SEI CMM Level 3 Is the Defined Level

SEI CMM Level 3 Is the Defined Level

The software process for both management and engineering activities is documented, standardized, and integrated into an organization-wide software process. All projects use a documented and approved version of the organization's process for developing and maintaining software.

Two key process areas (KPAs) for Level 3 deal particularly with process.

Organizational Process Focus

The purpose of organizational process focus is to set up the organizational responsibility for software process activities that improve the organization's overall software process capability. It includes developing and maintaining an understanding of the organizations and projects software processes and coordinating the activities to assess, develop, maintain, and improve these processes.

1.  Software process development and improvement activities are coordinated across the organization.
2.  The strengths and weaknesses of the software processes used are identified relative to a process standard.
3.  Organization-level process development and improvement activities are planned.


1.  The software process is assessed periodically, and action plans are developed to address the assessment findings.
2.  The organization develops and maintains a plan for its software process development and improvement activities.
3.  The organization and projects activities for developing and improving software processes are coordinated at the organization level.
4.  The use of the organization's software process database is coordinated at the organizational level.
5.  New processes, methods, and tools in limited use in the organization are monitored, evaluated, and, where appropriate, transferred to other parts of the organization.
6.  Training for the organization and projects software processes is coordinated across the organization.
7.  The groups involved in implementing the software processes are informed of the organization and projects activities for software process development and improvement.

Organizational Process Definition

The purpose of organizational process definition is to develop and maintain a usable set of software process assets that improve process performance across the projects and provide a basis for cumulative, long-term benefits to the organization. It includes developing and maintaining the organization's standard software process, along with related process assets, such as descriptions of software life cycles, process tailoring guidelines and criteria, the organization's software process database, and a library of software process-related documentation.

1.  A standard software process for the organization is developed and maintained.
2.  Information related to the use of the organization's standard software process by the software projects is collected, reviewed, and made available.

1.  The organization's standard software process is developed and maintained according to a documented procedure.
2.  The organization's standard software process is documented according to established organizational standards.
3.  Descriptions of software life cycles that are approved for use by the projects are documented and maintained.
4.  Guidelines and criteria for the projects tailoring of the organization's standard software process are developed and maintained.
5.  The organization's software process database is established and maintained.
6.  A library of software process-related documentation is established and maintained.

Figure 1, shows the triangle formed by the people, technology, and process determinants of our software project and product success. These are the three main factors that decide the cost of the software produced, the project's performance to schedule, and the ultimate delivered quality of the product. Along with the applicable members of the 34 competencies, this section will provide instruction in these two tools:

1.  The evolution of the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle into a model that is used to evaluate all of the project management and software engineering knowledge areas and processes to clarify what is in place versus what is needed before determining how to proceed.

2.  IEEE 1074-1997, "IEEE Standard for Developing Software Life Cycle Processes", is the most comprehensive tool for determining a software development life cycle and the attendant support processes.
 Project Success Determinants

Process Management Begins at the Front End

Process management starts with defining a project or organizational approach to developing products. The process front end shown in Figure 2, captures all the information that can be used to describe a process. As an ongoing organization, this is a representation of knowledge base of previous project and product metrics and artifacts. For a new organization or an organization "new" to process, this represents the areas to "visit" to gather the information and data needed to establish a product development process. As we define the analysis cycles for process development, this figure will be again used to show the customization of basic processes for the organization.

Process Front End

Process Management Defined

Process management is the discipline of defining, implementing, and maintaining the work processes within an organization. The goal of process management is to create an environment for improving quality and productivity. The foundation of a successful process management system is a defined structure that fits the organization's objective and culture. Building a process management system is a progressive, iterative task that requires a strategic commitment of the organization.

The basic process management principle is this: "The quality of a product (e.g., a software system) is governed by the quality of the process used to produce it". This basic principle, combined with the definition of process, gives us a definition for process management. So, then, process is defined as a management paradigm for increasing quality through:

1.  Formal process definition
2.  Process measurement
3.  Feedback and control
4.  Improvement
5.  Optimization


software process, life cycle, process management
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