
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO/IEC 2021
© IEEE 2021

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting

on the internet or an intranet, without prior written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO or IEEE at the

respective address below or ISO’s member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc
CP 401 • Ch. de Blandonnet 8 3 Park Avenue, New York
CH-1214 Vernier, Geneva NY 10016-5997, USA
Phone: +41 22 749 01 11
Email: copyright@iso.org Email: stds.ipr@ieee.org
Website: www.iso.org Website: www.ieee.org
Published in Switzerland
© ISO/IEC 2021 – All rights reserved
ii © IEEE 2021 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Conformance ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 4

5 Specification of a process description and its elements ............................................................................................. 4

5.1 Elements of process description ......... ..................................................................................................................................... 4

5.2 Process and related concepts ..................................................................................................................................................... 4

5.3 Process description – required elements ......................................................................................................................... 6

5.3.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 6

5.3.2 Process name ...................................................................................................................................................................... 7

5.3.3 Process purpose ............................................................................................................................................................... 7

5.3.4 Process outcomes ............................................................................................................................................................ 8

5.4 Process description – optional elements.......................................................................................................................... 9

5.4.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

5.4.2 Process activities ............................................................................................................................................................. 9

5.4.3 Process tasks ....................................................................................................................................................................... 9

5.4.4 Notes........................................................................................................................................................................................10

5.4.5 Process inputs .................................................................................................................................................................10

5.4.6 Process outputs ..............................................................................................................................................................10

5.4.7 Process controls and constraints ....................................................................................................................11

6 Process views and viewpoints .............................................................................................................................................................12

6.1 The process view concept ..........................................................................................................................................................12

6.2 Process viewpoint .............................................................................................................................................................................12

6.3 Contents of a process view ........................................................................................................................................................12

7 Claims of conformance to a process ..............................................................................................................................................13

Annex A (informative) Example process descriptions ....................................................................................................................14

Annex B (Informative) Process description traceability between elements ...........................................................21

Annex C (informative) Example process view description .........................................................................................................24

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................27

IEEE Notices and Abstract ...........................................................................................................................................................................................29

© ISO/IEC 2021 – All rights reserved
© IEEE 2021 – All rights reserved iii
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ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (the International Electrotechnical

Commission) form the specialized system for worldwide standardization. National bodies that are

members of ISO or IEC participate in the development of International Standards through technical

committees established by the respective organization to deal with particular fields of technical

activity. ISO and IEC technical committees collaborate in fields of mutual interest. Other international

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO and IEC, also take part in the

work.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO/IEC documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with

the rules given in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives or www .iec .ch/ members

_experts/ refdocs).

IEEE Standards documents are developed within the IEEE Societies and the Standards Coordinating

Committees of the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Standards Board. The IEEE develops its

standards through a consensus development process, approved by the American National Standards

Institute, which brings together volunteers representing varied viewpoints and interests to achieve the

final product. Volunteers are not necessarily members of the Institute and serve without compensation.

While the IEEE administers the process and establishes rules to promote fairness in the consensus

development process, the IEEE does not independently evaluate, test, or verify the accuracy of any of

the information contained in its standards.

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject

of patent rights. ISO and IEC shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent

rights. Details of any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the

Introduction and/or on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents) or the IEC

list of patent declarations received (see https:// patents .iec .ch).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), see www .iso .org/

iso/ foreword .html. In the IEC, see www .iec .ch/ understanding -standards.

ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774 was prepared by Joint Technical Committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology,

Subcommittee SC 7, Software and systems engineering, in cooperation with the Systems and Software

Engineering Standards Committee of the IEEE Computer Society, under the Partner Standards

Development Organization cooperation agreement between ISO and IEEE.

This first edition cancels and replaces ISO/IEC TR 24774:2010, which has been technically revised.

The main changes compared to ISO/IEC TR 24774:2010 are as follows:

— process definition and examples have been updated to reflect SC 7 latest standards;

— the former ISO/IEC Technical Report has been jointly revised with IEEE as an International Standard.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/ members .html and www .iec .ch/ national

-committees.
© ISO/IEC 2021 – All rights reserved
iv © IEEE 2021 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 4 ----------------------
ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
Introduction

For an organization to function effectively, the organization has to determine and manage numerous

interrelated activities and tasks to achieve its goals. An activity or a set of activities using resources

and managed in order to enable the achievement of outcomes through the transformation of inputs

into outputs can be considered a process. Often the output from one process forms the input to

other processes. When processes are explicitly described and performed in a systematic manner, the

likelihood of consistent quality in the results is improved. Thus, process descriptions and process

models (frameworks of related processes) enable consistent performance and delivery of expected

results.

