MISRA Compliance for Project Managers

Tue, 08/31/2021 - 15:42

MISRA Training Requirements

MISRA compliance is becoming a more stringent requirement in all industry sectors where critical systems are being developed. Developers and QA people need to receive appropriate MISRA training: this is well known and mandated by MISRA.


What about managers?

Generally speaking, much of a company’s success is in the hands of management. It is not just about the quality of decision making: research shows that managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement which, in turn, drives key success factors in many industry sectors. Among the qualities a good manager must possess is the ability to effectively lead the team through non-trivial processes, such as the one leading to MISRA compliance. Managers who do not understand MISRA and MISRA compliance, can make spectacular mistakes, starting from the negotiation phase and in all later phases. A couple of them are often seen in the planning and execution phases:

  1. A new, inexperienced employee is given a tool and, without training, is told to "remove all the warnings." This employee fights against the tool and removes many warnings. In doing so, code quality significantly decreases, tests begin failing, the employee is blamed (instead of the manager) and the employee leaves. Project is delayed.

  2. Experienced team members are assigned the task of MISRA compliance with insufficient training, without a process and with an unclear mandate. Code quality is (again) decreased, friction builds within the team, blame is bounced back and forth (even though it is clearly a manager's fault). Project is delayed.

Increasing the awareness, confidence and competencies of managers about all the high-level aspects of MISRA compliance can dramatically improve the performance of the overall organization. That is why we are launching a training course for all managers involved in the negotiation, planning, execution and assessment of MISRA requirements.


Refine your MISRA Compliance management skills


Managing MISRA Compliance

MISRA compliance needs careful managing at all stages of the project lifetime.



MISRA compliance will typically be one requirement in a contract between the acquirer (the organization commissioning the project), and the supplier (the organization developing the code). This negotiation activity has far-reaching consequences: it can increase costs, delay projects, and even lead to litigations and consequent damages. Those in charge definitely need to know about Guideline Recategorization Plans and MISRA Permits and how to take advantage of them.



MISRA compliance requires careful allocation of resources and attention to the project schedule. When things are done properly, MISRA compliance delivers more than what it consumes, but errors are paid for dearly.



Development teams working at a project that is meant to reach MISRA compliance need knowledgeable managers who can effectively assign responsibilities, monitor progress, approve deviations, and have the final word on the comply vs deviate dilemma. Failure in this area often results in friction within the team, project delays and/or, ironically, decreased code quality.



What are the constituents of a defensible MISRA compliance argument? In other words: What should the supplier provide? What should the acquirer accept or not accept? If no mistakes were done during negotiation and planning, things will go smoothly here; although the acquirer will still have to check the MISRA compliance argument. And the acquirer will likely play the supplier role if a certification authority is involved.


Roberto Bagnara, PhD, is co-founder of BUGSENG, software verification expert and evangelist, and professor of Computer Science at the University of Parma. He is also a member of the ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG14 - C Standardization Working Group and of the MISRA C Working Group.

Patricia M. Hill, PhD, is co-founder and director of BUGSENG, software verification expert, and former senior researcher at the University of Leeds. She is also a member of the MISRA C++ Working Group.


Discover our new online training

MISRA Compliance for Project Managers is based on MISRA Compliance:2020, the official document defining the very meaning of "MISRA compliance." It joins the presentation of the key concepts with concrete examples and practical demonstrations. The course spans 6 hours and is taught by qualified BUGSENG instructors, in collaboration with esteemed experts including members of the MISRA C, MISRA C++, and C standardization international working groups.


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