Lack of process focus at
Capability Maturity Level 1
Capability Maturity Level 2 +
"Process Excellence" is driven into place
by the Project Sponsor and the Executive
The CMMi Development 3.1 Dashboard is found below.
The Dashboard forms a synthesis from of a body of work for process improvement
in the area of systems development by
the Carnegie Mellon University in the USA.
CMMi is based in essence on the wisdom of W. Edwards Deming and his Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle, his Red Bead Experiment and his 14 Observations for Management amongst other insights. It has been included here to illustrate the game (process focus) that is needed for success.
CMMi Dev 3.1 is one of 4 Dashboards from the CMMi suite which includes process improvement for Development, Services, Acquisition (Procurement) and People.
Hover your mouse over this slide for more
Here again is the simple CM Model
but with process focus on Information Technology / Systems Development.
(I.e. Technology and Process focus as part of the People, Process Technology triad)
Below is the more detailed CM Model
Let's find out how this works
Category: Logical grouping of Process Areas I.e. Project Management, Engineering, Support etc.
Process Area or PA: A Process Area (there are 22 in CMMi Dev 1.3) is a cluster of related practices in an area that, when performed collectively, satisfy a set of goals considered important for making significant improvement in that area.
ML or Maturity level: Degree of process improvement across a predefined set of process areas in which all goals within the set are attained.
SG or Specific Goal: SG's apply to a process area and address the unique characteristics that describe what must be implemented to satisfy the process area.
SP or Specific Practice: SP's are an activity that is considered important in achieving the associated specific goal. The specific practices describe the activities expected to result in achievement of the specific goals of a process area. Specific practices are expected model components.
Step 1. Find the Process, Project, Engineering and Service Management Categories on the left side of the CMMi Dev Dashboard above!
Step 2. Find the Project Planning (PP) and
Project Monitoring and Control (PMC) Process Areas
(PA) within the Project Category. Can you see
that these (PP and PMC) are
Capability Maturity (ML - Maturity Level) 2 processes.
Now can you see that PP and PMC bolster the Execution Process Group in the PMBOK 6 Dashboard?
The link opens up a new tab in your web browser.
Click the previous tab in your browser to return to these steps!
If you have the maturity and capability to run agile at Capability Maturity Level 2 and above
Before you throw away the idea of the PMBOK as no longer relevant, can you see that PP and PMC are also essential in Agile, clearly illustrated in these images from the SCRUM method below. I.e. the Product Owner as "Big Dog" must define requirements (PP), hand these over to the Scrum Master (and scrum team) and then "Big Dog" checks that quality delivery (working software) did in fact happen during the sprint in the "Demonstrate and Validate Sprint" process (PMC). I.e. Scrum sprints are engines to produce outputs defined by the Product Owner in the Product and Sprint backlogs (ranked for quickest / highest value gain) in the form of working software!
Step 3. Now find the Requirements Management
(REQM) Process Area within the Engineering Category. This is a Level 2 process. These, via ITIL
(The IT Infrastructure Library, as best practice dealt with in
more detail within PMWay) Service Catalogues
(for example), will form the process improvements (the glue) that
is needed (by each IT system) for competitive success.
Per Deming, the People, Process and Technology triad is essential, with process the glue that holds the triad together. Put another way, to expand the triad (to improve towards higher productivity and quality), triangle points must be pulled out in a balanced manner, via process improvements focus. I.e. you need to focus on all the points at the same time for success, but starting with process improvements in how people work. Deming insisted that 85 to 97 percent of problems in an organization are the responsibility of management. Once these hit the factory floor there is very little that your people (EVEN YOUR BEST PEOPLE WITH THE BEST WILL IN THE WORLD) can do from the floor to improve their (or the business) situation. I.e. the most valuable process improvements must be engineered back into your systems (via software projects) so that your people can be empowered to use their (the business) technology to better service your valued clients. This must be an empowering and realistic imperative from the very top of the organization!
Pulling together CMMi and the above statement in a nutshell
Can you see it?
Hover your mouse over the image below.
