Welcome to the First Issue of the SPIN Newsletter by fdh56iuoui


Spring 2008
                                      Welcome to the First Issue
In This Issue
                                      of the SPIN Newsletter
SPIN This                        2    Welcome to the first issue of the SPIN              featuring the Tampa Bay SPIN and their
                                      Newsletter, a quarterly publication that            involvement with SEPG North America 2008
                                      includes information highlighting you–the           March 17-20. Lastly there will be a “Feature
SPIN Spotlight                   3    global community of SPIN members! Every             Article,” a technical paper that has been pre-
                                      three months, SPIN Coordinators will receive        sented at SPIN meeting. This month we selected
Feature Article                  5    a downloadable PDF via email that they can          Nelson Perez and Ernest Ambrose’s Lessons
                                      distribute. The SPIN Newsletter will also be        Learned in Using Agile Methods for Process
SEPG North America                    posted on the SPIN Web site (www.sei.cmu.           Improvement, which was published in the
                                      edu/go/spins). Share this newsletter with fellow    August 2007 issue of Crosstalk. If you have had
Program Committee                10
                                      chapter members and post it to Web sites and        a great presentation at your SPIN, let me know
                                      blogs as well. Know someone who is interested       and I will include it in a later edition of
                                      in starting a SPIN? This issue includes inter-      the newsletter.
                                      views with Judah Mogilensky and Stan Rifkin,
Contact                               two of the originating SPIN founders, and the
                                      challenges and successes they had in starting
                                                                                          I hope that you enjoy reading each issue of the
                                                                                          SPIN Newsletter. This publication is for you, if
                                      the first SPIN.                                     you have a suggestion for an article just let me
SEI SPIN Coordinator                                                                      know. As always, if there is anything I can do
spin@sei.cmu.edu                      The SPIN Newsletter is a medium for the SPIN        to help your SPIN, or if you have any questions
412-268-2358                          Community to share information. Each edition        regarding the work of the SEI, please contact me
                                      will include “SPIN This,” an interview with an      through the information presented on the left.
SEI Customer Relations                individual SPIN member or members, “SPIN
customer-relations@sei.cmu.edu        Spotlight,” an interview with a SPIN Chapter        Thank you,
412-268-5800                          to highlight their activities. This month, we are   Shane McGraw
SPIN This                                                                                                               Page 2

                           Where did it all start?
                           By: Shane McGraw

                           In the last 17 years, the Software and Systems Process Improvement Network (SPIN)
                           has developed into a global community of 124 chapters covering six continents.
                           The concept of bringing together a group of process professionals for an open
                           exchange of ideas, information, and mutual support was born in the Washington, DC
                           area where the first SPIN meeting was held in 1991. SPINs worldwide continue to
                           identify and spread best practices in software and systems engineering. I recently
                           caught up with two of the key individuals responsible for starting that first SPIN
                           chapter, Judah Mogilensky and Stan Rifkin, to get their account of the challenges and
                           successes they faced in starting the first SPIN. Here is what they recalled:

                           SEI: What caused you to organize the                SEI: How has SPIN helped in your career?
                           first SPIN?                                         JM: Two ways. It helped me network through
                           Judah Mogilensky (JM): The annual SEPG              meeting and connecting with others working in
                           North America Conference (www.sei.cmu.              process improvement. In my work, I am often
                           edu/sepg) is always a strong program, but it we     invited to speak at SPIN meetings and it helps
                           were looking for more as well. We had a local       keep me up-to-date in my field.
                           idea that we could meet and share our experi-       SR: It gives me a chance to hear who I want to
                           ences with process improvement monthly like         listen and learn from.
                           we did at the yearly conference.
                           Stan Rifkin (SR): There was some talk (in 1991)     SEI: How are you involved in SPIN now?
                           that there was not going to be an SEPG Confer-      JM: I attend SPIN meetings when my travel
                           ence (now SEPG North America) so we wanted          schedule allows. I also get invited to speak at
        Judah Mogilensky   to organize a local group that could meet and       various SPIN meetings.
                           share experiences.
                                                                               SR: I consider myself a life-long volunteer of
                           SEI: What role did you play in the Washington       SPIN. Currently, I am the coordinator of the San
                           DC SPIN start-up?                                   Diego SPIN (http://www.sdspin.org/).

