Sunday, February 1, 2009

If we don't use Process Action Teams (PATs) will we fail an appraisal?

It may seem like a silly question, but it is important for me to understand. I’m not opposed to PATs, but I just need to know if without PATs we will fail the appraisal. We are going for CMMI Appraisal Level 2.

Thanks for your question.  This business just gets curiouser and curiouser (to borrow a word from Winnie the Pooh).

For the benefit of our readers, a Process Action Team, or PAT, is a group of individuals who focus on developing, deploying, and maintaining one or more processes within the organization's set of standard processes.  Here at the Broadsword labs we call them "SIGs" or Special Interest Groups because, well, we do most things differently around here!

Let's separate out your process improvement program and your Appraisal.  An appraisal is nothing more than a user acceptance test to determine if your processes and it's performance have reached ML2 performance.  These are two completely different events.  Your process improvement program is something that you execute in order to develop valuable and useful processes that give you that extra competitive edge, or if your like a lot of my clients, just helps reduce the chaos.  You might use PATs (or SIGs) to help you do that.  You often see SIGs as part of a ML3 effort as a result of executing the OPF and OPD processes.

But you're not doing that.  You're still going for ML2.  While I might recommend SIGs as part of your program at ML2, I would not be appraising their existence or their performance as part of any ML2 appraisal.  There is NOTHING in the model that mandates that PATs be used.

So the short answer is "NO" you don't need PATs for your ML2 appraisal.

Hope that helps!


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