Got questions? Get answers! Thoughts from an Agile CMMI Lead Appraiser by Jeff Dalton.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
What is CMMI Certification?
What a great question!
Sometimes we get so buried in process areas, practices, and software process improvement that we forget that there are new people coming into the fold everyday. Thanks!
To begin with, the SEI discourages the word "certification" and instead likes us to refer to a company as having "achieved CMMI Level 2" (or 3/4/5). Organizations achieve CMMI, people do not. Many people use to the word "certification" so you often see it in the metatags of sites (like this one, Broadsword's, and the SEI's). You "achieve" a level of CMMI by building, deploying, and managing a process within your engineering and project management organizations that refelects the best-practices identified in the process areas of the CMMI model, and then, once institutionalization is apparent, having an SEI authorized SCAMPI Lead Appraiser lead you through a SCAMPI Appraisal.
Depending on the appraisal type you select, it will result in either a gap analysis or a set of formal findings that identify your company as having achieved (or not achieved) Level X. You can visit our website at hppt://www.broadswordsolutions.com/resources.php to learn more or go the the SEI's site at http://www.sei.cmu.edu/CMMI. Wikipedia also has a good description of the CMMI as well.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
What electronics engineering, software engineering/software development trade magazines do you read?
AskTheCMMIAppraiser has been asked to write articles for a number of trade magazines, but before we do we want to hear from you on YOUR favorite engineering, software engineering, electronics, software development, or technology trade magazines. We want to hear straight from you, the professionals, so please leave a comment with your favorite. Thanks!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Do we need a policy for each Generic Practice?
Hold on a second while I consult my 3725 page policy manual . . . hmmm here it is, policy number 1634111a.7....
I don't mean to make fun of your question, but its circular nature sure gave me a headache!
The purpose of GP2.1 "Establish an organizational policy" is to set the expectation that the processes that are adopted by the organization are to be used. If you have a mature, self-disciplined organization then maybe something very limited is all that is necessary. We test this on appraisals by asking people how they know they're supposed to use a certain process. There answer SHOULD be that management has set that expectation in some way. Sometimes for a less mature organization more detail is needed, but if they need a policy for each practice then you have bigger problems!
GP2.1 i specific to a process area - not the practices in the process area. Sure, we test the institutionalization of a process at the practice level, but it is almost never performed at the practice level. A Process may have practices from many different PA's represented in it, so it's a little tough to set the expectation that a specific practice be performed in a vacuum.
And, since most of the GPs are mirrors of the PAs anyway (GP2.2-2.4 is like PP, GP2.6 is iike CM, GP2.8 is like PMC, etc) then does it really make sense to have policies for each GP?
There is no requirement for this level of granularity in the CMMI - and if it doesn't make sense for your business then there is no reason to do it.
That's what I think. Good luck!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I don't understand CMMI Certification. Can you clear it up?
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Our LA says reviewing test results satisfies VER SP2.2. What do you think?
Just wanted to know your clarification on the following
Process Area: Verification (VER)
SP2.3 Analyse Peer Review Data
Reviews and Internal Testing (Component, Unit, Assembly, Performance) - The input provided by the Lead Appraiser(LA) was that analysis done in any of the above testing phases by the project can be considered for VER SP2.3
Process Area: Validation (VAL)
SP2.2 Analyse the results of the validation activities
The following are being used for addressing VAL SP2.2:
As per the inputs from the LA, evidence of reviews done by customer for design or any inputs provided for testing.
VER SG 2 is specific to PEER REVIEWS, so testing evidence is not typically what we look at. If your LA is saying test results, and review of those results, is valid Direct Evidence for VER SG2 then you are getting incorrect information that may not stand up to scrutiny.
VER SG1 and SG3 can indeed be evidenced IN PART by test results and reviews, but not completely.
Peer reviews are structured reviews, walkthroughs, Fagen Inspections or any other formal review of a specific work product or set of work products. They need to be identified through practices in SG1. They also must be planned for.
VER SP2.2 “Analyze Peer Review Data” includes not only analysis of the results of the peer review, but an analysis of the preparation, participation, and data associated with the conduct of the peer review itself.
Some of VAL can be evidenced by customer review outputs, but SP2.2 is specific to performing analysis, so just meeting minutes or a sign off falls short of the intention of the model’s authors. It includes analyzing results against expected results, categorizing or measuring (i.e.; analyzing) the results, and recording information. Customer inputs for testing does not satisfy this practice. Again, the information you are getting would not stand up to scrutiny.
Friday, April 10, 2009
How to not pick a Lead Appraiser!
I was selected to be an Appraisal Team Member but I don't show up on the SEI's site. What gives?
