Challenges with Implementing the CMMI in Small Settings

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Very small organizations (5 – 10 people) present an interesting challenge when implementing the CMMI and ultimately appraising the organization. Typically there is one Project Manager wearing multiple hats, the organization is resource constrained forcing an already heavily committed team to take on additional PPQA and CM roles, and many of the processes are embedded in the team and people are puzzled why they need to document a process that seems obvious. And when they do document their processes to be CMMI compliant they tend to over engineer the processes thereby creating something very cumbersome.
On the other hand, you could argue that there is no difference between implementing the CMMI in a small setting vs. a large organization. Everyone faces similar challenges:
• Management commitment
• Planning for process improvement
• Defining and documenting processes and process assets
• Training people
• Defining, collecting, analyzing, and reporting on product and process measures
• Objectively evaluating adherence
• Preparing for and conducing a SCAMPI A appraisal
• Etc.
Management commitment or lack thereof, is always an obstacle to process improvement. In a large organization the problem is the result of getting multiple management layers in sync. In a small setting we are talking about one person who is an executive, possibly the company President, and the appraisal sponsor. The challenge becomes with one person is that he or she may be in the habit of telling their subordinates to make things happen without taking an active role and then wonder why they are having difficulty. There may also be an unrealistic expectation that implementing Maturity Level 2 is very easy, basically a documentation exercise, and a SCAMPI A can be conducted a month after the first deployment of the new processes and process assets. Because of the small setting, unlike what can happen in a large organization, chances are there is no internal CMMI expert, so the Lead Appraiser is called upon more to help the executive manager to fully understand what it will take to successfully implement the model and what their role should be.
Process improvements need to be managed just like any other project in the organization. If the organization does not have a history of managing their projects well, then they will be further challenged on how to manage their process improvement efforts. Here again in a small setting we may have a management mandate to implement and achieve Maturity Level 2 in three months without anyone attempting to lay out all of the necessary tasks to see if this timeline can be achieved. Naively the organization thinks all they have to do is write six processes, deploy them, and then conduct the appraisal. All of this work is just layered on top of everything else they are currently doing. So process improvement becomes a part time activity, which is usually pushed to the back as other higher priority issues arise.
Small organizations most likely do not have any experience in defining and documenting processes. In a small setting there is a lot of synergy between the teammates and everyone has a good understanding of their roles and responsibilities, aka Tribal Knowledge. Asking them to document their processes and process assets immediately elicits the question, Why? Especially when you explain to them that they have to document how they perform their processes. The "how" is second nature and the practitioners see no value in documenting that information. But if one of the business goals and objectives is to grow and compete for more business, then it is necessary to capture this knowledge.
Typically there are not a lot of opportunities for training in a small organization. And there may be funding constraints that limit the amount of training. So trying to get the organization to focus on identifying training needs (process and technical) is a new concept.
The two Maturity Level 2 Process Areas

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  • Thanks Henry...My concern is how do you implement CMMI Level 3 for a Company that has about 50 employees ?. Please send the Presentation to my email ID : bjohnrichard@yahoo.com. Thanks
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Challenges with Implementing the CMMI in Small Settings

