Friday, January 30, 2009

Upcoming Events of Interest

This Spring has a number of events of interest to readers of the PPQC Blog.

In March 2009, I will be presenting a paper titled Challenges with Implementing the CMMI in Small Settings at the 2009 SEPG North America Conference in San Jose, CA.

I will be presenting Session ID 2075 on Thursday morning, March 26, 2009. If you will be attending the Conference, please make plans to attend my presentation.

If you can't make it to San Jose in March, perhaps you will be able to attend the CMMI Made Practical conference in London April 28 - 29, 2009. I will be making a presentation titled A Practical Approach to Defining Useful Measures on April 29.

And lastly, if all else fails, I will be teaching a public offering the SEI's Introduction to CMMI class, plus PPQC's Overview of Requirements Management in Stuttgart, Germany May 18 - 21, 2009. If you need to take the Introduction to CMMI class to help you implement the model in your organization or if you will be on an appraisal team, here is your opportunity to take the class in Germany's sixth largest city while enjoying its many hills, valleys, and parks in the evening. You can register for this class at PPQC's German partner KT-BITS' web site. If you attend one of these events, please be sure to introduce yourself. I certainly look forward to meeting you at one of these events.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

CMMI v1.3 Query

I have few questions about the release of CMMI v1.3 expected next year.
  1. We are implementing CMMI v1.2 level 5 this year (first quarter). When the SEI releases v1.3 will there be any changes again in expectation and understanding as it was done in v1.2 for the High Maturity practices.
  2. How will the release of v1.3 affect the ongoing and planned appraisals based on v1.2?
  3. When v1.3 is released next year, can a company directly go from ML5 v1.1 to ML5 v1.3? If so,what will be the impacts?
  4. If the v1.3 updates all three constellations (CMMI-DEV, CMMI-ACQ, and CMMI-SVC) then appraisals based on v1.2 will again be 'NON COMPLIANT with the latest CMMI model version. How will the SEI accomodate the differences?
  5. Is there any pre-release material available?

These are good questions, but they are questions that can only be addressed by the SEI at this time. The SEI Partners and Lead Appraisers only know what the SEI told us in October, which was in general terms. We don’t have any specific information on the contents of v1.3. All that we know is that v1.3 is triggered by the changes necessary to the core CMMI framework to accommodate CMMI-ACQ and CMMI-SVC. The SEI is also include changes to the HM PAs. There will most likely be other changes rolled in as well. But as v1.3 is probably a year in the future, it doesn’t help to speculate on the impacts of v1.3 today.

As with previous model updates, I would fully expect that when the SEI releases v1.3 that there will be a sunset period for v1.2 to address the kinds of issues that you have brought up.

For question #1, it is my impression that there is no change in the HM expectations, just clearer statements of the HM expectations.

And keep in mind that all CMMI Ratings are only good for three years and if the results are posted on the SEI’s site, the model version used for the appraisal is indicated. So for question #4, the appraisal results are not invalidated because the model is updated. It is incumbent upon the organization to remain current on model changes and be prepared to be appraised to the correct version at the renewal date.

The SEI also just made this announcement:

CMMI Version 1.3 News

The Software Engineering Institute is now planning Version 1.3 of the CMMI Product Suite. CMMI Version 1.3 will include updates to the models in all three constellations: Development, Acquisition, and Services. These updates will synchronize the architecture and content of the models as members of the CMMI Product Suite and clarify the high maturity material in all three models. Change requests submitted before March 2, 2009 for CMMI-DEV, CMMI-ACQ, and CMMI-SVC will be reviewed as part of this project. As plans are finalized, more information about CMMI Version 1.3 will become available on the SEI website. The date of the Version 1.3 release is not yet definite, but is likely in 2010.

If you wish to submit a change request for a CMMI model, download and complete the appropriate form and email it to For more information about the CMMI User Feedback process and change request forms, see

In addition, the SEI announced today a webinar on v1.3 scheduled for Feb 10, 2009.

Special Event in the SEI Webinar Series: CMMI Version 1.3 Product Suite

Join us for a Webinar on February 10

Presented by Mike Konrad and Rusty Young

In this webinar session, Mike Konrad, manager of the CMMI Model Team and CMMI Chief Architect, and Rusty Young, manager of the SCAMPI Appraisal Team, will discuss CMMI Version 1.3. Version 1.3 will include updates to the entire CMMI Product Suite and will focus on, but not be limited to:

  1. Clarity of high maturity
  2. More effective generic practices
  3. Appraisal efficiencies
  4. Commonality across the constellations: Development, Acquisition, and Services

This webinar will be the final in-depth communication on Version 1.3 before the change request period is closed. Change requests that are submitted before March 2, 2009 for CMMI-DEV, CMMI-ACQ, and CMMI-SVC constellations will be reviewed as part of this project. As plans are finalized, more information about CMMI Version 1.3 will become available on the SEI website. The date of the Version 1.3 release is not yet definite, but is likely in 2010. SPACES ARE LIMITED! SO, REGISTER NOW!

Special Event in the SEI Webinar Series: CMMI Version 1.3 Product Suite
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM EST
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System RequirementsPC-based attendeesRequired: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista
Macintosh®-based attendeesRequired: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer

Space is limited.Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Small Business and CMMI: Sink or Swim?

For the past two decades, the number of organizations implementing maturity models has steadily increased. While the initial adopters were the large defense, aerospace, and telecommunications corporations, as the benefits of using models like the CMM and now the CMMI were demonstrated and recognized by industry, other smaller organizations followed suit. Of course, with this increased demand, there is also an increased emphasis in implementing the models and appraising organizations with fewer than twenty-six people.

ExecutiveBrief just published this article I wrote about the challenges faced by small organizations trying to implement the CMMI. You read the entire article at

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mock CMMI Appraisal

My Organisation is planning to conduct a CMMi mock assessment soon. Googling for the same has not helped me out so I am asking if you could share the mock assessment questions if possible.

I would assume the reason that your organization would be conducting a CMMI mock appraisal would be to prepare you for the formal SCAMPI A appraisal. Basically a dress rehearsal, which should be led by your Lead Appraiser. What you are asking for is a SCAMPI B appraisal. Do not attempt to conduct this internally without a Lead Appraiser, unless you have someone internally who is a SCAMPI B or C Team Lead.

A dress rehearsal is an excellent exercise to conduct. It helps put everyone at ease and provides practical experience in what to expect for the formal SCAMPI A. Therefore, the interview questions for the mock appraisal should be the same as those asked in a SCAMPI A. But again, these questions should be asked by the Lead Appraiser, otherwise you run the risk of misinterpreting the model, the evidence, or asking inappropriate questions.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Providing Evidence for a SCAMPI Appraisal

If I am an appraisal team member, is it a problem if I am also helping to prepare the evidence for the appraisal?

V1.2 of the SCAMPI Method Definition Document (MDD) does not specify who should prepare the Process Implementation Indicator Descriptions (PIIDs). In practice the PIIDs can be prepared by the project teams, the appraisal team members, or some combination. There are pros and cons for each approach. If done by the project teams, the PIID preparers may not fully understand how the PIIDs will be used by the appraisal team and therefore it could take many iterations to get the PIIDs in an acceptable shape for the SCAMPI. If prepared by the appraisal team, there is the risk that the team members may get too close to the information and lose some of their appraisal objectivity. The best approach is for the project teams and appraisal team members to collaboratively address the Readiness Review issues and prepare the PIIDs. And as a best practice, try to maintain some independence on the appraisal team by having the team members help prepare the PIIDs for PAs other than the PAs assigned to their mini-teams.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Does the SEI issue any certificates?

Does the SEI issue any kind of certificate to the organization who achieves a Maturity Level in a SCAMPI A? Please share any information about it.

The SEI does not issue certificates or certifications. The closest they come is certifying the High Maturity Lead Appraisers.

Since most organizations want to receive some sort of certificate documenting the results of a SCAMPI A appraisal, Lead Appraisers will present something that looks like a certificate to the company indicating the organization being appraised, the date the SCAMPI A concluded, and the appraisal team’s results (Maturity or Capability Level), with the caveat that the results are contingent upon the results of the SEI’s Quality Assurance audit. But nowhere on this form will it indicate certificate. This "certificate" is the unofficial document of the resulting Maturity or Capability Level.

The Appraisal Disclosure Statement is the only valid document of the appraisal results, and if approved for posting by the Appraisal Sponsor and if it passes the SEI’s QA audit, then this is the document that is posted on the SEI’s Appraisal Results web site And keep in mind, these results are only valid for three years from the date the SCAMPI A concluded.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Role of the System Architect

Someone sent me the link to this YouTube video that explains the role of the systems architect.

The message given in this video also addresses the need for proper documentation of requirements, Requirements Management, and Requirements Engineering. The video uses simple roles and examples to clearly illustrate these concepts. Plus it is cute and fun to watch. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What is the Latest News on CMMI-ACQ and CMMI-SVC?

Are there many organizations using the CMMI-ACQ at the moment and what kind of feedback do you have - good or bad?

There doesn’t appear to be much interest in this constellation at this point. I have taught the Intro to CMMI-ACQ supplement one time in the past 12 months. The students were from the US Navy and consultants supporting the Navy. They were very interested in the material and felt that the information was very useful. I think that the CMMI-ACQ is slowly gaining momentum. It is just my perception here in the US that there is not a whole lot of interest in the CMMI-ACQ. There should be a lot of interest in the government sector where most everything is outsourced or acquired. But I just don’t see the interest yet. We heard at the Lead Appraiser workshop in October that Maggie Glover had led the first SCAMPI A using the CMMI-ACQ for an organization in Taiwan. It may take some time to build interest in the CMMI-ACQ. The constellation that appears to be of much more interest and a broader applicability is the CMMI-SVC.

if you are a interested in a comparison of the CMMI- DEV and CMMI-ACQ please visit this site

Is there any news on the CMMI-SVC? I am interested in finding out when the final report comes out.

The CMMI-SVC is scheduled for release in March 2009. Pre-release training is currently available to SEI Partners and will be open to everyone after the March 2009 release.