Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Software safety managers have a lot on their plates.

The responsibility of software safety managers is both profound and critical. For example, a fault in a signaling system may immediately cause a crash with great losses of human life if a traffic light showed green in both directions.

Consequently, standards have been developed to help guide managers to better software safety.One of these standards is the IEEE standard P1228.

This standard applies to software safety during the development, procurement, maintenance, and retirement of safety-critical software — for example, software products whose failure could cause loss of life, serious harm, or have widespread negative social impact.

This standard requires that software safety be considered within the context of the system safety program throughout the software lifecycle. The scope of this standard includes only the safety aspects of the software. This standard also discusses aspects of software safety related to interoperation with other systems or constituents of a system of systems.

NASA is also big on software safety standards, for obvious reasons. NASA software safety standard NASA-STD 8719.13B describes the activities necessary to ensure that safety is designed into the software that is acquired or developed by NASA.

All Program/Project Managers, Area Safety Managers, IT managers, and other responsible managers are to assess the inherent safety risk of the software in their individual programs. The magnitude and depth of software safety activities reflect the risk posed by the software while fulfilling the requirements of this Standard.

Then there’s the IEC 61508 software safety standard that outlines how safety-critical projects should be managed and how to locate, and create, safety-critical code.

Meeting the requirements of IEC 61508 for software development involves a systematic development process, emphasizing requirements traceability, criticality analysis, and validation.

These techniques are not new to embedded software developers. They’re considered and debated and then often dismissed when cost and deadline considerations come into play.

When a software failure could mean the loss of life, however, it’s critical to strictly follow a standard such as IEC 61508 that eliminates the possibility of corner-cutting. Even when developing a non-safety-related system, IEC 61508 is an excellent framework for a quality-focused development process.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers Software Safety Course for Managers, a 2-day training course designed to provide managers, engineers and technical professionals with a firm grounding in the software safety essential and software safety project management skills necessary to lead and produce safe software products that meet customer safety requirements.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

Request More Information

  • Please complete the following form and a Tonex Training Specialist will contact you as soon as is possible.

    * Indicates required fields

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.