Tuesday, June 3, 2008

ML 2/ML 3 Measurement Objectives

For a Maturity Level 3 organization , is it acceptable if the organization sets its process performance objectives qualitatively? For example reduce testing cycle time , improve productivity, etc. and in OPF SG1, one of sub-practices states that process performance objectives may be expressed either quantitatively or qualitatively. Also would you please explain this clarification linking to ML2- MA - SP 1.1 - Establish measurement objective?

These are good questions, but the best way to receive a decent understanding of the concepts it to attend the SEI’s Introduction to the CMMI class. Intro to CMMI course description Brief answers, such as mine in this blog, will probably only raise more questions that would be better addressed in a classroom setting.

  1. Only for High Maturity organizations (ML 4 and 5) is there an expectation for quantitatively setting process performance objectives. It is acceptable at ML 3 for qualitative objectives. But to fully understand this distinction you really require a good discussion on the expectations for each Maturity Level, which you would receive in the Intro to CMMI class.
  2. A measurement objective is different from a process performance objective. The measurement objectives are the purposes for which measurement and analysis is performed and also specify what kinds of actions may be taken as a result of data analyses. In order to determine the measurement objectives, you first have to describe the information needs. An information need is an insight necessary to manage objectives, goals, issues, risks, and problems. The measurement objective is derived from the information need and it is a statement about what should be measured in order to satisfy the information need. For example, the project manager or other decision maker concerned with allocating budget and associated resources to a task may believe that productivity is related to the type of task being performed. Increasing productivity is then the measurement objective that addresses the defined information need. Determining productivity then requires that entities such as the product and the process be measured. There are many ways that productivity can be computed, but the measurement objective is unaffected by the different methods.

To fully understand these concepts you should take a class on Measurement and Analysis or Practical Software Measurement. Trying to explain these concepts in a paragraph or two does not do the subject justice.

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