Monday, February 16, 2009

Interpreting OPD SP 1.6

While discussing Organizational Process Definition (OPD) Specific Practice (SP) 1.6, we arrived at the following two interpretations for a software development organization:

OPD SP 1.6 "Establish and Maintain Work Environment Standards"

Interpretation 1: Work Environment Standard refers to the environment (Hardware, Software) required by a project for its successful completion. So, if a project mentions its resource requirements (including hardware, software, human resources, trainings, skill set, etc) then it will meet the intent of this practice.

Interpretation 2: We need to explicitly document the "Work Environment Standards of the Organization" for this practice, which includes:

  • Standard Hardware & Software on a machine
  • Standard Hardware & Software configurations on a machine
  • Standard LAN Speed required
  • Stanadard Internet Speed required
  • Standard Temprature
  • Standard Dress Code
  • Emergency Numbers
  • Fire alarms
  • Smoke detectors
Which interpretation is correct?

Reading your question gives me the uneasy feeling that you may have not read the informative material for OPD SP 1.6. The model clearly states that “work environment standards allow the organization and projects to benefit from common tools, training, and maintenance, as well as cost savings from volume purchases.” And then there is a list of 6 examples of work environment standards, which I will repeat here:
  • Procedures for operation, safety, and security of the work environment
  • Standard workstation hardware and software
  • Standard application software and tailoring guidelines for it
  • Standard production and calibration equipment
  • Process for requesting and approving tailoring or waivers

Given this informative material, it is very clear in my mind what constitutes a work environment standard. I would say that your second interpretation is more correct than your first interpretation, though the correct answer is probably a combination of the two. However, I would question why you would include standard temperature, dress code, emergency numbers, fire alarms, and smoke detectors in your work environment standards for software development and maintenance, unless these are safety standards. Do these items affect how you develop software? The work environment standards I typically encounter at a client site include standards for a workstation (including desk, table, chair, computer), a standard software load (including MS Office), standards for the conference rooms (including wired or wireless connections, laptop or desktop, LCD projector, screen, whiteboard, markers, etc.), standards for the development environment, standards for the test environment, and standards for the production environment.

No comments: