Monday, August 4, 2008

Understanding How Project Planning Evolves from ML 3 to ML 5

The primary difference between project planning at Maturity Level 3 (ML 3) and Maturity Level 5 (ML 5) is how you construct the project’s defined processes. At ML 3 a new project starts from the organization’s set of standard processes and applies the appropriate tailoring criteria or guidelines for the project, based on the project requirements. At Maturity Level 4 (ML 4) and ML 5 a new project first has to define what its quality and process performance objectives are based on the organization’s quality and process performance objectives (QPPOs). Then the project looks at the organization’s set of standard processes and selects the processes or sub-processes that are capable of being quantitatively and statistically managed to achieve the project’s QPPOs using the established Process Performance Baselines and Process Performance Models. These processes and sub-processes are selected based on historical stability and capability data along with the appropriate tailoring guidelines and criteria to construct the project’s defined process.


Anonymous said...

Does it mean that Processes and Tailoring Guideline are expected to be more detailed at level 4? Could somebody elaborate on this?

Henry Schneider said...

Great question. However, behaving as a High Maturity organization does not mean having processes and tailoring guidelines with additional detail. The primary difference with High Maturity is that the organization now has a quantitative understanding of the performance of its processes and it uses this information to select the processes and sub-processes to construct the project's defined process that will be able to achieve the Organization's and Project's Quality and Process Performance Objectives. In addition, this quantitative knowledge is used to predict project performance as well as predict the effects of changing a process. Consequently, the tailoring criteria may be different for ML 4 and ML 5, but there is no expectation of having additional detail.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Henry for the explanation.
But I am still not clear about the level of Process Definition expected:
In QPM, a project composes its defined process, which will enable it to achieve its QPPO. This may involve trying different composition of sub-processes to predict if QPPO can be achieved.
Then shouldn't the OSSP provide options under at least important sub-processes, that will enable the project to optimize for its QPPO?
Ref. Slide 38 of

Henry Schneider said...

To help you better understand ML 4, you need to separate in your mind the concepts of processes, goals and objectives, and techniques. Goals and objectives can be somewhat dynamic in nature. Once they are determined, they may be static for a period of time and then change based on changing business needs, economic factors, regulations, etc. So it is not a good idea to document your goals and objectives in your process documents. Instead you should have a documented process for how you determine goals and objectives. Similarly for quantitative and analystic techniques. Techniques are highly dependent upon the data you are analyzing, the goals and objectives you are trying to meet, the processes, etc. If you were to document all possible analytical techniques in your process documentation, you would run the risk of having an unusable set of processes. Instead you should have a documented process for selecting appropriate analytical techniques that support the QPPOs. Remember, the intent of OPD, which is at ML 3, is to develop a set of USABLE standard processes.

The expectation for QPM is to have a process that specifies HOW to select the sub-processes that will meet the QPPOs and construct the defined process. Each of the processes and sub-processes is supposed to have associated data in the measurement repository that are used to build the Process Performance Baselines (PPBs) and Process Performance Models (PPMs). The processes should specify HOW to construct any PPB and any PPM. Therefore, each process and sub-process should have sufficient data and information that will allow the person performing the QPM process to construct the project's defined process that will support the project's QPPOs. This information is not part of the documented processes in the OSSP, but is contained the measurement repository that supports the OSSP.

Anonymous said...

Thanks once again. That QPPO are not contained in Processes was clear to me earlier, but inclusion of techniques in Process Definition was not.
A project would define process for Requirements Review, based on Review data (say, for reviews by Email Routing or Sampling Inspections) in Measurement Repo. But shouldn't the relevant Process/ sub-process definition in OSSP include HOW the review should be done (Email...or...)?

Now from your explantion, I think there could be Guidelines for usage of those techniques/ tools, which are widely used in orgn. This will keep the Process defn (OSSP) concise and usable.

Just one more point in context of Project Defined Process: Could you explain how QPM implementation differs according to project lifecycle?

Henry Schneider said...

You are asking very good questions, but we are rapidly coming to the point where you need to be hiring and working with a CMMI consultant and/or Lead Appraiser. It appears to me that there are some fundamental concepts that need clarification, and these are beyond the scope of this blog. I will respond to your questions, but I strongly suggest that your organization work directly with your CMMI consultant/instructor/Lead Appraiser to explain these concepts in detail and provide the appropriate implementation and interpretive guidance for your organization.

You talk about the Reqmts Review process as an example. Starting at Maturity Level 3, the CMMI expects that your organization knows how to perform requirements reviews and you should have determined the best way of performing these reviews in your organization. These best practices are what should be included in the organization's OSSP. On moving to Maturity Level 4, the organization should have sufficient data on these best practices to construct PPBs and PPMs for the different approved ways to perform requirements reviews. And yes, the documented processes should state HOW to perform these best practices.

And yes, I recommend that the High Maturity quantitative analysis tools and techniques be documented, but not as part of your documented processes and procedures. The tools and techniques are process assets that aid you in following the documented processes and procedures. This approach makes it very easy to change a tool or technique without having to change the process or procedure.

And lastly, I do not see how there would be any lifecycle dependence on the implementation of QPM. Specific Goal 1 is all about establishing the project's QPPOs, composing the project's defined process, selecting the sub-processes for statistical management, and managing project performance. So there is no lifecycle dependence for SG1. SG2 is all about quantitatively analyzing the performance of the selected processes and sub-processes, so again there is no dependence on the implementation. The only dependence that I can see is that the processes and sub-processes being quantitatively managed may vary depending upon the lifecycle phase. But the QPM implementation would still be the same.

saurabh jhawar said...

can any one tell me the what is PPB and PPM.And how they will help us to achieve the QPPO?

saurabh jhawar said...

What is Process performance baseline and process performance measure ?Which we do first ? and how it helps us to achieve the QPPO?

Henry Schneider said...

Hi Saurabh,

These are extremely fundamental questions about High Maturity. And far too broad to adequately answer in this blog. For you to fully comprehend these concepts you need to take a training class on understanding the high maturity concepts.

Since you work for ValueLabs who achieved ML 5 in December 2013 and you've been working there for almost two years, I am surprised that you are asking these questions. These concepts should have been taught as part of your training to be a PPQA auditor. In addition, ValueLabe should have more than three years experience of deriving QPPOs, managing performance to meet the QPPOs, analyzing the historical data to build the PPBs and PPMs, and using the PPBs and PPMs to determine process performance shortfalls and making appropriate incremental and innovative process changes to address the shortfalls.

Would you please tell me why you are asking these fundamental questions? What you are asking are the types of questions someone who is just beginning to implement High Maturity asks, not someone at a company that is being reappraised to ML 5.