Monday, September 20, 2010

I don't get Continuous Representation and Capability Levels - help!

Hi Jeff

I have been following You blog for 2 weeks now & I know You would have got this compliment numerous times so far..but yes - Reading responses feels like You are the guy next door; just sitting next to us; talking to Us...not just guiding us remotely.

I understand Your time is precious n hence would like to quickly put 2 basic questions quickly:

- Is there a specific reason for the I which we find appended to CMM ? What would integrated mean exactly?

- I believe most of the companies go for staged; not continuous; thats what they have a Maturity Level rating; not capability level rating. But is there a specific sequence to follow when somebody likes to go for a Continuous presentation? How does the interaction between PAs go ?

Say for example if a typical level 1 company thinks it plans to follow Project Planning & VER / VAL , skip MA; go for Quantitative Project Management does it make sense ?Or there has to be a fixed set of PAs from Level 2 coupled with appropriate sets of PAs from Level 3 which need to be in place before one can even think of putting some PAs from level 4 in place?

And in this continuous style of implementation what kind of capability level rating the Org would manage to achieve? And if they do, how does it help their business?

Thanks for reading this post Jeff..I need to get rid of this initial confusion while i continue to enrich myself through Your blog.

Whew! A hard one!

Thanks for the compliment :) You're questions are not uncommon. Let's take one at a time.

- The "I" in CMMI was added after the decision to move away from the SW-CMM was made at the SEI, and it signifies a larger, broader, and more integrated model that covers not only the software components, but all of engineering including planning, requirements, design, build, test, and sustainment.

- Your question about the continuous representation is a regular one in my class. The SEI has done a pretty good job of grouping interdependent PAs together in ML2 and ML3. Even if you choose continuous, you would want to look into the relationships between the ML2 PAs while you're working on some of those. For instance, if you choose REQM, it makes sense to include CM, PPQA, and MA. If you choose PP, then PMC, CM, M&A, and PPQA all make sense too. So I would recommend you choose all of the ML2 PAs before moving on to any ML3 areas, with the possible exception of OPD and OPF, which I like to start earlier than the other ML3 areas.

In either case, if you JUST choose one PA, you can be appraised for a Capability Level from 1-5 (based on the Generic Goals that are applied). And I would NOT recommend going for an appraisal for OPP/QPM until you've got a few years of solid performance under your belt!

Good luck!

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