Monday, July 7, 2008

Interpretation of GP 3.2 and Associated Evidence

GP3.2 states "Collect work products, measures, measurement results, and improvement information derived from planning and performing the process to support the future use and improvement of the organization¢s processes and process assets."

Do we need to collect measures and have measurement results for all the Process Areas or would just conducting lessons learned at the end of a milestone/phase/project be enough to satisfy the practice? Lessons learned in our case are mostly qualitative comments only and very few quantitative. We have all the planning and tracking related details available in EPM and other associated templates.

Please keep in mind that GP 3.2 is a generic practice and it applies to EVERY Process Area (PA) from Maturity Level 3 and up. It also happens to be one of those compound practices that require multiple things. In this case four different items to collect and feedback into OPF, OPD, and IPM. The advice that I give my clients when preparing the PIIDs for an appraisal is that the process work products you provide for GP 2.6 should be the same work products you are submitting for GP 3.2; the process measures that you use to monitor and control the process in GP 2.8 and the results reviewed with higher management in GP 2.10 should be the measures and measurement results you are submitting in GP 3.2. Therefore, the only additional piece of information required by GP 3.2 is improvement information from planning and performing the process. Sometimes this takes the form of lessons learned, which is an exercise focused on gathering data on what worked, what didn’t work, and what should be changed for future use. There are other ways of collecting this information without conducting a formal lessons learned meeting. But the bottom line is that you are EXPECTED to collect all of these data items for every PA in scope of your implementation and appraisal.

Another point is that these four items are independent of each other and therefore would be collected at different times. Conducting lessons learned meetings at the end of a milestone, phase, or project is a good practice and they don’t have to be quantitative in nature, unless you are at Maturity Levels 4 or 5. What you are trying to do is surface candidate process improvement suggestions from the people who have just used a process.

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