                           JM: I was the facilitator in the visioning          SEI: What advice do you have for SPIN Chapters
                           workshop. This was where we set the mis-            today?
                           sion (which still is… A leadership forum for the
                           free and open exchange of software process          JM: Keep your program fresh and in-touch
                           improvement experiences and practical ideas.        with the issues of today. Also, limit your organi-
                           We promote achieving higher levels of process       zational structure.
                           maturity, software quality, and mutual respect.     SR: Have no officers and no dues! Stay away
                           Our goal is to help sustain commitment and          from the money and stay focused on content.
                           enhance skills through an active program of         Some SPINs have large steering committees
        Stan Rifkin
                           networking, publications, recognition of excel-     that meet once a month to discuss finances.
                           lence, and mutual support) and vision of the        We meet once a year and plan our whole year
                           Washington DC SPIN.                                 events because we do not have to worry about
                           SR: I was responsible for arranging the program     finances.
                           for our monthly meetings. We would plan events      I extend my sincere thanks to Stan and Judah.
                           for up to one year. It was (and still is) a chal-   They blazed a trail that many of us have benefit-
                           lenge on where to set the dial because people       ted from! If you have questions for Judah or
                           are at different levels of process improvement      Stan, you can contact them at:
                           knowledge and in their needs. It’s never a static
                                                                               Judah Mogilensky: Judah@pep-inc.com
                                                                               Stan Rifkin: sr@Master-Systems.com
   SPIN Spotlight                                                                                                                            Page 3

Tampa Bay SPIN Preparing for SEPG North America 2008
By: Shane McGraw and the Tampa Bay SPIN Steering Committee

                                Tampa Bay

In this first edition of the SPIN News-           SEI: When was your SPIN founded and when            Due to our location we’re fortunate to have
                                                  do you meet?                                        fairly easy access to SEI Fellow, Watts Hum-
letter, we shine the SPIN spotlight on
                                                                                                      phrey who lives just down the coast in Sarasota.
Tampa Bay. With SEPG North America                Tampa Bay SPIN Steering Committee (SC): The         Watts is a welcome friend of the Tampa SPIN.
                                                  Tampa Bay SPIN was founded in the late 90’s
2008 coming to town in March, they have                                                               He visited and spoke to us on more than one
                                                  by a handful of people committed to develop-        occasion – our challenge is finding a date he
been busy preparing for the conference,           ing strategies for working smarter not harder       is available – he really keeps busy!
reviewing abstracts, and spreading the            via process improvement. The goal was and is
                                                  to learn how others approach the process im-        SEI: How is the Tampa Bay SPIN preparing for
word! I recently caught up with the
                                                  provement space and sharing lessons learned.        SEPG North America 2008?
members of the Tampa Bay SPIN Steer-              The handful of people who started the SPIN          Tampa Bay SPIN SC: We’re excited to have the
ing Committee to get a bit of their SPIN          have since moved away or retired from this field    SEPG North America conference right here in
                                                  of work. Now the distribution list has grown
history, see how they run their meetings,                                                             Tampa this year. We have been busy distribut-
                                                  from a handful to a few hundred participants        ing conference materials out to the community
and highlight some of their activities.           representing a wide variety of firms across the     and raising awareness for the show. We have
The Tampa Bay SPIN Steering Commit-               greater Tampa/St Petersburg area.                   a SPIN Meeting planned a few days before the
tee is made up of the following members:          The Tampa Bay SPIN meets quarterly at the           show to kind kick things off for our members.
Robert Shaw of Time Customer Service,             beautiful K-Force corporate headquarters            We also hope to sponsor an evening event to
                                                  located in a section of town called Ybor City – a   show off our area to those of you planning to
Kristine Chapman of Nielsen Media                 little version of New Orleans (if you’re planning   visit. Stop by our Tampa Bay SPIN booth in the
Research, Scott Mandel of Raytheon,               to attend the SEPG conference, Ybor City is a       Exhibit Hall to learn more about the SPIN, what
Jay Brown of Jay Solutions, Patrick               must see). Quarterly meetings include a full        we do and what you should do and see while
                                                  buffet style dinner and a presentation. Speakers    in Tampa! We look forward to meeting SPIN
Mawyer of First Advantage Corporation,            included notable experts who address topics         members from around the country and hope to
and Naomi Gee.                                    such as starting and sustaining a measurement       learn and share with other SPIN groups.
                                                  program, ITIL, and working with high maturity
                                                  offshore firms. Sessions are fun and informative    SEI: How is Tampa SPIN raising awareness
I want to thank each one of them for their        and serve as a way to network and learn what        of SEPG North America 2008 in the Tampa
commitment to running a successful SPIN           each other are doing well (and not so well).        community?

