Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University

Personal Software Process Body of Knowledge (PSP BOK)

PSP BOK Official Release

The Personal Software  Process (PSP) Body of Knowledge, Version 2.0
Special Report


SEI PSP/TSP Certification Team

Marsha Pomeroy-Huff
Kimberley Campbell
Bob Cannon
Erin Czerwinski
Tracey Kelly
Julia Mullaney
Jefferson Welch

Personal Software Process (PSP) has matured and gained wider acceptance; there is a need for a “gold standard” to ensure common understanding of essential concepts and skills. The PSP BOK provides a high-level comprehensive overview of the knowledge areas and competencies that compose the body of knowledge for the PSP.

This document is not intended to provide detailed descriptions or in-depth explanations of the concepts, practices, and procedures of every component in the PSP. This document does not discuss how to build courses or curricula, only what content to include.

Purpose of the BOK

  • Establish a consensus mechanism for delineating the knowledge and skills required to be a professional.
  • Characterize standard practices of the profession.
  • Identify the sum core knowledge and skill criteria to be mastered by the professional.
  • Facilitate the migration of future related certification programs to established knowledge and skill standards.
  • Guide development of quality knowledge and skill competency assessment.
  • Provide a background for curriculum development efforts throughout academia.

Target Audiences

Software Engineering Professionals

  • Delineate the knowledge and skills that set PSP apart from other software engineering practices.
  • Define essential knowledge and skills that PSP practitioners are expected to master.
  • Characterize the standard practices of PSP-trained engineering professionals.
  • Provide study aid for professional certification regardless of initial training sources or formats.


  • Establish a baseline for developing, assessing, and accrediting PSP courses and curricula in academic institutions.
  • Facilitate the establishment of PSP certification programs based on an established and commonly accepted set of knowledge and skills.


  • Provide employers with a baseline for assessing software process improvement skills and capabilities of developers and development teams making objective human resources decisions.
  • Establish salaries based on established standards of competence.

For More Information

For more information about TSP, contact:


SEI Customer Relations