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CMMI Survival Guide: Just Enough Process Improvement

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CMMI Survival Guide: Just Enough Process Improvement


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  • Copyright 2007
  • Dimensions: 7-3/8" x 9-1/4"
  • Pages: 336
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-42277-5
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-42277-4
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-49178-5
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-49178-7

Praise for CMMI® Survival Guide

"Traveling down the CMMI road can be difficult and time-consuming. Garcia and Turner have given us a practical roadmap that addresses the key points to learn as well as the many potholes to avoid. Their Survival Guide is a most valuable resource for the journey. It will help immeasurably in achieving the process improvement that you seek."

—Dr. Howard Eisner, Distinguished Research Professor, George Washington University

"Helps you get to the 'red meat' of the CMMI quickly and with minimum pain."

—Donald J. Reifer, President, Reifer Consultants, Inc.

"The best words I can offer potential readers is that you must have this book, not on your shelf, but with you for repeated reading to glean new ideas or reinforce old ones you gained from the past readings. If you have ever been directly involved in a process improvement initiative or if you are starting one, this book can only help you to do a better job. And while [the authors] may not have written this book explicitly for experienced consultants, I found it a great reference even for those of us who helped start this industry, because it provides clear and useful answers to those tough questions we are asked all of the time."

—Tim Kasse, CEO and Principal Consultant, Kasse Initiatives LLC

"This book contains practical (working) tips for the 'getting started' phase of process improvement, which is the hardest one in the road to improving one's processes."

—Agapi Svolou, Principal of Alexanna, LLC, and SEI CMMI Transition Partner

"The authors have done an outstanding job in providing guidance for process improvement from a practical perspective. Instead of focusing on a single technique or approach, they have provided a variety of methods for process improvement implementation and have framed their discussion with rich context from lessons learned. The concepts described in this book will be useful to both those starting CMMI implementations and to those who are well into their journey but are still looking for ways to lessen the pain and provide value-added improvements. Reading the book is like being in the audience during a live presentation by SuZ and Rich—they wrote the book as they would present the information to a live audience."

—Bill Craig, Director, Software Engineering Directorate, AMRDEC, RDECOM

"I have been involved in process improvement since the early 90's and many of the mistakes that I made could have been prevented if this book had been available then."

—Claude Y. Laporte, Professor, ETS Universite du Quebec

"Primarily, the book is practical. The guidance presented is geared toward someone who is not exactly sure why they need process improvement, but is presented with the fact that they must do it. Very often these are smaller organizations, with limited resources, and uncertain support from above. As I read the book, I thought almost immediately of a couple of organizations with which I am familiar who could use this kind of tutelage. There are real, and useful, techniques in this book that I believe can help these kinds of organizations prioritize and establish reasonable plans for improving the processes in the organization. I also like the sidebars and personal observations. Discussions of experience can really help organizations through the various pitfalls that are part of developing and deploying processes. It makes the book more of a 'real life' guide, and not a theoretical exercise. Finally, the book is an enjoyable read. The conversational style of the book (and the humor) make it much easier to read than many of the books I have read in the past."

—Alexander Stall, Principal Process Improvement Engineer, Systems and Software Consortium

The CMMI provides a framework for process improvement spanning the life cycle of a product or service, from conception through delivery and maintenance. Widely and beneficially adopted around the world, the size and apparent complexity of the framework have nonetheless been daunting to some organizations. That need not be so. With a proper guide to help navigate around unknown dangers, potential pitfalls, and false paths, you too, can realize substantial business value from a successful CMMI implementation. This book is such a guide, full of the real-life examples to ease your way, and written in a lighter style to ease your reading.

The CMMI® Survival Guide is an effective resource for multiple readerships. If you are just now considering a process improvement program, with the CMMI among your options, the authors' discussion of relevant issues will enhance your business case right from the start. If you have already decided to implement the CMMI, the authors' practical knowledge will help you make the most of your efforts. Even if you are well into a CMMI implementation, but are lost, stuck, or going around in circles, the authors' valuable advice will help you regain your direction.

If you work in a smaller or resource-strapped organization, you will particularly benefit from the authors' description of alternative paths to process improvement—approaches that are more incremental or agile, and less intensive, than you might imagine for a CMMI implementation. The authors draw on their extensive experience working with diverse organizations, and on the CMMI tools, techniques, and templates developed for those organizations.

Whatever your background or need, the CMMI® Survival Guide will help you survey the CMMI territory, consult possible road maps, learn from other CMMI explorers, weigh the benefits of hiring a living guide, and even consider whether the trip is right for you.