A number of international, national and industry standards describe processes and process reference

models. The process descriptions vary in format, content and level of prescription. The purpose of this

document is to encourage uniformity in the description of processes. Uniform description of processes

facilitates adoption, adaptation and improvement of standardized processes, as well as process

assessment. The combination of processes and the development of process views from different

reference models eases the development of new models and facilitates comparison of processes.

In order for users of standards to select the appropriate forms of process description and apply them

in a consistent fashion, it is desirable to develop a common characterization of all of these forms of

process description. This document presents requirements for the description of processes in terms of

their format, content and level of prescription. The requirements of this document can be applied to any

process model developed for any purpose.

This document is intended for use by all parties that define process models, for example systems and

software engineers, sector or special interest groups, professional standards groups, researchers, and

process assessors.
© ISO/IEC 2021 – All rights reserved
© IEEE 2021 – All rights reserved v
---------------------- Page: 5 ----------------------
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
Systems and software engineering — Life cycle
management — Specification for process description
1 Scope

This document provides an explanation of considerations involved in defining a process. This document

gives requirements and recommendations for the description of processes by identifying elements and

rules for their formulation.
This document also describes the use of process views.

This document explains how conformance to a process can be defined, when the process is described in

accordance with this document.

This document does not describe how processes are composed or otherwise aggregated into

larger frameworks or life cycle models. Nor does the document cover how to assess or evaluate the

performance of a process, or the output (products) of a process.

NOTE Two prominent International Standards in process description for software and system engineering

are ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207 and ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288. These two standards have very similar process models. The

information items associated with their process definitions are given in ISO/IEC/IEEE 15289. Other International

Standards provide further characterization of a single life cycle process by elaborating the process elements and

levying specific requirements on the execution of the process.

This document is applicable when processes are described for various process definitions in any party,

organization or standard relating to systems and software engineering processes.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO, IEC, and IEEE maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following

addresses:
— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org
— IEEE Standards Dictionary Online: available at http:// dictionary .ieee .org

NOTE 1 For additional terms and definitions in the field of systems and software engineering, see

ISO/IEC/IEEE 24765, which is published periodically as a “snapshot” of the SEVOCAB (Systems and software

Engineering Vocabulary) database and is publicly accessible at computer .org/ sevocab.

3.1
activity
set of cohesive tasks (3.20) of a process (3.8)
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.3]
© ISO/IEC 2021 – All rights reserved
© IEEE 2021 – All rights reserved 1
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ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
3.2
base practice

activity (3.1) that, when consistently performed, contributes to achieving a specific process purpose

(3.12)
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 33001:2015, 3.3.2]
3.3
information item

separately identifiable body of information that is produced, stored, and delivered for human use

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 15289:2019, 3.1.12, modified — The preferred term "information product" has

been removed; notes 1 and 2 to entry have been removed.]
3.4
life cycle

evolution of a system (3.18), product (3.16), service, project or other human-made entity from conception

through retirement
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.26]
3.5
life cycle model

framework of processes (3.8) and activities (3.1) concerned with the life cycle (3.4), which can be

organized into stages (3.17), acting as a common reference for communication and understanding

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.27]
3.6
output
product (3.16), result, or service generated by a process (3.8)
3.7
procedure

information item (3.3) that presents an ordered series of steps to perform a process (3.8), activity (3.1),

or task (3.20)

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 15289:2019, 3.1.19, modified — Notes 1 and 2 to entry have been removed.]

3.8
process

set of interrelated or interacting activities (3.1) that transforms inputs into outputs (3.6)

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.33]
3.9
process improvement

actions taken to improve the quality of the organization's processes (3.8) aligned with the business

needs and the needs of other concerned parties
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 33001:2015, 3.1.7]
3.10
process maturity

extent to which an organizational unit consistently implements processes (3.8) within a defined scope

that contribute to the achievement of its business needs (current or projected)

Note 1 to entry: This term is “organizational process maturity” with the same definition in ISO/IEC 33001.

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 26511:2018, 3.1.23, modified — Note 1 to entry has been added.]

