Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What is the difference between "Focused" and "non-Focused" projects?

Hey Jeff,

Help us settle an argument.  My boss says a "focused" project is one where we focus in on a single Process Area in an appraisal, and a "non-Focused" project is one where we look at everything.  I say it's the opposite.  What say you?  ~Rob.


While I wouldn't recommend it, you could go tell your boss "WRONG - THANK YOU FOR PLAYING!"  You are correct - it's the opposite.  But don't gloat to the poor fellow - there are quite a few little "gotchas" in the CMMI.

To be more precise, FOCUS projects (not "focusED") are those that are considered "full life-cycle" and all PA's for the level being appraised are "in-scope" for the CMMI appraisal. That could be 7 PAs, 18 PAs, 20 PAs, or 22 PAs (for CMMI-DEV at least). However, it is often impractical to appraisal OPF/OPD/OT at the "project" level, so that leaves (potentially) 15 in ML3. In these cases we may appraise the process team (if an SEPG exists) for OPF/OPD/OT and then verify that their work was adopted by the projects.

"Non-Focus" projects are simply "extra information" that help verify the institutionalization of the process within the organizational unit. The selection of PAs is entirely up to the Appraisal Team and the Sponsor. SCAMPI's "minimum project rule" applies only to FOCUS projects.

However, the entire concept of "Focus" vs. "non-Focus" goes away completely in SCAMPI v1.3. Currently, we can still conduct SCAMPI v1.2 appraisals against CMMI v1.3, but in March everyone will need to switch to SCAMPI v1.3, so then this concept is replaced by a more rigorous sampling methodology.
I usually teach about this in my CMMI Training classes, but now I won't have to.  So I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about it!

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest software or engineering exec! 

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead AppraiserCertified CMMI Instructor, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI trainings and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Learn more about CMMI Adoption at www.broadswordsolutions.com.

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