Thursday, June 5, 2008

Applicability of the CMMI to a Volunteer Association

I'm hoping all y'all can help ... one of the volunteer associations that I am involved with is considering developing an organizational assessment model to evaluate project management maturity or competence. I'm looking for some market info/competitive analysis.

  1. If you are familiar with CMM and CMMI, do you feel that these models are adequate to assess non-software organizations?
  2. Do you have direct, personal experience with any of the existing models? Was it good or bad?
  3. If you don't have direct experience, do you have any secondhand information about any of the models?
  4. What models are you aware of? What do you know of their strengths
    and weaknesses?
  5. Has your current employer expressed any interest in an assessment? Why or why not?

First off, let me set some things straight about the CMM and CMMI. The CMM is no longer valid for use as of December 31, 2005. It was replaced by the CMMI. Since its introduction in December 2000, the CMMI has evolved into what the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is calling a group of constellations. The first constellation is the CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV). The second constellation is the CMMI for Acquisition (CMMI-ACQ) that was released last Fall. And the third constellation is the CMMI for Services (CMMI-SVC) that will be released towards the end of 2008. There is a core set of 16 Process Areas that are common to all constellations and the core includes the Project Management Process Areas of Requirements Management (REQM), Project Planning (PP), Project Monitoring and Control (PMC), Integrated Project Management (IPM), Risk Management (RSKM), and Quantitative Project Management (QPM).

REQM, PP, PMC, IPM, RSKM, and QPM apply to any type of organization, not just software organizations. The CMMI-DEV is for software engineering, hardware engineering, and/or systems engineering organizations. The CMMI-ACQ is for organizations who have outsourced their development and/or maintenance work and are just managing their subcontractors. The CMMI-SVC is for organizations who provide services.

REQM, PP, and PMC are the basic project management Process Areas (Maturity Level 2). IPM and RSKM build on REQM, PP, and PMC to enable the Project Manager to proactively manage the project (Maturity Level 3). And QPM builds on REQM, PP, PMC, IPM, and RSKM to allow the Project Manager to quantitatively manage the project and statistically manage selected sub-processes to achieve the organization’s and project’s quality and process performance objectives.

It might take a little bit of thought and discussion to determine how these Process Areas can be used in a volunteer association, but using the CMMI would be a great place to start

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