© ISO/IEC 2021 – All rights reserved
2 © IEEE 2021 – All rights reserved
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ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
3.11
process outcome
observable result of the successful achievement of the process purpose (3.12)
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.34]
3.12
process purpose

high-level objective of performing the process (3.8) and the likely outcomes of effective implementation

of the process

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.35, modified — Note 1 to entry has been removed.]

3.13
process reference model

model comprising definitions of processes (3.8) in a domain of application described in terms of process

purpose (3.12) and outcomes, together with an architecture describing the relationships between the

processes
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 33001:2015, 3.3.16]
3.14
process tailoring
making, altering, or adapting a process (3.8) description for a particular end

EXAMPLE A project tailors its defined process from the organization's set of standard processes to meet the

objectives, constraints, and environment of the project.
3.15
process view

description of how a specified purpose and set of outcomes can be achieved by employing the activities

(3.1) and tasks (3.20) of existing processes (3.8)

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 15026-1:2019, 3.2.2, modified — "may" has been changed to "can"; note 1 to

entry has been removed.]
3.16
product
result of a process (3.8)

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.36, modified — Note 1 to entry has been removed.]

3.17
stage

period within the life cycle (3.4) of an entity that relates to the state of its description or realization

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.58, modified — Notes 1 and 2 to entry have been removed.]

3.18
system

combination of interacting elements organized to achieve one or more stated purposes

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015, 4.1.46, modified — Notes 1, 2 and 3 to entry have been removed.]

3.19
tailoring

process (3.8) by which individual requirements in specifications, standards, and related documents

are evaluated and made applicable to a specific project by selection, and in some exceptional cases,

modification of existing or addition of new requirements
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 26513:2017, 3.38]
© ISO/IEC 2021 – All rights reserved
© IEEE 2021 – All rights reserved 3
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ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
3.20
task

required, recommended, or permissible action, intended to contribute to the achievement of one or

more outcomes of a process (3.8)
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.66]
3.21
view

representation of a whole system (3.18) from the perspective of a related set of concerns

Note 1 to entry: For further details, refer to ISO/IEC/IEEE 42020:2019, 3.24.
3.22
viewpoint
specification of the conventions for constructing and using a view (3.21)

Note 1 to entry: A viewpoint is a pattern or template from which to develop individual views by establishing the

purposes and audiences for a view, and the techniques for its creation and analysis.

Note 2 to entry: For a detailed explanation of view and viewpoint and how they can be defined and used, see

ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010.
Note 3 to entry: For further details, refer to ISO/IEC/IEEE 42020:2019, 3.25.
4 Conformance

Full conformance to this document can be claimed if process descriptions defined using the

requirements of this document clearly cover the required elements (5.2). Any of the optional elements

(5.3) may also be included either as requirements, recommendations, examples or suggestions.

5 Specification of a process description and its elements
5.1 Elements of process description
This document characterizes the following elements of process description:
— name;
— purpose;
— outcomes;
— activities;
— tasks;
— inputs;
— outputs;
— controls and constraints.
5.2 Process and related concepts

As defined in 3.7, a process is a set of interrelated or interacting activities that transforms inputs into

outputs. Figure 1 shows a typical representation of this transformation.
© ISO/IEC 2021 – All rights reserved
4 © IEEE 2021 – All rights reserved
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ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
Figure 1 — Basic process

There is no fixed dividing line between what constitutes a process and what is considered as a sub-

process or an activity within a process. Typically, processes are achieved through the performance of

activities comprising groups of related tasks. A significant activity of interest with numerous tasks can

also be described as a process if it were useful to treat the activity of interest in detail. The limits of a

process generally are determined by the production of a major output and outcomes, rather than the

intermediate outputs produced by activities within the process. Additionally, if processes are highly

automated and require little human control or intervention, it can be appropriate to combine several

processes into one process description.

NOTE 1 Often a set of processes are developed; and some processes are decomposed into more than one level.

However, decomposition of processes into more than three levels is likely to be confusing and hard for humans to

use.

Procedures differ from process descriptions in that procedures are written in steps to be followed in

order. Procedures can be written as instructions to the persons performing the procedure. Procedures

can also be written to assist an evaluator or auditor to understand the procedure, especially its controls

or outputs.

NOTE 2 ISO/IEC/IEEE 82079-1 provides detailed requirements for writing instructions.

