Tuesday, March 27, 2007

We're a CMMI Level Three Organization and need to use SAP's ASAP method. How does CMMI fit into this mixed methodology environment?

Dear Jeff,

Have you ever done a comparison between the CMMI and SAP's ASAP methodology? We're a Level Three company that needs to implement SAP using ASAP. There seems to be a lack of defined processes and policies. What do you think?

I'm not an expert on ASAP, but since I'm a blogger I get to have an opinion :)

As a Level Three company you know that the CMMI is neither a methodology nor a process, whereas ASAP is a methodology for identifying current-state process with improvements and codifying them into a specific product.

While defining your "as-is" for business operational processes is part of any process design, the software/systems development process is not represented in a contiguous way in ASAP. Sure, there are components that address planning and requirements management, as well as testing and deployment, but it's not a holistic method. Instead of focusing on the process areas like PP, PMC, RSKM, et al it treats those PA's as ancillary - necessary steps to complete a successful SAP implementation. This often results in "sub optimization" of processes around business processes like HR, Finance, and Payroll. It doesn't really even address development processes.

Consider the fact that the SAP "abort rate" (this is the term the Germans use) is almost 70% for SAP implementations worldwide and that should tell you that they have significant holes in their process. They've tried to fill this by partnering with so called "Big 4" integrators - who don't seem to have much of a process at all. I know, I used to work for one of them.

The implementation of policies, organizational training, and real tailoring guidelines are absent in ASAP and, as I'm sure you know, are critical to successful process deployment. And of course, the organizational PA's (OPF, OPD, OPP, OID, etc) just don't exist in ASAP, not does the concept of quantitative management and continuous improvement.

As a ML3 company you should have no problem adapting your process using tailoring (assuming you designed your guidelines appropriately) of your RD, TS, and PI processes.

Let me know how it turns out.


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