Sample Content

Downloadable Sample Chapter

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Table of Contents

List of Figures xiii

List of Tables xv

Foreword xvii

Preface xix

Acknowledgments xxiii

Part I Scouting the Territory 1

Chapter 1: Why We Think Process Is Important 3

1.1 A short history of process improvement 3

1.2 The role of processes in business 5

Chapter 2: Why Process Improvement Helps 9

2.1 Process improvement is about learning 10

2.2 Process improvement should be driven by business value 11

2.3 Process improvement can be valuable for organizations of all sizes 12

2.4 You have choices in your improvement approach 13

2.5 You have choices in the reference model 20

Chapter 3: Why Process Improvement Isn't Trivial 29

3.1 Building and sustaining sponsorship 30

3.2 Managing an appraisal life cycle 30

3.3 Developing and sustaining process improvement infrastructure 31

3.4 Deploying new and improved processes 32

3.5 Developing and measuring realistic goals 34

3.6 Advantages and disadvantages of different-size improvement efforts 35

3.7 Project management issues 38

3.8 Common pitfalls for PI initiatives 39

3.9 Summary of Part I 40

Part II Mapping the Route 43

Chapter 4: CMMI As Your Guide 45

4.1 Why CMMI? 45

4.2 CMMI primer 47

4.3 Some choices to think about in using CMMI 53

4.4 Using CMMI to guide your improvement 61

Chapter 5: A Decision-based Life Cycle for Improvement 65

5.1 Decide 71

5.2 Try initial (additional) model elements 80

5.3 Analyze 82

5.4 Commit 84

5.5 Reflect 86

5.6 Summary of Part II 88

Part III Surviving the Passage 91

Chapter 6: A PI Case Study 93

6.1 Decide (Cycle 1: To do or not to do) 93

6.2 Decide (Cycle 2: What to do, where, and when) 95

6.3 Try (Cycle 2: The first pilot) 96

6.4 Analyze (Cycle 2: The first pilot) 97

6.5 Commit (Cycle 2: The first pilot) 98

6.6 Reflect (Cycle 2: The first pilot) 99

6.7 Decide (Cycle 3: What's next) 100

Chapter 7: Survival and PI 103

7.1 Size up the situation 104

7.2 Undue haste makes waste 105

7.3 Remember where you are 106

7.4 Vanquish fear and panic 107

7.5 Improvise 109

7.6 Value living 110

7.7 Act like the natives 111

7.8 Live by your wits, learn basic skills 112

7.9 Summary of Part III 113

Part IV Experiencing the Journey 117

Chapter 8: Developing and Sustaining Sponsorship 119

8.1 Communicating with and sustaining sponsorship of organizational leadership 120

8.2 Seeking sponsors: Applying sales concepts to building and sustaining support 122

8.3 Being a sponsor: Welcome to the "foreign element" 127

Chapter 9: Setting and Measuring Against Realistic Goals 131

9.1 Setting goals and success criteria aligned with sponsor objectives 132

9.2 Understanding the current state of the organization:Readiness and Fit Analysis for CMMI 137

9.3 How do you tell if you've succeeded? 144

Chapter 10: Managing an Appraisal Life Cycle 151

10.1 To appraise or not to appraise: Is that really the question? 152

10.2 Different appraisal philosophies 153

10.3 Managing the resources needed to plan and conduct appraisal activities 156

Chapter 11: Developing Process Improvement Infrastructure 161

11.1 Developing and sustaining process improvement team members 162

11.2 Developing a team 164

11.3 Establishing improvement infrastructure to supportand sustain CMMI implementation 167

11.4 Staffing and organization 167

11.5 Creating and evolving a PAL (Process Asset Library) 170

11.6 Measurement system/repository 175

Chapter 12: Defining Processes 179

12.1 CMMI Business Analysis 180

12.2 Developing useful process guidance 181

12.3 Collecting/incorporating lessons learned from improvement activities 188

Chapter 13: Deploying Improved Processes 191

13.1 Finding/selecting pilots for CMMI implementation 191

13.2 Working with consultants 197

13.3 Deploying practices to the targeted organizational scope 199

13.4 Communication 207

Chapter 14: Looking Ahead 217

14.1 What's next for you? 217

14.2 What's next for PI? 219

14.3 Summary of Part IV 221

Part V Outfitting Your Expedition (PI Resources) 225

Chapter 15: Tools and Techniques 227

15.1 An example of setting SMART goals 228

15.2 Performing a CMMI Business Analysis 230

15.3 Performing a Readiness and Fit Analysis 235

15.4 One-Hour Process Description method 238

15.5 Infusion and diffusion measurement 245

15.6 CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) technique + Chaos Cocktail Party 262

15.7 Additional resources 265

Bibliography 273

Index 279


Download the Foreword from this book.


Download the Index from this book.


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