and their hard work and effort in making          In 2006, the SPIN added value by aligning with      Tampa Bay SPIN SC: We’ve been commu-
                                                  an SEI Partner to provide the Introduction to       nicating with not only our members but also
SEPG North America 2008 the success                                                                   about a dozen other groups including the local
                                                  CMMI course taught by Sandra Cepeda, a
we know it will be!                               contributing author of the model. By arrang-        PMI chapter (Project Management Institute),
                                                  ing for the class to be offered through locally     ABPMP (Association of Business Process
                                                  participating companies, SPIN organizers saved      Management Professionals) and MPA (Micro-
                                                  our members travel expenses as they received        soft Project Association). We have also added
                                                  required training by a leading expert. This was     an online banner to our web site showing the
                                                  a win-win for everyone!                             benefits of attending SEPG North America 2008.
                                                                                                                          Continued on the next Page
   SPIN Spotlight continued                                                                                                         Page 4

                                                                                                        A Special Reprint:
                                                                                                       “Lessons Learned in
                                                                                                        Using Agile Methods...”
                                                                                                        The following article
                                                                                                        was reprinted with the
                                                                                                        permission of Crosstalk.
                                                                                                        The presentation material
Tampa Bay SPIN Preparing for SEPG 2008                                                                  was delivered to the
For our assistance in preparing for the show the   SEI: What is the impact you have on Tampa IT         Washington DC SPIN
SEI has graciously extended a limited number       community?
of discounts to our SPIN members. So we’re
                                                                                                        by Mr. Nelson Perez and
                                                   Tampa Bay SPIN SC: We bring together local
expecting a good showing at the conference         Process Improvement savvy individuals from
                                                                                                        Mr. Ernest Ambrose.
from Tampa Bay SPINners.                           many different industries, from Publishing, Gov-
                                                   ernment, Defense, Media, Finance/Investment,
                                                                                                        Mr. Perez has also presented
SEI: What are some of your popular meeting
topics? How are they relevant?                     Manufacturing, Simulation, Consulting, Manu-         the material, or parts of
Tampa Bay SPIN SC: Measurement and other
                                                   facturing and Food/Groceries. This provides for      the material, to the Atlanta,
                                                   a great and diverse discussion group and ideas
common process models have been popular            to learn from!
                                                                                                        Seattle and Dayton SPINs
topics. Many companies are pursuing multiple                                                            over the last few months.
avenues to implement process improvement           SEI: Anything else you would to add about your
in different business units. Common models         SPIN?                                                If you are interested in
include: ITIL, CMMI, ISO and Six Sigma. In
August, Jack Lawrence of Integrated Systems
                                                   Tampa Bay SPIN SC: With a tight economy              having the presentation
                                                   and always competitive business environment
Diagnostic, Inc, shared about their work on a      “how” we do things continues to be nearly
                                                                                                        at your SPIN please contact
“single event” assessment to address multiple      as important as “what” we do. Continuing to          Mr. Perez (see contact
models. It’s an interesting approach to a prob-
lem many firms are facing.
                                                   pursue excellence and improve the way we do          information at the end
                                                   things proves to be a challenge we’re all faced
                                                   with through the entirety of our careers. If you
                                                                                                        of the article).
                                                   are not part of a SPIN, you’re missing out on a
                                                   super opportunity to learn from your local peers;
                                                                                                        The views expressed are
                                                   consider joining or starting a SPIN today!           those of the authors and
                                                   If your SPIN is doing something you would like       do not necessarily reflect
                                                   to have the spotlight on it next… just let me        those of the Carnegie Mellon
                                                   know at spin@sei.cmu.edu!
                                                                                                        Software Engineering
Feature Article                                                                                                                                                                                    Page 5