Step 4. Find the Configuration Management (CM) Process Area in the Support Category. This is a Capability Maturity (ML) 2 process.
Step 5. REQM and CM form the essence of the V Model which is shown below.
Step 6. Now find Verification (VER) and Validation (VAL) Process Areas within the Engineering Category.
This is at the heart of bi-directional traceability (illustrated in the V Model above) and involves moving the baseline forward (for quality improvement).
Can you find bi-directional traceability at SP 4.1 from the REQM process within the Engineering Category?
If you take a look at an image from the from latest PMBOK 6, this is the essence of everything that has been said above.
I.e. careful, systematic movement of systems baselines to create business value!
Bonus Step. As a bonus step find RSKM. This is Risk Management and is a CM Level 3 Project Management Category process. PMWay suggests that RSKM is crucial if agile (or traditional) project management is going to be attempted at CM Level 1.
Bonus Step. The MA process from the Support Category will require a Project Management Information System (PMIS) to ensure that TAsking (Time Asking) of a resources time and the production from this time allocation is measured for productivity and quality. Put a PMIS into place and manage it carefully and MA is automatically handled. I.e. as an accounting system automatically handles a consolidation of accounting entries to form your book of account and financial reports.
Conclusion: PMWay's advice
(for both Traditional and Agile Project Management) is to zero in on
PP and PMC
as these CM Level 2 processes are crucial for success. Then make sure that
RSKM is working, even if RSKM is a CM Level 3 process.
On a PMIS RSKM can be handled within the collaborative
environment with escalation to project sponsors for stuff that
the team cannot deal with! Then make sure that PP and
PMC address REQM, CM at CM L2 and
VER and VAL at CM L3. With this in place (and off this firm base) you can start to pull in the other
CMMi processes listed above.
With a well managed PMIS you will automatically dust MA.
CMMi core L2 and core parts of L3 installed.
Quite Easily Done and Dusted!
Everyone is talking about SCRUM which, based on the game of
Rugby, is an excellent agile approach (if followed correctly).
However, PMWay believes that a lot can be learned from the NFL (American National Football League) approach towards creating 'best of the best' professionals with their touchdown scoring culture. How about a Super bowl for the project with the best production stats!
PMWay loves agile!
PRINCE2 Agile, DSDM, SCRUM, XP and other agile method detail is found
within this web. However (when discussing agility without software
engineering savvy), software design, development and deployment
of technology are complex undertakings! According to Frederick P. Brooks (an
American computer architect, software engineer, and
computer scientist) of "No Silver Bullet - Essence
and Accident in Software Engineering" fame, these "can be regarded
as being one of the most difficult undertakings".
In Brooks' Anniversary Edition, some 20 years after the original publication of the Essays on Software Engineering, he again emphasized project complexity and why software development projects, to create "programming systems products" can, if not carefully managed, often become mired in ever-increasing difficulties he called the tar pit of failed software projects. [The La Brea Tar Pits are one of the world's best repositories for fossilized vertebrates. Animals would wander on top of a tar pit (which was hidden through dust, leaves, or other such detritus), and become trapped. Predators, attracted by the struggles of a trapped animal become trapped themselves. Hence, fossilized vertebrates in the tar pit is a metaphor for failed software projects blundering blindly into serious danger from which they cannot escape.]
While SCRUM, DSDM and other pure agile methods are awesome; they really do require Empowered Teams of highly skilled IT staff operating at People Capability Maturity Level 4 (Predictable) for success, if software is mission critical and complexity is an issue!
For complex IT software projects (if
you don't want your projects to flop) PMWay
Agile as the recipe to be followed exactly for
success; and using PMBOK
version 6 for the essential ingredients (carefully
tailored project processes (inputs, tools, techniques
and outputs) excellently and professionally
processed)! In this regard the ancient wisdom of
Aesop's fable of the tortoise and the hare should be kept
in mind. I.e. with complex IT software projects
(and with an understanding of the dangers of the tar pit) to avoid chaos; systematic process based progress (as a checklist), and not heroic action, is best.