I was told by the CMMI consultant to check "My Appraisals", but unfortunately, till now nothing can be found (http://sas.sei.cmu.edu/AppSys/). I think the Lead Appraiser has NOT selected me from the pool.
What concerns me is any adverse impact on my company's CMMI-3 appraisal if still nothing can be found in "My Appraisals" by the start (even the end) of SCAMPI A appraisal ?
Could you please kindly tell me the criteria for an ATM to participate on a CMMI-3 appraisal?
In order for you to participate and be added to an appraisal a few things have to happen.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Should we be freezing our artifacts six months before our SCAMPI Appraisal?
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Two more hours until YOUR questions are presented at SEPG 2009!
We're not really sure about IIPD. How does it fit in?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Jeff Dalton (that's ME!) wins presitgious SEI Member Award at SEPG 2009
What do Appraisers look for?
The practices listed in CMMI are vague. For example in Configuration Management Process Area the first practice says "identify configuration items" . What if we identify certain CM items which are important according to organization, will appraiser say you didn't add this item in your CM list and fail us.
What if in some practices we don't see business value and we don't implement, would appraiser say strict "NO" and we fail.
Is there a simple book with a set of steps for achieving CMMI ML2?
The CMMI for Services, which sounds like the "flavor" (or constellation) of CMMI that you would use, has 25 Process Areas. In Maturity Level Two there are eight process areas that must be satisfied and appraiser using an external SCAMPI Lead Appraiser.
Those eight process areas are: Project Planning, Project Monitoring and Control, Measurement and Analysis, Configuration Management, Process and Product Quality Assurance, Supplier Agreement Management, Requirements Management, and Service Delivery.
In order to achieve Maturity Level Two you must demonstrate sustained, consistent processes performance in all the Process Areas, with the POSSIBLE exception of Supplier Agreement Management. You demonstrate this by defining, using, and then being appraised on your company's standard processes.
You probably have less work to do in the CRM/HR area than in the area that focuses on the development, maintenance, delivery, and monitoring of your company's services.
These processes don't come out of a book - they are YOUR processes, so it would be difficult to write a book that was specific to your company.
Your best bet is to get smart about the CMMI by taking the CMMI Intro class from an SEI Partner, download the CMMI-SVC specification from www.sei.cmu.edu/CMMI (only read Part 2 for now!), and then engage a professional to help you navigate the roadmap.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
SEPG 2009 Starts Tomorrow!
Do we need to have a plan for every process area?
Do we need separate policies for every Process Area?
We are a testing company going to ML3. Do we need to perform TS and PI?
Must defect measures be consolidated into the measurement repository?
Are Process Performance Models required for QPM?
Friday, February 20, 2009
Executive Brief Interview with Mike Konrad and Jeff Dalton on CMMI and Agile
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Does SAM apply if our customer mandates the supplier?
Friday, February 13, 2009
If we don't use all of the practices on smaller projects, can we still achieve ML2?
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
We're a ML3 company trying for ML4. But we don't understand GP3.2
Because GP 3.2 specifies “collect work product, measures, measurement results, and improvement information derived from planning and performing the process …”.
Could you give me some advice for this?
The more cynical of my Lead Appraiser colleagues might ask “how did you get to ML3 without knowing this?” But I won’t do that. I can think of MANY reasons why this may have occurred!
GP3.2 exists in the model to codify the need to proactively gather information from the project’s use of your process that could be used to improve performance for future projects. This could be “reuse” data, such as useful templates or examples. It could be useful measures that provide the NEXT project with information that would help them. It also could be “lessons learned” gathered from performing retrospectives, post-mortems, and reviews of what worked and what didn’t.
So GP3.2 doesn’t require a metric for every process area, and the Process Area “MA” certainly doesn’t require this.
However, if you’re planning on moving to ML4 you will need to be measuring the performance of selected sub-processes. And to do this you will want to have some granular metrics about the performance of specific sub-processes. One practice that supports this is GP2.8, my favorite, because it requires you to consider these types of measures WAY back in ML2. These measures should help you identify “process levers” that you can manipulate to change the results of a process.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Follow AskTheCMMIAppraiser on Twitter
If we don't use Process Action Teams (PATs) will we fail an appraisal?
How do we apply TS and PI to a pure testing environment?
How does one do that for a projects that is just Testing projects?
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Jeff speaking at SEPG 2009 in San Jose, CA
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
There seems to be redundancy between OPP and QPM. What gives?
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
What do I need to do to for our company to become CMMI Maturity Level Three
The CMMI is an integrated process model with +-350 distinct practices that define what a “great company” does, at least within it's engineering, product, software, or services organization. Consider them a list of requirements for your process. So, your first step is to become smart about the model.