Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I don't want to bore you but, how do we start with CMMI?

I don't want to be boring so I'll just get to the point. We are going for CMMI Level 2. We don't have any processes or documents for the different process areas. My question is "how do we start with CMMI?"

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Just Kidding!

The great thing about process improvement is that, at any given time, somewhere in the world, there is someone just starting out. There is no such thing as a boring question (well maybe "my boss says to get to level 5 in six months, is this possible?" is a boring question)!

Where to start? Well the CMMI reference itself is a great place to start out. If you're going to try to organize yourself around Level Two then read, in section 2, the seven process areas that are contained in Level 2 (REQM, PP, PMC, PPQA, MA, CM, and SAM).

Remember that the goals are required, the practices are expected, and everything else is information.

Next, do an HONEST self-evaluation of each practice based on a set of typical projects in your company. The sub-practices and informative text in each practice will help you to understand the context of each practice, but remember that these are only examples.

Once you know where you are as it relates to the model, put together a plan to close the gaps, and at the end of each phase have an external CMMI Appraiser stop in and conduct an informal evaluation and help you refine your plan to achieve.

There are also several great books by my friend and colleague James Persse and another by Michael West that will help. Also visit our resources page at http://www.broadswordsolutions.com/resources.php for some downloads and visit Hillel's "Brutally Honest Totally Hip CMMI FAQ" at http://www.cmmifaq.com/.

Finally, there are a wealth of documents on the SEI's site at sei.cmu.edu/CMMI.

Good luck!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another good starting point is to review the IDEAL white paper from the SEI's web site. It is 12 years old, but still very solid fundamentally in starting up and managing a process improvement program.