24 Jan Implementing the Capability Maturity Model
First published in Software Quality
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Professional Vol 5, Issue 1, December 2002
|Author||James R. Persse|
|Publisher||Wiley Computer Publishing / John Wiley & Sons, Inc|
|Published||New York; 2001|
|# of Pages||421|
|Software Quality Management; Methodologies;|
“The CMM is a framework for managing software process improvement activities. It is a means to an end, not an end in itself.” This statement prepares the reader for learning how to
implement the CMM. This book (based on SEI-CMM, ver. 1.1) provides a plethora of information with which a dedicated organization will be able to create a framework that works for them if they are desirous of leaving the multitudes of organizations at Level 1 and becoming one of the small number who are at Level 2 and/or Level 3.
Part One contains an overview of the Capability Maturity Model including the key areas of Levels 1-5 and how each is built on common elements. Part Two contains detailed recommendations for building a Level 2 compliant organization. Part Three contains clear recommendations for migrating a Level 2 program into a Level 3 compliant process improvement program. Part Four turns to the best ways to implement CMM and how to ensure a beneficial outcome through focusing on 11 key success
factors that influence implementation readiness. Understanding the CMM process is covered in Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 provides an understanding of the assessment process. Appendices contain a sample Level 2 pre-assessment questionnaire and samples of Level 2 policies.
Each part addresses the structure, processes, training, and policies to be considered when implementing the CMM. Each part contains examples of:
- Practical CMM-compliant process outlines.
- Plan Templates for each of the Level 2 and 3 KPAs.
- Breakdowns of the resources, finding and tools helpful to each KPA.
- Outlines of the policies recommended by the CMM
- Lists of sample artifacts
- A summary table at the end of each KPA chapter
Having recently completed a year providing support to a Government agency IT effort to move from quiet chaos to being a Level 2 organization, I was especially interested in reviewing this book. My interest almost waned as I scanned first one chapter and then the other because it seemed that I was looking at the SEI-CMM. When
I stopped scanning and started reading I realized that Persse had placed his informational nuggets before and after that which was SEI-CMM specific.
These nuggets remind the reader what the CMM is and what it is not. They remind the reader that Level 2 is a time for learning and what that really means for the project and the organization. Throughout the Level 2 section Persse reminds the reader that the CMM is a process and not an end, there is no single correct process, and that the only requirement is that the processes (for each project) are documented, followed, and then measured. The project processes are modified based on the learning that occurs.
Then at Level 3 the organization builds on the learnings of Level 2 which were project-focused to create an organization-focused structure. At Level 3 the key process areas become more sequential then they were at Level 2. At Level 3 the first thing is to institutionalize the software development process and management activities and make them available to the entire organization.
The Introduction states that “The result (of this book) is a basic, hands-on approach to setting the model into place, be yours a large, medium, or small IT operation.” I cannot say it any better