CSSLP Domain 6:3 - Completion Criteria

This course covers section three of CSSLP Domain 6 and looks at the completion criteria necessary to close out a project.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about software engineering product quality standards
  • Understand the main factors of completion criteria including maintainability, efficiency, portability, reliability, functionality, and usability

Intended Audience

This course is intended for anyone looking to develop secure software as well as those studying for the CSSLP certification.


Any experience relating to information security would be advantageous, but not essential. All topics discussed are thoroughly explained and presented in a way allowing the information to be absorbed by everyone, regardless of experience within the security field.


We're going to look at the ISO/IEC 9126 of 2008. And then the process of risk acceptance. Now, for any project is necessary that there must be clear, precise indicators of completion and that there must be various measures by which to judge its quality and the accomplishment of the requirements and objectives set for it to meet.

Now, software is unlike other products, in that it is a given truth that it will undergo almost continual change throughout its life cycle. And that includes the adaptation and evolution until it eventually simply becomes obsolete. Or as we like to say in project management, it remains 90% complete forever. Nonetheless, at some designated point, it must be assessed and decided that the initial build is done. Testing therefore gets underway and the product ultimately is made ready for release.

Now measuring the, quote unquote, finished software against these criteria permits an objective evaluation of its state of readiness and suitable for the use intended. So let's take a close look at the ISO/IEC 9126 standard of 2008. Now this was developed as a software engineering product quality standard. And as an international standard, it is applied for the evaluation of software. This has been replaced, however, by the ISO/IEC 25010 of 2011, which itself was then subsequently updated in 2017. However, the principles at work here remain the same. It is the fundamental objective of the standard and the 25010 of 2011 that this standard will address some of the biases that can adversely affect the delivery and perception of a software development project. These biases include changing priorities after the start of a project or not having any clear definitions of what we mean by success.

Now here we see the process. We look at the various factors; maintainability, efficiency, portability, reliability, functionality and usability, and then we also have to include compliance, are part of the evaluation against this standard and its successor. Now, as with all standards, some of these will appear to be qualitative while others will appear to be quantitative. Regardless of this, we must take the criteria together and the end result must be with a positive outcome if the product is to be judged ready for release and deployment.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Mr. Leo has been in Information System for 38 years, and an Information Security professional for over 36 years.  He has worked internationally as a Systems Analyst/Engineer, and as a Security and Privacy Consultant.  His past employers include IBM, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Computer Sciences Corporation, and Rockwell International.  A NASA contractor for 22 years, from 1998 to 2002 he was Director of Security Engineering and Chief Security Architect for Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center.  From 2002 to 2006 Mr. Leo was the Director of Information Systems, and Chief Information Security Officer for the Managed Care Division of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.


Upon attaining his CISSP license in 1997, Mr. Leo joined ISC2 (a professional role) as Chairman of the Curriculum Development Committee, and served in this role until 2004.   During this time, he formulated and directed the effort that produced what became and remains the standard curriculum used to train CISSP candidates worldwide.  He has maintained his professional standards as a professional educator and has since trained and certified nearly 8500 CISSP candidates since 1998, and nearly 2500 in HIPAA compliance certification since 2004.  Mr. leo is an ISC2 Certified Instructor.

Covered Topics