Re: CMMI process documentation

Subject: Re: CMMI process documentation
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2011 10:30:20 -0400

On Tue, 25 Oct 2011 07:35:13 -0400, Kari Gulbrandsen <kkgulbrandsen -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

... Level 3 CMMI certification. I am to write the process documentation, merge [into] existing PMI process definitions, and it just gets worse ...

The Wikipedia entry for CMMI reveals it to be a large nest of floating abstractions. The key to dealing with floating abstractions is to connect them with concrete concepts until you understand what is actually meant. Try to get measurements, including numbers. Several levels of connection may be needed. Use journalism's 5WH method. Expect confusion, obstructions and resistance.

Here are some random pieces of CMMI that I plucked off the Wiki page, with a sample approach I might use if I were stuck having to learn about it:

AVER - Acquisition Verification
-- What is acquisition? What is being acquired? What constitutes verification? Presumably there is a series of steps, and each one of them results in recording of some particular piece of information.

DAR - Decision Analysis and Resolution
-- Who is deciding what? Why are decisions being made, and in what context? What do these terms mean, at all? Why am I confused?

IPM - Integrated Project Management
-- How is this activity distinguished from something else? Why? What explicit benefits are expected? How are they measured? Who does the management, and what happens when the integration results in conflicts over what should be done?

OPD - Organizational Process Definition
-- Why is this kind of definition required? Who defines what? How does anyone know exactly what >is< and what >is not< an organizational process?

In each and every case, there must be some examples. If you cannot find any, then do research until you've got some. Ask your gurus whether you're on target at all. Schemes like this are often very fuzzy.

Be prepared to be told that your digging into the details "is not appreciated", and that "it is preferred" that you deal strictly with the high-level concepts alone. (Note the passive voice there!) That is a sign that the entire project is probably doomed, but that it may generate paychecks for the participants for a few years until the promised return-on-investment cannot be located.

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CMMI process documentation: From: Kari Gulbrandsen

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