Required activities are stated in process descriptions using either the imperative (as a command), or as

a 'shall' statement.

NOTE 3 Annex A shows different examples of the expression of mandatory/required process elements as used

in sample process descriptions.

Complete processes generally involve several types of generic activities (Table 1).

Table 1 — Model of generic activities within a process
Generic activity Example activities in the design Example activities/task in the
definition process implementation process

Strategize and plan (Plan) Prepare for software system design Prepare for implementation

definition
Perform (Do) Establish designs related to each soft- Perform implementation
ware system element.
NOTE Adapted from ISO/IEC/IEEE 24748-3:2020, Table 1.
© ISO/IEC 2021 – All rights reserved
© IEEE 2021 – All rights reserved 5
---------------------- Page: 10 ----------------------
ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
Table 1 (continued)
Generic activity Example activities in the design Example activities/task in the
definition process implementation process

Evaluate and decide (Check) Assess alternatives for obtaining soft- Evaluate software unit and affiliated

ware system elements data or other information according
to the implementation strategy and
criteria.

Manage outcomes and outputs (Act): Manage the design. Manage results of implementation

Preserve and present artefacts and
information items
NOTE Adapted from ISO/IEC/IEEE 24748-3:2020, Table 1.

Generally, several software or systems engineering processes are performed concurrently during a life

cycle stage. However, concurrent activities (e.g. installation and quality assurance inspections) are not

necessarily part of the same process, since their purpose, resources, methods, outputs, and outcomes

are different.

Process descriptions may be used either to describe generic processes (for example “project

management process”) or to describe a particular instance of a generic type (for example “project

management process for project A”). For specific process descriptions, generic process descriptions

may be instantiated with respect to roles or responsibilities, resources, required inputs and outputs,

constraints and controls, and time. Annex A provides examples of process descriptions used to develop

a process model. Annex B provides a technique for demonstration of process traceability between

elements, using an example process from Annex A.

Processes are often combined to form a process model (framework of related processes).

ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288 and ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207, for example, provide life cycle process reference models

for systems and software in which outcomes are defined and activities grouped for generic life cycle

process description. Based on ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015, Annex A and ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017,

Annex A, organizations or projects can apply process tailoring to suit the nature of the effort.

NOTE 4 ISO/PAS 19450 specifies concepts, semantics, and syntax of Object-Process Methodology as a

modelling paradigm and language for producing conceptual models at various extents of detail.

Various schemas for characterizing and evaluating process maturity, capability or quality are in use.

These schemas typically distinguish between levels of process performance and involve process

improvement. Process levels can involve following the process repeatedly to successfully achieve its

outcome or produce specified output, and automating and improving the process. The choice of details

in the process description can be used to characterize the process description at a certain level of

process maturity, capability or quality.

NOTE 5 ISO/IEC 33020 defines a process measurement framework for the assessment of process capability.

5.3 Process description – required elements
5.3.1 General

A process description can include the elements as shown in Figure 2. The minimum required elements

for a process description shall be the name, purpose, and outcomes. Optional elements, such as outputs,

activities, and tasks, may be included in process descriptions.

The goals and objectives of performing a process shall be described by using the elements of name,

purpose, and outcomes. These elements are used to describe intended results without the necessity

of performing structural decomposition of the process. Processes defined using name, purpose, and

outcomes provide a common starting point for process implementation and process assessment.

NOTE ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015, Figure D.1 and ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, Figure D.1 show a process

construct. ISO/IEC/IEEE 24748-1:2018, Annex A also describes process elements.
© ISO/IEC 2021 – All rights reserved
6 © IEEE 2021 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 11 ----------------------
ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
Element of a process description that can be used with any other element.
Figure 2 — Process description elements

To enable uniform description, 5.3.2 to 5.3.4 contain additional requirements for the process elements.

5.3.2 Process name

The name of a process description shall be stated as a short noun phrase that presents a descriptive

heading for the process. The name identifies the principal concern of the process and distinguishes

the process from other processes in the model. Because of the latter criterion, it may sometimes be

necessary to tailor the name of a process. For example, one may have a "software architecture process"

which is later refined as a "software detailed design process" or "data architecture process" or

"interface architecture process." Process names should end in the word process.

Wordy noun-verb or verb-noun phrases can get confused with process activities and often represent an

attempt to summarize the purpose or process so that the name can stand for the purpose. A descriptive

noun phrase - the name of the process - is more useful. The intent is to give a name, not a summary.