  1. 1. Facilitating your process journey … Challenges with Implementing the CMMI in Small Settings or The Little Organization That Could Henry Schneider SEPG 2009
  2. 2. Facilitating your process journey … Lil’ Org PPQA MA SAM PMC PP REQM 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 2
  3. 3. Facilitating your process journey … Lil’ Org PPQA MA SAM PMC PP REQM 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 3
  4. 4. Facilitating your process journey … I Think I Can, I Think I Can Planning Management Commitment 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 4
  5. 5. Facilitating your process journey … I – Think – I – Can, I – Think – I – Can PPQA Measurement & Analysis Training Documenting Processes 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 5
  6. 6. Facilitating your process journey … I – – Think – – I – – Can Failed Failed Attempt Attempt 1 2 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 6
  7. 7. Facilitating your process journey … I Knew I Could, I Knew I Could! 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 7
  8. 8. Facilitating your process journey … Agenda  Observed Trends  Common Challenges with Process Improvement  Small Settings Perspective  Useful Tips and Techniques 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 8
  9. 9. Facilitating your process journey … OBSERVED TRENDS 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 9
  10. 10. Facilitating your process journey … Observed Trends  Maturity models have been in use for 20+ years  Initial adopters were large organizations  As businesses recognize the benefits of applying maturity models, marketplace demand for appraised organizations increases  Increased emphasis on appraising organizations with 25 or fewer people 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 10
  11. 11. Facilitating your process journey … Trend Data* for Organizations < 25 People 3500 16% % of Appraisals 3000 for Small Orgs Appraisals 14% Total # of 2500 12% 2000 10% 8% 1500 6% 1000 4% 500 2% 0 0% 450 #of Appraisals for 400 The past four years have shown a 350 Small Orgs 300 steady increase in the number of 250 appraisals of small organizations 200 150 100 Increasing % and total # of reported 50 appraisals 0 * Data derived from SEI Maturity Profiles published every March and September 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 11
  12. 12. Facilitating your process journey … Common Challenges with Process Improvement 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 12
  13. 13. Facilitating your process journey … What Most Everyone Experiences Limited to no process training Difficulty Measurement provided documenting and Analysis processes and misunderstood process assets Lack of PPQA planning misunderstood CMMI Lack of Unrealistic Implemen- management expectations commitment for an appraisal tation 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 13
  14. 14. Facilitating your process journey … SMALL SETTINGS PERSPECTIVE  MAKE ICONS CONSISTENT 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 14
  15. 15. Facilitating your process journey … Small Settings Perspective  Though organizations, large and small, share the same obstacles to success, implementing the CMMI in small settings presents unique challenges  Based on recent observations gathered by working with several small organizations 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 15
  16. 16. Facilitating your process journey … Lack of Management Commitment  May be no active involvement  Senior Manager wants it to happen, but doesn’t have time to support  Unrealistic expectations  Process improvement viewed as simply documenting processes  Process improvement is something that can be performed fast and cheap 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 16
  17. 17. Facilitating your process journey … Lack of Planning  Limited resources  No internal people available to provide necessary support  Project and business commitments interfere with process improvement  Process improvement is a part-time activity at best  Have to rely heavily on external help  Basically outsourcing process improvement that could result in a lack of buy-in  Limited to no planning for process improvement  Limited funds for training, tools, facilities, etc. 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 17
  18. 18. Facilitating your process journey … Difficulty Documenting Processes  Lots of synergy between teammates  Heavy reliance on tribal knowledge  Lots of single failure points  No perceived value in documenting processes  Everyone knows what to do; the how is second nature  “We don’t need no stinking procedures.”  Can be at odds with management’s goals to grow the business  New people learn faster by reading the processes than by osmosis 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 18
  19. 19. Facilitating your process journey … Limited Process Training  Process training may be viewed as an unnecessary expense  Everyone already knows what to do 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 19
  20. 20. Facilitating your process journey … Measurement and Analysis Misunderstood  Little to no data are used  Lack of understanding how data can help  Only one Project Manager for all projects with a qualitative understanding  Engineering judgment is considered sufficient 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 20
  21. 21. Facilitating your process journey … Process and Product Quality Assurance Misunderstood  No appreciation for an objective evaluation of processes and work products  Not viewed as an extension of Senior Management, but as an additional, expensive, non- value added cost 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 21
  22. 22. Facilitating your process journey … 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 22
  23. 23. Facilitating your process journey … Unrealistic Expectations for an Appraisal  Limited resources  PIIDs may take longer than expected to prepare • $ Outsource PIID development  May have evidence of only one focus project and limited non-focus project evidence • Potential risk of not providing enough data to successfully achieve target ML  May not have enough internal people to staff the appraisal team • $ Use external team members  May not have space available to house the appraisal team and conduct interviews • $ Lease office space  May require more meetings than usual with the Lead Appraiser to correctly scope and tailor the SCAMPI method • $ Additional unplanned Lead Appraiser time 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 23
  24. 24. Facilitating your process journey … Useful Tips and Techniques 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 24
  25. 25. Facilitating your process journey … Management Commitment  Senior management should  Attend the Intro to the CMMI training with rest of the staff  Be actively involved in all process improvement activities  Either chair the Process Group or provide strong leadership  Meet regularly with the CMMI consultant and Lead Appraiser  Those small organizations that have been successful exemplify this behavior 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 25
  26. 26. Facilitating your process journey … Planning  Treat process improvement like a project  Write a process improvement plan and use it  Estimate and track the costs  Document the process improvement goals and objectives  Set realistic expectations and dates  Determine which activities and deliverables can be performed internally vs. externally 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 26
  27. 27. Facilitating your process journey … Documenting  Use an experienced CMMI consultant to help document processes and process assets  Using an ISO 9000 consultant can be an additional risk  An ISO 9000 consultant is an additional person to train on the CMMI  ISO 9000 consultants tend to view implementing the CMMI as a documentation exercise and don’t comprehend the Generic Goals and Practices  Should not be performed solely by the consultant; someone from the organization has to be actively involved 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 27
  28. 28. Facilitating your process journey … Training  Train on the different roles and responsibilities  Perhaps formal process training is not the answer  Hold meetings with the team to walk through each process to ensure alignment  Consider OJT or mentored instruction instead of formal training  Could be a source of process improvement suggestions 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 28
  29. 29. Facilitating your process journey … Measurement and Analysis  The Project Manager is probably the logical choice for performing all MA activities  Requires some training and/or mentoring on measurement and analysis  Document the data collection, analysis, and reporting information so someone else will have an understanding of the data and its use  Avoid overkill or “death-by-data”; use a minimal set of measures and indicators 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 29
  30. 30. Facilitating your process journey … Process and Product Quality Assurance  Think outside the box for implementing this Process Area  Perhaps the Senior Manager could perform PPQA or  Embed PPQA within the team (objectivity could be a challenge) or  Outsource PPQA (provides independence, but somewhat risky and requires ongoing contractual management) 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 30
  31. 31. Facilitating your process journey … SCAMPI Preparation  Use the process improvement plan  Hire a reputable Lead Appraiser with prior experience working with small organizations  Work with your Lead Appraiser to properly interpret the CMMI and the SCAMPI method for a small organization 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 31
  32. 32. Facilitating your process journey … I Knew I Could, I Knew I Could! 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 32
  33. 33. Facilitating your process journey … Questions 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 33
  34. 34. Facilitating your process journey … PPQC Services Consulting • CMMI • Software Engineering • Systems Engineering • Process Improvement Appraising • SCAMPI A, B, C • Gap Analysis Training • CMMI/Process Improvement • Action Planning Workshops • Measurement and Analysis • Process Area Specific Training 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 34
  35. 35. Facilitating your process journey … Contact Information Address: Henry Schneider President/Senior Principal Consultant Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 2111 Heather Green Houston, TX USA 77062 Phone: 281-218-6682 E-mail: henry@ppqc.net Web Site: www.ppqc.net 4/1/2009 ®2008 ***Proprietary*** All Rights Reserved - Process and Product Quality Consulting, LLC 35

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