                                   Lessons Learned in Using Agile Methods
                                          for Process Improvement
      Nelson Perez                                                                                                                                                 Ernest Ambrose
      Sierra’s Edge, Inc.                                                                                                                                        MORI Associates, Inc.

                       This article presents lessons learned from a process improvement (PI) effort that took an organization from no formal process
                       capability to the implementation of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Capability Maturity Model Integration
                       (CMMI®) using the continuous representation with a focus on the staged representation’s Maturity Level 2 (ML2) process
                       areas (PAs). This article summarizes techniques that were used to reduce the overall time to achieve institutionalization of
                       new processes as well as what worked and what could be further improved.

      W      hen an organization decides to
             newly embark on PI, there are sev-
      eral issues that influence the amount of
                                                                    At MORI, the organization was fully
                                                                committed to the change process. This
                                                                commitment began at the top with the
                                                                                                                                   processes without impacting their cus-
                                                                                                                                   tomer commitments. Along the way, the
                                                                                                                                   staff also contributed some of their per-
      effort involved and the effective timeline                sponsor, President/Chief Executive                                 sonal time, such as conducting software
      to achieve a particular PI goal. Lessons                  Office of MORI, Shahnaz Deldjoubar,                                engineering process group (SEPG) meet-
      gleaned from the software development                     and continued through upper manage-                                ings during lunch and attending after-
      world in the use of incremental or itera-                 ment and out to the staff. The sponsor                             hours training sessions. The areas that
      tive approaches can be applied to any                     had all projects perform an in-depth                               involved the greatest effort were require-
      type of project to achieve similar results,               analysis of the impact to effort,                                  ments documentation and traceability,
      including PI. With proper planning, the                   resources, and schedule. Their highest                             configuration management, and project
      end goal can be reached in a greatly accel-               priority was their established commit-                             planning and monitoring.
      erated fashion. Effective planning is not                 ments to their customers in terms of                                   A summary of the effort involved for
      the only element, however, that should be                 agreed-upon deliveries, services, and                              process development is shown in Table 1,
      considered when reducing duration or                      schedules. The projects were able to                               while the impact felt after process rollout
      budget.                                                   update their plans to implement the new                            is shown in Table 2.
          This article examines the approach                                                                                          Table 1. Process Development Effort
                                                                Table 1: Process Development Effort                                   Table 1. Process Development Effort
      taken at MORI Associates on a PI effort
      that not only met its goals but exceeded                                                                                                                                   Effort
      the expectations of all involved. With                                             Activity                                       Responsible Party                        Effort
                                                                                         Activity                                       Responsible Party                        Hours
      about 75 employees spread across seven                                                                                                                                     Hours
      projects, MORI provides information
      technology, engineering, and operations                     Develop Processes, Policies, and Work                            Consultant                                        647
                                                                  Develop Processes, Policies, and Work                            Consultant                                        647
                                                                  Product Templates
      services for government agencies and                        Product Templates
      private industry. Included herein are
      some of the techniques employed and                         Meetings, Process Changes, and SEPG                              Consultant                                        186
                                                                  Meetings, Process Changes, and SEPG                              Consultant                                        186
      lessons learned along the way.                              Bootstrap