NOTE Although the term "process name" is preferred and used throughout this document, “process title” is

an acceptable alte
...

INTERNATIONAL ISO/IEC/
STANDARD IEEE
24774
First edition
Systems and software engineering —
Life cycle management —
Specification for process description
Ingénierie du logiciel et des systèmes — Gestion du cycle de vie —
Spécification pour la description des processus
PROOF/ÉPREUVE
Reference number
ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
ISO/IEC 2021
IEEE 2021
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO/IEC 2021
© IEEE 2021

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting

on the internet or an intranet, without prior written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO or IEEE at the

respective address below or ISO’s member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc
CP 401 • Ch. de Blandonnet 8 3 Park Avenue, New York
CH-1214 Vernier, Geneva NY 10016-5997, USA
Phone: +41 22 749 01 11
Email: copyright@iso.org Email: stds.ipr@ieee.org
Website: www.iso.org Website: www.ieee.org
Published in Switzerland
© ISO/IEC 2021 – All rights reserved
ii PROOF/ÉPREUVE © IEEE 2021 – All rights reserved
---------------------- Page: 2 ----------------------
ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Conformance ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 4

5 Specification of a process description and its elements ............................................................................................. 4

5.1 Elements of process description ......... ..................................................................................................................................... 4

5.2 Process and related concepts ..................................................................................................................................................... 4

5.3 Process description – required elements ......................................................................................................................... 6

5.3.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 6

5.3.2 Process name ...................................................................................................................................................................... 7

5.3.3 Process purpose ............................................................................................................................................................... 7

5.3.4 Process outcomes ............................................................................................................................................................ 8

5.4 Process description – optional elements.......................................................................................................................... 9

5.4.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................... 9

5.4.2 Process activities ............................................................................................................................................................. 9

5.4.3 Process tasks ....................................................................................................................................................................... 9

5.4.4 Notes........................................................................................................................................................................................10

5.4.5 Process inputs .................................................................................................................................................................10

5.4.6 Process outputs ..............................................................................................................................................................10

5.4.7 Process controls and constraints ....................................................................................................................11

6 Process views and viewpoints .............................................................................................................................................................12

6.1 The process view concept ..........................................................................................................................................................12

6.2 Process viewpoint .............................................................................................................................................................................12

6.3 Contents of a process view ........................................................................................................................................................12

7 Claims of conformance to a process ..............................................................................................................................................13

Annex A (informative) Example process descriptions ....................................................................................................................14

Annex B (Informative) Process description traceability between elements ...........................................................21

Annex C (informative) Example process view description .........................................................................................................24

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................27

IEEE Notices and Abstract ...........................................................................................................................................................................................29

© ISO/IEC 2021 – All rights reserved
© IEEE 2021 – All rights reserved PROOF/ÉPREUVE iii
---------------------- Page: 3 ----------------------
ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (the International Electrotechnical

Commission) form the specialized system for worldwide standardization. National bodies that

are members of ISO or IEC participate in the development of International Standards through

technical committees established by the respective organization to deal with particular fields of

technical activity. ISO and IEC technical committees collaborate in fields of mutual interest. Other

international organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO and IEC, also

take part in the work.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO/IEC documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with

the rules given in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives or www .iec .ch/ members

_experts/ refdocs).

IEEE Standards documents are developed within the IEEE Societies and the Standards Coordinating

Committees of the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Standards Board. The IEEE develops its

standards through a consensus development process, approved by the American National Standards

Institute, which brings together volunteers representing varied viewpoints and interests to achieve the

final product. Volunteers are not necessarily members of the Institute and serve without compensation.

While the IEEE administers the process and establishes rules to promote fairness in the consensus

development process, the IEEE does not independently evaluate, test, or verify the accuracy of any of

the information contained in its standards.

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject

of patent rights. ISO and IEC shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent

rights. Details of any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the

Introduction and/or on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents) or the IEC

list of patent declarations received (see https:// patents .iec .ch).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), see www .iso .org/

iso/ foreword .html. In the IEC, see www .iec .ch/ understanding -standards.

ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774 was prepared by Joint Technical Committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology,

Subcommittee SC 7, Software and systems engineering, in cooperation with the Systems and Software

Engineering Standards Committee of the IEEE Computer Society, under the Partner Standards

Development Organization cooperation agreement between ISO and IEEE.

