Software Reliability Program Standard
In 1994, the SAE G-11 Reliability, Maintainability, Supportability and Logistics (RMSL) Division
chartered a software committee, G-11SW, to create several software standards and guidance documents across
the RMSL spectrum, including a software reliability program standard. The committee was formed as a cross
section of international representatives from commercial industries and governments.
The G-11SW committee has attempted to develop a standard that is consistent with a SAE G-11 system level
reliability program standard and augmented by necessary software-specific support information. The G-11SW
committee believes this document reflects the best current commercial practices, and meets the objectives of the
United States Department of Defense Acquisition Reform initiative. This document is performance based and is
intended to be used by industries to address market demands for reliable software products that improve system
productivity, time to market, and cost-effective implementation. As appropriate, governments may also reference
Software has been recognized by SAE G-11 as an important system component that is not adequately addressed
at the system level. Software requires interpretation and variations on RMSL methods used by hardware. This
document relies on the simple concept of supplier-customer dialogue and partnership to define, meet, and
demonstrate assurance of software product reliability requirements. This document describes, within a Plan-Case
framework, what performance requirements are necessary. An accompanying implementation guide (SAE
JA1003) sets forth current best practices for how to structure the Plan in terms of activities, tasks, and methods so
as to achieve the requirements of this document and provide demonstration evidence of reliability achievement in
the form of a Case.
Development of this document has required dedication by a few participants and extended review by a wider
audience of potential users. The professionalism of all these individuals and the support they received from their
companies, governments, and other organizations is gratefully acknowledged.
Abstract-This SAE Standard defines a simple and flexible framework for the performance-based management of
a software reliability program. The principal mechanisms are termed the "Software Reliability Plan" and the
"Software Reliability Case." The Plan and Case are general purpose management tools which are suitable for use
in many fields of system engineering and will be observed throughout SAE RMSL program standards.
The Plan and Case in combination provide a means of tracking progress, performance achievement, and
sustainment of a reliability goal. The Plan and Case support the philosophy of early fault removal and continued
fault prevention throughout the software life-cycle. The Plan provides a forward view of intended reliability
processes, activities, and performance requirements, while the Case provides evidence of software product
reliability achievement as documented by quantitative and qualitative performance measures.