Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Covering SAM SP2.2 and SP2.3

I want to ask you about CMMI Supplier Agreement Management (SAM) SP 2.2 Monitor Selected Supplier Processes and SP 2.3 Evaluate Selected Supplier Work Products. I have difficulty in understanding these practices and how to apply them in my company. We have a project that needs to buy new hardware and deliver it to customer.

How can I select and monitor supplier processes in this case?

Can you please explain that to me and give me an example of a supplier process that is applicable in our situation?

The best way to answer this question is to attend the SEI’s Introduction to CMMI 3-day class. During the SAM topic the instructor will explain the difference between these two practices for you. I would also suggest that you read the informative material in the SAM Process Area, for not just these two practices, but all of the Process Areas. The informative material is extremely rich in information, hints, tips, etc. and it provides guidance for understanding the intent of each practice and goal. I would also recommend that you not use the goal and practice titles for anything other than labels. The titles are shortened statements and do not always communicate the correct meaning of the goal or practice.

If you read the informative material for SAM SP 2.2 and SP 2.3 it will be immediately clear to you the differences. And if you still have questions regarding your specific circumstances, I suggest that you ask your SEI-certified Lead Appraiser. Without having a good understanding of your company and how it conducts business, asking specific implementation questions will most likely not provide the correct advice to you.

However, here is a very brief description of the differences between these two practices.

SAM SP 2.2 “Select, monitor, and analyze processes used by the supplier.” You as the acquirer of the supplier’s products or services must define in the supplier’s contract or agreement those specific supplier processes that are critical to your success. You have to state how and when you will be monitoring these critical processes. This practice is done as a risk mitigation to avoid surprises at the end of the contract when the supplier delivers the end product or service. Think of this practice as the acquirer performing PPQA process audits of the supplier’s processes.

SAM SP 2.3 “Select and evaluate work products from the supplier of custom-made products.” If your supplier is only delivering off-the-shelf product to you without any customization, this practice does not apply. However, if your supplier is providing custom-made or modifications to your specifications, then you need to decide which of these products are critical to your success and define those in the supplier’s contract or agreement. You have to state how and when you will be evaluating the products. Think of this practice as the acquirer performing PPQA work product audits of the supplier’s work products.

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