SOI #1 - Planning Review
Following on from our first blog (Introduction to DO-178C), we provide you an insight into the first stage of involvement review for the DO-178C process.
Planning is a crucial part of DO-178C compliance, and it sets the scene for your project’s activities and the efficiency of those activities in later stages. You can save effort in your DO-178C planning by using a set of template planning documents as a starting point. The development of a set of plans covering all components of the Design Assurance process is a cornerstone of DO-178C.
As part of this activity, the following plans must be developed:
- Plan for Software Aspects of Certification (PSAC): a description of the software you plan to develop, the hardware environment it will be used in, the design assurance processes you will follow, and how you will demonstrate compliance, including how you will verify your implemented code and any commercial tools you will use in your verification. This acts as the parent planning document.
- Software Development Plan (SDP): a description of the software development processes and the software life cycle that is used to satisfy DO-178C objectives.
- Software Verification Plan (SVP): a description of the verification processes (Reviews, Analyses and Tests) used to satisfy DO-178C objectives.
- Software Configuration Management Plan (SCMP): a description of the methods and environment that will be used to configure all the design data and compliance evidence needed to achieve DO-178C certification.
- Software Quality Assurance Plan (SQAP): a description of the methods and associated records that will be used to ensure that DO-178C quality assurance objectives are satisfied.
For higher DAL levels, as well as producing the above planning documents, you will also need to establish and document the standards you will use for Requirements, Design, and Code, documenting the methods, rules, and tools you will use to ensure complete and consistent generation of these items in a way that will meet DO-178C and project objectives. It pays to put effort into writing your standards – having well thought out standards reduces the chance of incurring rework costs later due to issues that could be addressed through having better standards, such as producing unverifiable requirements.
When your plans are complete and have been reviewed and signed off internally, it will be time to take the first step in the compliance process by having the SOI#1 review with your certification authority. The SOI#1 review is typically a “desk” review performed by the authority, who will thoroughly review all plans and standards to ensure that all applicable objectives of DO-178C and any relevant supplements will be satisfied if the development proceeds as documented in your plans. This review will result in either a report documenting any observations or findings that must be resolved, or acceptance that your plans and standards are compliant. When your plans have been accepted, the next step is to follow them!
Learn more about DO-178C by downloading the free 70-page handbook here.