Considerations for CMMI Level 4 for Systems/Software product development and deployment

Author: · March 11, 2010 · Filed Under Estimating, Software Estimating, Systems Estimating  - 0 Comment(s)

From Galorath’s Dr. Denton Tarbet:

CMMIis a model that can be applied to effect a change in the way an organization (or company) performs on specific projects. The Levels of CMMI:

  1. Process unpredictable, poorly controlled and reactive
  2. Process characterized for projects and is often reactive
  3. Process characterized for the organization.
  4. Process measured and statistically controlled
  5. Emphasis on continuous improvement in the process with a goal of more fully meeting the cost/performance objectives of the organization.

Key activities for CMMI Level 4 include:

  1. Set the organizational Process Performance goals and establish a Quantitative Project Management methods to ensure processes are measured and statistically controlled.
  2. Select processes that support the organizational goals. If as in most companies goals include developing products on time and on budget in order to increase customer satisfaction and improve profits
    1. You need a valid estimating process that provides a confidence based project plan
    2. You need to measure cost and schedule at team task level
    3. Predict future project performance (actual estimate based on past performance not a belief that the project performance will improve with no external action)
    4. Take optimal corrective actions early
  3. Develop organizational baselines that can be used to monitor project predictions based on past performance and enforce corrective action when baselines are breached, ie establish the upper and lower control limits that force project corrective action.
  4. Use a predictive model such as a Performance Based Earned Value Model to predict the project future performance
  5. Take corrective action to mitigate risks, improve performance, prevent issues, and optimize project performance.

The question regarding level 4 and the application of SEER models for Process Performance Modeling has been addressed in the SEER for Software suite with the addition of Project Monitoring & Control (PMC) option. PMC is a primary tool in support of step 2, 3, and 4 above. In a paper presented at the June 2009 ISPA conference, Optimized Project Management of Systems and Software Projects we discussed the concepts of developing an estimate using a parametric model such as SEER SEM so that the project has a confidence based project plan that can be. We demonstrated the use of the PMC option to SEER SEM as a tool to analyze project metrics indicating performance against project plan. PMC is a key tool for the Key Process Area Quantitive Project Management (QPM) providing a method to support statistically controlling the project by using the process metrics to analyze and predict future project performance as a function of past project performance. When the predicted performance is not within an acceptable tolerance, process modifications should be made.

At that point we then use SEER-SEM to provide a quantitative assessment of the process alternatives possible to improve project performance. We have used the SEER-SEM tool in that mode for more than 5 years in support of a major DoD program providing on going assessment of project performance and recommendations of best process improvements from among the alternatives considered.

Applying a parametric model, reflecting the organizations processes, you can develop an executable project plan to a defined confidence levelĀ  Continued use of the SEER parametric model’s PMC capability will provide a basis for an Organizational Process Performance (OPP) analysis process and the Quantitative Project Management QPM) approach to provide the statistical control of the project.

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