The SEI CMM and Estimating

The SEI CMM and Estimating

The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Capability Maturity Model (CMM) introduced in "Selecting Software Development Life Cycles" supports activities explained in this section. Software project planning is a key process area for maturity Level 2, the repeatable level. Sizing software products and projects is an element of project planning.

The object of Software Project Planning is to create reasonable plans for performing the software engineering and for managing the software project. Software Project Planning involves developing estimates for the work to be performed establishing the essential commitments, and defining the plan to perform the work. The software planning begins with a statement of the work to be performed and other constraints and goals that describe and bound the software project (those established by the practices of the Requirements Management key process area). The software planning process contains steps to estimate the size of the software work products and the resources required, produce a schedule, identify and assess software risks, and negotiate commitments. Iterating through these steps may be necessary to establish the plan for the software project (i.e., the software development plan). This plan provides the basis for performing and managing the software project's activities and addresses the commitments to the software project's customer according to the resources, constraints, and capabilities of the software project.

- Paulk, Weber, Curtis, and Chrissis, The Capability Maturity Model: Guidelines for Improving the Software Process

Goals of SEI CMM Level 2, Key Process Area (KPA): Software Project Planning (PP)

Goal 1 - Software estimates are documented for use in planning and tracking the software project.

Ability to Perform, associated with KPA PP, Goal 1

Ability 4 - The software managers, software engineers, and other individuals engaged in the software project planning are trained in the software estimating and planning procedures applicable to their areas of responsibility.

Activities Performed

Activity 5 - A software life cycle with predefined stages of manageable size is identified or defined.

Activity 8 - Software work products that are required to establish and maintain control of the software project are identified.

Activity 9 - Estimates for the size of the software work products (or changes to the size of software work products) are derived according to a documented procedure.

1.  Size estimates are made for all major software products and activities.
2.  Software work products are decomposed to the granularity required to meet the estimating objectives.
3.  Historical data is used where available.
4.  Size estimating assumptions are documented.
5.  Size estimates are documented, reviewed, and agreed to.


software products, project planning, software project, life cycle
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