This first edition cancels and replaces ISO/IEC TR 24774:2010, which has been technically revised.

The main changes compared to ISO/IEC TR 24774:2010 are as follows:

— process definition and examples have been updated to reflect SC 7 latest standards;

— the former ISO/IEC Technical Report has been jointly revised with IEEE as an International Standard.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/ members .html and www .iec .ch/ national

-committees.
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ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
Introduction

For an organization to function effectively, the organization has to determine and manage numerous

interrelated activities and tasks to achieve its goals. An activity or a set of activities using resources

and managed in order to enable the achievement of outcomes through the transformation of inputs

into outputs can be considered a process. Often the output from one process forms the input to

other processes. When processes are explicitly described and performed in a systematic manner, the

likelihood of consistent quality in the results is improved. Thus, process descriptions and process

models (frameworks of related processes) enable consistent performance and delivery of expected

results.

A number of international, national and industry standards describe processes and process reference

models. The process descriptions vary in format, content and level of prescription. The purpose of this

document is to encourage uniformity in the description of processes. Uniform description of processes

facilitates adoption, adaptation and improvement of standardized processes, as well as process

assessment. The combination of processes and the development of process views from different

reference models eases the development of new models and facilitates comparison of processes.

In order for users of standards to select the appropriate forms of process description and apply them

in a consistent fashion, it is desirable to develop a common characterization of all of these forms of

process description. This document presents requirements for the description of processes in terms of

their format, content and level of prescription. The requirements of this document can be applied to any

process model developed for any purpose.

This document is intended for use by all parties that define process models, for example systems and

software engineers, sector or special interest groups, professional standards groups, researchers, and

process assessors.
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
Systems and software engineering — Life cycle
management — Specification for process description
1 Scope

This document provides an explanation of considerations involved in defining a process. This document

gives requirements and recommendations for the description of processes by identifying elements and

rules for their formulation.
This document also describes the use of process views.

This document explains how conformance to a process can be defined, when the process is described in

accordance with this document.

This document does not describe how processes are composed or otherwise aggregated into

larger frameworks or life cycle models. Nor does the document cover how to assess or evaluate the

performance of a process, or the output (products) of a process.

NOTE Two prominent International Standards in process description for software and system engineering

are ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207 and ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288. These two standards have very similar process models. The

information items associated with their process definitions are given in ISO/IEC/IEEE 15289. Other International

Standards provide further characterization of a single life cycle process by elaborating the process elements and

levying specific requirements on the execution of the process.

This document is applicable when processes are described for various process definitions in any party,

organization or standard relating to systems and software engineering processes.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO, IEC, and IEEE maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following

addresses:
— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org
— IEEE Standards Dictionary Online: available at http:// dictionary .ieee .org

NOTE 1 For additional terms and definitions in the field of systems and software engineering, see

ISO/IEC/IEEE 24765, which is published periodically as a “snapshot” of the SEVOCAB (Systems and software

Engineering Vocabulary) database and is publicly accessible at computer .org/ sevocab

3.1
activity
set of cohesive tasks (3.20) of a process (3.8)
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.3]
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3.2
base practice

activity (3.1) that, when consistently performed, contributes to achieving a specific process purpose (3.12)

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 33001:2015, 3.3.2]
3.3
information item

separately identifiable body of information that is produced, stored, and delivered for human use

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 15289:2019, 3.1.12, modified — The preferred term "information product" has

been removed; notes 1 and 2 to entry have been removed.]
3.4
life cycle

evolution of a system (3.18), product (3.16), service, project or other human-made entity from conception

through retirement
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.26]
3.5
life cycle model

framework of processes (3.8) and activities (3.1) concerned with the life cycle (3.4), which can be

organized into stages (3.17), acting as a common reference for communication and understanding

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.27]
3.6
output
product (3.16), result, or service generated by a process (3.8)
3.7
procedure

information item (3.3) that presents an ordered series of steps to perform a process (3.8), activity (3.1),

or task (3.20)

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 15289:2019, 3.1.19, modified — Notes 1 and 2 to entry have been removed.]

