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Carnegie Mellon University | Software Engineering Institute

Watts S. Humphrey

Software Process Achievement Award

The IEEE Computer Society and the Software Engineering Institute recognize outstanding achievements in improving the ability of a target organization to create and evolve software-dependent systems.

The Watts S. Humphrey Software Process Achievement Award  is named for Watts S. Humphrey, known as the "Father of Software Quality." Humphrey, following a long career with IBM, served at the SEI from 1986 until his death in 2010. He dedicated the majority of his career to addressing problems in software development including software quality, programmer motivation and commitment, team process discipline, and how organizations can best support these. During Humphrey's tenure at the SEI, characteristics of best practices at the individual, team, and organizational levels were identified that laid the groundwork for the Personal Software Process, the Team Software Process, the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) for Software and, eventually, CMM Integration (CMMI). In 2005, Humphrey received the National Medal of Technology for his work in software engineering.

Questions should be directed to the Humphrey Award Coordinator.

Congratulations to Our 2020 Winner

Congratulations to our 2020 recipient, Rajendra Prasad of Accenture!

Learn more about RP’s work at Accenture.

Read the SEI Technical Report Accenture: An Automation Maturity Journey. This paper describes work in the area of automation that netted RP and Accenture the 2020 Watts Humphrey Software Process Achievement Award.

Congratulations to our 2020 recipient, Rajendra Prasad of Accenture!

Rajendra T. Prasad (RP) is the Global Automation Lead for Accenture. In this leadership role, using his more than 25 years of industry experience, RP focuses on driving the efficiency of Technology Services across the IT application lifecycle and being a part of his clients’ journeys to stay relevant and competitive in our increasingly digital world. He created and leads the team that implements Accenture myWizard, an intelligent automation and end-to-end service delivery platform with Artificial Intelligence at its core.

Through his engagement with clients, RP plays a critical role in making automation a key component in optimizing an organization’s applications. He champions a methodical approach to AI and automation adoption using a scalable and sustainable model that helps organizations maximize value from investments. Says RP, “Enterprise-wide automation success can be achieved with a holistic approach of people, process and technology." To do this, RP leads a team of highly qualified professionals across geographies that create IP and leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, RPA, DevOps, NLP and Digital. In addition, RP extensively contributed to the strategy for Agile processes, which includes developing the latest applications, Agile capability, automation for Agile and building a transformation approach for IT organizations.

Earlier in his career with Accenture, RP led Quality and Process Excellence for Technology Delivery Centers in India, and established the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) and People CMM process across the organization. Within the industry, RP has played various leadership roles across geographies at several Fortune 500 companies, providing clients delivery excellence, project management and strategic process improvement.

He has 23 approved patents to his credit and over 150 patents filed worldwide. In 2020, RP was named the winner of the prestigious IEEE Computer Society/Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute Watts S. Humphrey Software Process Achievement Award. He is an experienced conference speaker on automation and AI from creating sustainable and scalable automation solutions to managing organizational change. He has appeared at industry events such as the O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence Conference, and is a published author of dozens of papers in various international journals and trade publications including IEEE and Harvard Business Review. He is the co-author of the upcoming book The Automation Advantage coming out fall 2021 from McGraw Hill.

Full bio:


The Humphrey Award nominee's productivity improvement must, to an exceptional degree, be significant, measured, sustained, and shared.

To be significant, the work must have a demonstrated impact on the target organizations' software engineering results (e.g., productivity increases, defect density for software reaching integration and test decreases, or rework percentage decreases, and by how much). It should also consider, as pertinent, the impact on the target organizations' management, workforce, and system development and maintenance processes (e.g., cycle time to address emergency tickets decreases and percentage of tickets correctly fixed on first try increases, and by how much).

Recognition by the IEEE Computer Society and the SEI

The award will be announced and recognized by both the IEEE Computer Society and the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), and recipients will receive an engraved, commemorative plaque. Recipients will also be required to produce an SEI technical report describing their accomplishments, which will be published on the SEI's website.

The award may be presented to an individual or a group.

Recipients are most often employees of the target organization. If not, recipients may work for an organization that provided software engineering process improvement benefits to the target organization. For example, the recipient organization may be an organization that provides services related to software engineering process improvement to the target organization, or it may be an association that supports activities related to software engineering process improvement that benefit one or more target organizations. The target organization may be for-profit, not-for-profit, or non-profit; may be an industrial, academic, or government organization or foundation; and need not be based in the United States.

The achievements being recognized can be the result of any type of process improvement activity.

In particular, they need not be based on a specific framework, model, or body of software engineering principles, practices, techniques, or methods.

The award nomination may be submitted by a group, or nominees may nominate themselves.

Award nominations must be seconded by a senior executive of the organization in which the nominated individual or group works and supported by a 12-page nomination package.