Thursday, December 9, 2010

The CMMI seems to be for Project Managers. Is there anything for developers or development teams?

Dear Appraiser,

Is there anything in the CMMI for developers and development teams?  It seems focused on project management.

Oh, I always thought only Project Managers cared about process improvement!  hmmm let me think about this for a second . . . . YES!  Turns out there is a lot for developers and teams.

One of the reasons the CMMI is known for "Project Management" is that Maturity Level Two, often the first step, is largely focused around Project Management.  It isn't until ML3 that we start seeing practices related to technology.

It's important to understand that CMMI is not a methodology (like RUP or XP) so you won't read any chapters in the book that give you specific steps for developing software.  This is OK though, because most teams or companies develop their own home-brew that fits in with their culture, often based on one of the popular methods like XP, Scrum, Crystal, RUP, and so forth.  I have one client whose method is called "xRUP" and it's a hybrid of . . . well, you get it.

But there ARE specific guidelines that you can use to help you detemine what your process should be, and more importantly, how to improve on it.  Think of your own process as a v1.0 Release, and then use the CMMI to sprint your way toward v2, v3, and so on - making it better as you go.

Check out the following Process Areas for developers and teams:

Technical Solutions (TS)

TS offers guidance for picking the right technology and tools, developing interface designs, designing software. developing programs, and appropriately documenting your work.  It's "methodology agnostic" so agile methods, traditional methods, or any other approach works equally well.

Product Integration (PI)

PI is helpful in guiding us how our process should handle compilation, integration, and deployment of our software into a production environment, or delivering it to a customer.  It covers interface testing and monitoring, customer documentation, deployment sequence, and a lot of other cool stuff.

Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD)

IPPD is sandwiched in as Goals within IPM and OPD and covers the team aspect of your development work.  Setting project vision, making sure everyone's roles are defined (who is the ScrumMaster, who is the Product Owner?) and setting rules of engagement between teams.  It's good stuff!

Validation (VAL)

Guidance for how your process creates validation environments, processes tests, reacts to test defects, and communicates the results.  Pair programming fits in here, unit testing, environmental and performance testing also.

Verification (VER)

Guidance for making sure all of the requirements, features, and user stories have been produced in your code.  It also covers peers and code reviews.  Scrum Demo, Fagen Inspection, User Testing, Traceability all fit in here.

Requirement Development (RD)

This is a great PA.  The usual stuff for eliciting needs, and interating through customer meetings.  But also great guidance on how to reduce defects in the requirements by using some pretty robust validation techniques.  Prototyping, proof of concept, use cases, user stories, and the like all fit in here.

So, that's all there is related to software developers and teams.  Think of it as a model for how the greatest development teams behave and don't over-do it!

Good luck!

New CMMI Shows added!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Can you describe the changes to CMMI v1.3?

We know we need to upgrade to CMMI v1.3.  What are the changes we need to be aware of?

There have been many changes to v1.3, with many, many redlines in the document, so I will address this iteratively (or course!).  I'll keep a running post, but here is the first "installment" (some of this is from the SEI's post on their CMMI website).

Changes made to all Constellations of the CMMI

- In V1.3, generic goals 4 and 5 were eliminated and therefore capability levels 4 and 5 were also eliminated.

- The IPPD option and its associated goals were eliminated (and some of the practices sprinkled into IPM and OPD)

- Requirements Management has been moved to the "Project Management" category in the Continuous Representation

- GP2.8 clarifies measurement by changing Monitoring and controlling the process  involves measuring appropriate attributes of the process or work products produced by the process to "Monitoring and controlling the process can involve measuring appropriate attributes of the process or work products produced by the process."  This should alleviate a lot of people from the oppression of measurement whackos.

Changes made to the SVC constellation only

For all process areas and categories unique to the CMMI-SVC model, the word "project" was replaced with "work,” “work group,” or other related term. These changes include the following:

1. Project Monitoring and Control (PMC) was changed to Work Monitoring and Control (WMC)
2. Project Planning (PP) was changed to Work Planning (WP)
3. Integrated Project Management (IPM) was changed to Integrated Work Management (IWM)
4. Quantitative Project Management (QPM) was changed to Quantitative Work Management (QWM)
5. The category Project Management was changed to Project and Work Management.C.

Changes related to CMMI V1.3 High Maturity 

Organizational Innovation and Deployment (OID) was changed to be Organizational Performance Management (OPM). OPM includes the specific goals and practices of OID as well as a new goal and practices.

In OPM, a new specific goal 1 (SG1), Manage Business Performance, was added. The remaining specific goals from OID were shifted one place and renumbered (e.g. the previous SG1: Select Improvements becomes SG2).

Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Selected to perform . . . I mean present . . . at SEPG 2011!

Hey Readers,

For the fifth year in a row I've been selected to perform at the SEI SEPG conference for SEPG 2011 in Portland, OR!  Whoo hoo!

My presentation, "The Agile SCAMPI: Taming the Savage Beast" will discuss ways of approaching SCAMPI appraisals with agility by adopting iterative and incremental practices and an agile mindset.

I hope to see you all there at the Greatest Show on Earth!

For more information email