3.8
process

set of interrelated or interacting activities (3.1) that transforms inputs into outputs (3.6)

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.33]
3.9
process improvement

actions taken to improve the quality of the organization's processes (3.8) aligned with the business

needs and the needs of other concerned parties
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 33001:2015, 3.1.7]
3.10
process maturity

extent to which an organizational unit consistently implements processes (3.8) within a defined scope

that contribute to the achievement of its business needs (current or projected)

Note 1 to entry: This term is “organizational process maturity” with the same definition in ISO/IEC 33001.

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 26511:2018, 3.1.23, modified — Note 1 to entry has been added.]

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ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
3.11
process outcome
observable result of the successful achievement of the process purpose (3.12)
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.34]
3.12
process purpose

high-level objective of performing the process (3.8) and the likely outcomes of effective implementation

of the process

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.35, modified — Note 1 to entry has been removed.]

3.13
process reference model

model comprising definitions of processes (3.8) in a domain of application described in terms of process

purpose (3.12) and outcomes, together with an architecture describing the relationships between the

processes
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC 33001:2015, 3.3.16]
3.14
process tailoring
making, altering, or adapting a process (3.8) description for a particular end

EXAMPLE A project tailors its defined process from the organization's set of standard processes to meet the

objectives, constraints, and environment of the project.
3.15
process view

description of how a specified purpose and set of outcomes can be achieved by employing the activities

(3.1) and tasks (3.20) of existing processes (3.8)

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 15026-1:2019, 3.2.2, modified — "may" has been changed to "can"; note 1 to

entry has been removed.]
3.16
product
result of a process (3.8)

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.36, modified — Note 1 to entry has been removed.]

3.17
stage

period within the life cycle (3.4) of an entity that relates to the state of its description or realization

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.58, modified — Notes 1 and 2 to entry have been removed.]

3.18
system

combination of interacting elements organized to achieve one or more stated purposes

[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015, 4.1.46, modified — Notes 1, 2 and 3 to entry have been removed.]

3.19
tailoring

process (3.8) by which individual requirements in specifications, standards, and related documents

are evaluated and made applicable to a specific project by selection, and in some exceptional cases,

modification of existing or addition of new requirements
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 26513:2017, 3.38]
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ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
3.20
task

required, recommended, or permissible action, intended to contribute to the achievement of one or

more outcomes of a process (3.8)
[SOURCE: ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, 3.1.66]
3.21
view

representation of a whole system (3.18) from the perspective of a related set of concerns

Note 1 to entry: For further details, refer to ISO/IEC/IEEE 42020:2019, 3.24.
3.22
viewpoint
specification of the conventions for constructing and using a view (3.21)

Note 1 to entry: A viewpoint is a pattern or template from which to develop individual views by establishing the

purposes and audiences for a view, and the techniques for its creation and analysis.

Note 2 to entry: For a detailed explanation of view and viewpoint and how they can be defined and used, see

ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010.
Note 3 to entry: For further details, refer to ISO/IEC/IEEE 42020:2019, 3.25.
4 Conformance

Full conformance to this document can be claimed if process descriptions defined using the

requirements of this document clearly cover the required elements (5.2). Any of the optional elements

(5.3) may also be included either as requirements, recommendations, examples or suggestions.

5 Specification of a process description and its elements
5.1 Elements of process description
This document characterizes the following elements of process description:
— name;
— purpose;
— outcomes;
— activities;
— tasks;
— inputs;
— outputs;
— controls and constraints.
5.2 Process and related concepts

As defined in 3.7, a process is a set of interrelated or interacting activities that transforms inputs into

outputs. Figure 1 shows a typical representation of this transformation.
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ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
Figure 1 — Basic process

There is no fixed dividing line between what constitutes a process and what is considered as a sub-

process or an activity within a process. Typically, processes are achieved through the performance of

activities comprising groups of related tasks. A significant activity of interest with numerous tasks can

also be described as a process if it were useful to treat the activity of interest in detail. The limits of a

process generally are determined by the production of a major output and outcomes, rather than the

intermediate outputs produced by activities within the process. Additionally, if processes are highly

automated and require little human control or intervention, it can be appropriate to combine several

processes into one process description.

NOTE 1 Often a set of processes are developed; and some processes are decomposed into more than one

level. However, decomposition of processes into more than three levels is likely to be confusing and hard for

humans to use.

Procedures differ from process descriptions in that procedures are written in steps to be followed in

order. Procedures can be written as instructions to the persons performing the procedure. Procedures

can also be written to assist an evaluator or auditor to understand the procedure, especially its controls

or outputs.

