Friday, June 6, 2008

What is IPPD All About?

Would you please explain the basic concepts of IPPD, why, when, where and how to use it? Please try to explain using simple terms not using the cmmi terminology, although down the road that terminology can be referred.

Basically Integrated Process and Product Development (IPPD) is a beefed up version of Intergroup Coordination from the Software CMM and it is intended for use when you assemble a team or teams of people from different groups to work a specific task. For example, if you were to design and build new car, the design team might consist of a propulsion expert, a transmission expert, an interior design expert, an electrical expert, a manufacturing expert, etc. These experts may come from several different departments and have at least two reporting paths, one to the project team for technical issues, one to their home organization for administrative issues, and possibly others. This integrated team is empowered by management to make technical design decisions and there may only be a team lead and not a manager on the team.

Sometimes an organization may use an integrated team for new design, but then the team remains intact for the sustaining engineering phase, which could last for years. In this situation the integrated aspect of the team becomes blurred. According to Mike Phillips/SEI IPPD can apply to almost any type of team as long as you can demonstrate that you are satisfying OPD SG2 and IPM SG3.

Another example of an integrated team is the SEPG. Typically the SEPG exists outside of the normal organizational management and teaming structure. The SEPG is formed by bringing people from different groups together to address the organization’s process improvement needs and objectives.

So, when do you need to use IPPD? When you need to bring together people from different groups to address a specific task or work an issue. If your organization structure is such that the project manager is responsible for both the technical work and the administrative needs of his or her staff, then IPPD probably does not apply. And if you are not being required to demonstrate the IPPD capability by your customers, I would not be concerned about implementing IPPD, unless you feel it is applicable or absolutely necessary.

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