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SEI Seeks Nominees for the 2015 IEEE Computer Society/SEI Watts S. Humphrey Software Process Achievement Award


October 30, 2014—Nominations are now open for the 2015 IEEE Computer Society/SEI Watts S. Humphrey Software Process Award (SPA). Since 1994, the SEI and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society have cosponsored the SPA Award. This award recognizes outstanding achievements in improving an organization's ability to create and evolve high-quality software-dependent systems. Nominations must be submitted by January 15, 2015

The SPA Award may be presented to an individual or a group. Recipients are most often employees of an organization that produces, supports, enhances, or provides software-dependent systems. However, the nominee's work may have been undertaken in other contexts. The nominee's organization may be large or small;for-profit, not-for-profit, or non-profit. The organization may be industrial, academic, a government organization or foundation, and it need not be based in the United States. The award need not be made each year, and multiple awards may be made in a single year.

Achievements recognized by the SPA Award can be the result of any type of process-improvement activity. They need not have been based on a specific framework, model, or body of software engineering principles, practices, techniques, or methods.

Watts S. Humphrey, known as the "Father of Software Quality," followed his long career at IBM with an equally distinguished career at the SEI, where he served from 1986 until his death in 2010. He dedicated the majority of his career to addressing problems in software development including schedule delays, cost increases, performance problems, and defects. During Humphrey's tenure at the SEI, he and his team identified characteristics of best practices in software engineering that began to lay the groundwork for what would eventually become the Software Capability Maturity Model (CMM), the Personal Software Process (PSP), the Team Software Process (TSP) and the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). In 2005, Humphrey received the National Medal of Technology for his work in software engineering.

"Early on, Watts realized the importance of team discipline and measurement on achieving quality, productivity, and learning," said the SEI's Michael Konrad, chair of the SPA Award Committee. "Watts saw the organization as having a crucial role in making teams successful, ensuring that teams have the motivation, skills, tools, and environment they require to succeed. This award shines a light on organizations that can demonstrate they do this well, and it gives them an opportunity to tell their story so that others might learn from their experience."

Konrad, a principal researcher at the SEI, has been with the Institute since 1988. From the time he joined the SEI until 2013, Konrad served in a number of roles related to the development of the Software CMM and CMMI models. Since 2013, Konrad has contributed to several SEI research efforts investigating how software requirements and design should be developed for challenging environments. He assumed the role of SPA Award Committee chair in 2014.

SPA Award winners will receive an engraved plaque commemorating their achievement. Presentation of the award will be made at a practitioner and researcher community event at which the winner will be invited to keynote. Award recipients will also produce an SEI technical report describing their accomplishments, experiences, and lessons learned.

Past winners of the Watts S. Humphrey Software Process Achievement Award include

  • 2009 Infosys Technologies Limited
  • 2006 Productora de Software S.A. (PSL)
  • 2004 IBM Global Services, Australia: Application Management Group
  • 2002 Wipro: Software Process Engineering Group
  • 1999 Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center: Aircraft Management Test Software &Industrial Automation Branches
  • 1998 Advanced Information Services, Inc.: Development Group
  • 1997 Hughes Electronics: Software Process Improvement Team
  • 1995 Raytheon Company: Software Engineering Process Group, Equipment Division
  • 1994 Goddard Space Flight Center: Software Engineering Laboratory

For more information about the Watts S. Humphrey Software Process Award, please visit

To nominate an individual or group for a Humphrey SPA Award, please visit and click the "Nominate" link. Please review the submissions guidelines carefully, and remember: nominations are due no later than January 15, 2015.