NOTE 2 ISO/IEC/IEEE 82079-1 provides detailed requirements for writing instructions.

Required activities are stated in process descriptions using either the imperative (as a command), or as

a 'shall' statement.

NOTE 3 Annex A shows different examples of the expression of mandatory/required process elements as used

in sample process descriptions.

Complete processes generally involve several types of generic activities (Table 1).

Table 1 — Model of generic activities within a process
Generic activity Example activities in the design Example activities/task in the
definition process implementation process

Strategize and plan (Plan) Prepare for software system design Prepare for implementation

definition
Perform (Do) Establish designs related to each soft- Perform implementation
ware system element.
NOTE Adapted from ISO/IEC/IEEE 24748-3:2020, Table 1.
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ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
Table 1 (continued)
Generic activity Example activities in the design Example activities/task in the
definition process implementation process

Evaluate and decide (Check) Assess alternatives for obtaining soft- Evaluate software unit and affiliated

ware system elements data or other information according
to the implementation strategy and
criteria.

Manage outcomes and outputs (Act): Manage the design. Manage results of implementation

Preserve and present artefacts and
information items
NOTE Adapted from ISO/IEC/IEEE 24748-3:2020, Table 1.

Generally, several software or systems engineering processes are performed concurrently during a life

cycle stage. However, concurrent activities (e.g. installation and quality assurance inspections) are not

necessarily part of the same process, since their purpose, resources, methods, outputs, and outcomes

are different.

Process descriptions may be used either to describe generic processes (for example “project

management process”) or to describe a particular instance of a generic type (for example “project

management process for project A”). For specific process descriptions, generic process descriptions

may be instantiated with respect to roles or responsibilities, resources, required inputs and outputs,

constraints and controls, and time. Annex A provides examples of process descriptions used to develop

a process model. Annex B provides a technique for demonstration of process traceability between

elements, using an example process from Annex A.

Processes are often combined to form a process model (framework of related processes).

ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288 and ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207, for example, provide life cycle process reference models

for systems and software in which outcomes are defined and activities grouped for generic life cycle

process description. Based on ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015, Annex A and ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017,

Annex A, organizations or projects can apply process tailoring to suit the nature of the effort.

NOTE 4 ISO/PAS 19450 specifies concepts, semantics, and syntax of Object-Process Methodology as a

modelling paradigm and language for producing conceptual models at various extents of detail.

Various schemas for characterizing and evaluating process maturity, capability or quality are in use.

These schemas typically distinguish between levels of process performance and involve process

improvement. Process levels can involve following the process repeatedly to successfully achieve its

outcome or produce specified output, and automating and improving the process. The choice of details

in the process description can be used to characterize the process description at a certain level of

process maturity, capability or quality.

NOTE 5 ISO/IEC 33020 defines a process measurement framework for the assessment of process capability.

5.3 Process description – required elements
5.3.1 General

A process description can include the elements as shown in Figure 2. The minimum required elements

for a process description shall be the name, purpose, and outcomes. Optional elements, such as outputs,

activities, and tasks, may be included in process descriptions.

The goals and objectives of performing a process shall be described by using the elements of name,

purpose, and outcomes. These elements are used to describe intended results without the necessity

of performing structural decomposition of the process. Processes defined using name, purpose, and

outcomes provide a common starting point for process implementation and process assessment.

NOTE ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015, Figure D.1 and ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, Figure D.1 show a process

construct. ISO/IEC/IEEE 24748-1:2018, Annex A also describes process elements.
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ISO/IEC/IEEE 24774:2021(E)
Element of a process description that can be used with any other element.
Figure 2 — Process description elements

To enable uniform description, 5.3.2 to 5.3.4 contain additional requirements for the process elements.

5.3.2 Process name

The name of a process description shall be stated as a short noun phrase that presents a descriptive

heading for the process. The name identifies the principal concern of the process and distinguishes

the process from other processes in the model. Because of the latter criterion, it may sometimes be

necessary to tailor the name of a process. For example, one may have a "software architecture process"

which is later refined as a "software detailed design process" or "data architecture process" or

"interface architecture process." Process names should end in the word process.

Wordy noun-verb or verb-noun phrases can get confused with process activities and often represent an

attempt to summarize the purpose or process so that the name can stand for the purpose. A descriptive

noun phrase - the name of the process - is more useful. The intent is to give a name, not

...

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