DO-178 Outsourcing

For years, aerospace companies have been making good use of outsourcing companies. Typically, much of the outsourcing revolves around the verification activities associated with DO-178, such as testing, inspecting, reviewing and structural coverage. More recently, some outsourcing companies have added more software and systems engineering to their list of services. The newest trend is a turnkey solution in which the entire DO-178 software project – from planning to development to verification to certification – is outsourced.

Why use DO-178 Outsourcing?

In a word, simplicity. By outsourcing all aspects of DO-178, your company can focus on its core competencies in developing a system. In addition, outsourcing the entire set of DO-178 responsibilities allows for more efficient project execution. Coordination between development and verification teams improves while misunderstandings of processes and standards are minimized. This results in fewer quality issues. In addition, companies decrease their risk by shifting the responsibility for certification to the outsource partner.

How does it work?

In this model, the outsourcing partner is responsible for:

  • Creation (or reuse) of DO-178 planning documents.
  • Development of requirements, design, and code
  • Integration onto target hardware
  • Verification of requirements per DO-178
  • Creation of certification documents including the Software Accomplishment Summary and Software Conformity Report
  • Software Quality Assurance (SQA)
  • (Optional) DER services

Most DO-178 projects are based on previously certified products. This approach minimizes risk and takes credit with the certification authority on previously developed artifacts. At Performance Software, we can work with customer planning documents from previous certifications, provide our own planning documents, or adopt a mixed approach resulting in the most efficient software life cycle. In addition, the configuration management environment can be customized to use customer tools or Performance Software tools. This flexibility allows for a development and verification environment most efficient for both the customer and the outsourcing partner.

A major benefit of this approach is that the customer is able to focus on their core competency – creation of the system requirements. Performance Software will then decompose the system requirements into high-level and low-level software requirement. We will create code and integrate it into the target hardware before performing verification—all in compliance with DO-178 with oversight from SQA. At any point in the life cycle, the customer can participate in reviews or perform audits to ensure compliance.

Upon completion of the verification, Performance Software will create certification documents including the Software Verification Report, Software Accomplishment Summary and Software Conformity Report.

Performance Software will schedule and lead the Stage of Involvement (SOI) audits 1 through 4 from the planning review to the final review with the customer, SQA and certification authority. The result is a fully implemented, verified and certified software product with minimal involvement from the customer.

Why Performance Software?

We know the process, and we’ve done it before with excellent results. If you need a professional guide through the DO-178 outsourcing process, contact Performance software and get the conversation started.

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