ISO/IEC 15288

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The ISO/IEC 15288 is a technical standard in systems engineering which covers processes and lifecycle stages, developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Planning for the ISO/IEC 15288:2002(E) standard started in 1994 when the need for a common systems engineering process framework was recognized. The previously accepted standard MIL STD 499A (1974) was cancelled after a memo from the United States Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) prohibited the use of most U.S. Military Standards without a waiver (this memo was rescinded in 2005). The first edition was issued on 1 November 2002. Stuart Arnold was the editor and Harold Lawson was the architect of the standard.[1] In 2004 this standard was adopted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers as IEEE 15288. ISO/IEC 15288 has been updated 1 February 2008 as well as on 15 May 2015.[2]

ISO/IEC 15288 is managed by ISO/IEC JTC1/SC7, which is the committee responsible for developing standards in the area of Software and Systems Engineering. ISO/IEC 15288 is part of the SC 7 Integrated set of Standards, and other standards in this domain include:


  • ISO/IEC 15288:2023
  • ISO/IEC 15288:2015
  • Revises: ISO/IEC 15288:2008 (harmonized with ISO/IEC 12207:2008)
  • Revises: ISO/IEC 15288:2002 (first edition)


The standard defines thirty processes grouped into four categories:

  • Agreement processes
  • Organizational project-enabling processes
  • Technical management processes
  • Technical processes

The standard defines two agreement processes:

The standard defines six organizational project-enabling processes:

The standard defines eight technical management processes:

The standard defines fourteen technical processes:

Each process is defined by a purpose, outcomes and activities. Activities are further divided into tasks.

See also[edit]


  • 15288-2008 - ISO/IEC/IEEE Systems and Software Engineering — System Life Cycle Processes. 2008. doi:10.1109/IEEESTD.2008.4475828. ISBN 978-0-7381-5665-1.