ISO / IEC 12207

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The aim of the ISO / IEC  12207 standard ("Systems and software engineering - Software life cycle processes") published in 1995 is a better understanding of the production of software and the associated services. Through the improved understanding, negotiations and contracts between customers and suppliers of projects for the development, operation and maintenance of software systems should be simplified.


ISO / IEC 12207 provides a framework for processes in the software life cycle (Software Life-Cycle Processes). It describes at a high level all important processes of the life cycle from brainstorming to decommissioning and their interrelationships. Processes consist of activities and these in turn consist of individual tasks. ISO / IEC 12207 defines a process structure using generally accepted terminology ; it is not limited to a specific life cycle model or a specific development method . No details are given regarding "how" to carry out the activities and tasks, nor are there any rules regarding the names, formats or contents of documents .

In addition, ISO / IEC 12207 describes how the standard can be tailored to a specific organization or to a specific project.

In 2008 a new version of the standard was passed. The summary according to process areas has been redefined and the relationship to the software is clearer.

Processes according to ISO / IEC 12207: 1995

A distinction is made between the following processes:

Primary processes

  • Procurement (activities of the procurer of software and services ),
  • Delivery (activities of the supplier of software and services),
  • Development (activities of the software developer),
  • Operation (this includes activities such as system implementation, testing and user support) and
  • Maintenance (error and defect elimination, throughput improvement, adaptation to a changed environment, ...).

supporting processes

Documentation , configuration management , quality assurance , formal review of processes ( verification “Is the product being developed correctly, i.e. according to specifications?”), Content review ( validation “Is the right product being developed? Does it meet expectations?”), Coordination between customer and Supplier (joint review), audit and problem resolution .

Organizational processes

The organizational processes include management , infrastructure (activities to provide the necessary infrastructure, e.g. hardware , software, standards , tools ), optimization ( measuring , checking and improving the life cycle processes) and training measures .

Processes according to ISO / IEC 12207: 2008

In the 2008 version, the process areas have been completely re-sorted. The seven areas are more specifically defined for software development than before.

  1. Agreement Processes
  2. Organizational Project-Enabling Processes
  3. Project-related processes
  4. Technical Processes
  5. Software Development Processes (Software Implementation Processes)
  6. Software Support Processes
  7. Software Reuse Processes

See also

  • In connection with ISO / IEC 12207 (processes in the life cycle of software) are ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO / IEC 15504 (process assessment ) - the so-called SPICE standard.
  • A description of the individual processes of ISO / IEC 12207 AMD1 and AMD2 is also contained in ISO / IEC 15504-5 (SPICE). There basic practices ( base practices ) and work products ( work products ) are given as additional information, which are used in a process assessment as indicators for assessing the degree of fulfillment.
  • The V-model , a development model

Web links

International Standard ISO / IEC 12207 Software Life Cycle Processes ( PDF , 80 kB)

Individual evidence

  1. ISO / IEC 12207: 2008 ( Memento of September 13, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 1.5 MB)