      Be Prepared to Make a                                       Review, Approve, and Revise Process
                                                                  Review, Approve, and Revise Process                              SEPG, Steering Committee,
                                                                                                                                   SEPG, Steering Committee,                         404
                                                                  Assets                                                           Sponsor
      Significant Commitment
      Before we examine methods to reduce
                                                                  Total                                                                                                              1237
      effort and duration, we should discuss
      the costs and impact involved in a PI
      effort. Depending on the amount of new                    Table 2: Process Implementation Effort for Projects and Organization
                                                                                                   Table 2. Process Implementation Effort for Projects and Organ
                                                                                                   Table 2. Process Implementation Effort for Projects and Organ
      processes involved, there can be a con-
      siderable amount of effort required on
      the part of management, project staff,                                                                                                                                   Effort
                                                                                           Activity                                    Responsible Party
                                                                                                                                       Responsible Party
      and the overall organization. This com-
      mitment will start with the PI effort plan-
      ning stage, increase substantially as the                   Training and Mentoring
                                                                  Training                                                           Consultant                                 167
      projects implement new processes, and
      produce new and potentially large and                       Training and Mentoring
                                                                  Training                                                           Organization                               251
      unexpected work products (e.g., require-
      ments documents and requirements                            Implement New Project-Specific Processes
                                                                  Implement                                                          Projects                                   724**
      traceability matrices) and will continue                    (38 work products)
      even after the appraisal as these process-
      es become part of the new way of doing                      Implement New Organizational Processes
                                                                  Implement                                                          SEPG, Steering                              54
      business.                                                   (8 work
                                                                  (8 work products)                                                  Committee, Sponsor
          CMMI is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark
          Office by Carnegie Mellon University.                  * Effort represents average per
                                                                 * Effort represents average per project over a nine-month window for maintaing Web-enabled Management Information Systems.
                                                                                                                                                                       Information Systems.

      August 2007                                                                                                                                                       www.stsc.hill.af.mil   7

                                                                                                                        I      l        t ti
                                                                                                                                           i       St t
                                                                                                                                                   S                F            t
Featured Article (Continued)                                                                                                                                      Page 6

      Stories of Change

          In comparing this consultant-centric                        Our PI effort planned on implementing          Although this order was generally fol-
      and Agile-based approach to what is                         an incremental development model but           lowed, some of the processes and associ-
      expected by an established CMMI esti-                       ended up implementing an incremental/          ated work products were actually created
      mation model, it is 30 percent more effi-                   iterative model. The process development       and released in an iterative manner while
      cient than the most optimistic CMMI                         sequence was planned to ensure that long       others were developed out of cycle, as
      process development estimate [1, 2].                        lead items would be kicked off first (in our   some portions of their policies and work
                                                                  case documenting requirements and creat-       products were prototyped for use by the
      Outsource Process                                           ing a requirements traceability matrix for     SEPG, followed by pilots on select pro-
      Development to Reduce                                       each project) followed in importance by        jects and further iterated on as feedback
                                                                  what seemed like a logical order based on a    was generated.
      Impacts to Staff                                            typical development life cycle. The
      Enlisting a consultant to develop your                                                                         In running the effort as a project,
                                                                  approach used the continuous representa-       reports on project progress, risks, and
      process assets can be helpful when the                      tion of the CMMI model. We chose a tar-
      capability or PI experience is lacking or the                                                              issues should be made to the organiza-
                                                                  get profile of the staged representation’s     tion’s upper management, including the
      staff is too busy to devote the time need-                  ML2 PAs at Capability Level 3 (CL3),
      ed to develop process assets. At MORI, all                                                                 sponsor, on a periodic basis. In our case, a
                                                                  Decision Analysis and Resolution (DAR) at      monthly project management review
      process assets were developed by an exter-                  CL3, and Organizational Process Defini-
      nal consultant with each PA requiring an                                                                   (PMR) was implemented and a PMR slides
                                                                  tion (OPD) and Organizational Process          template was developed. The PMR slides
      average of 80 consulting hours to develop,                  Focus (OPF) at CL1. We also created a
      including 77 hours to plan the effort.                                                                     template was developed in an iterative
                                                                  template to document project requirements      fashion, as the effort progressed. Kicking
      Consulting time was divided among
      process development (65 percent); men-                                                                     off the PMR process with monthly
      toring and training (16.5 percent); and
      meetings, action items and PIs (18.5 per-                       “Regardless of who is                      reviews of the PI effort helps accomplish
                                                                                                                 quite a few objectives. It communicates
                                                                                                                 progress to the sponsor while planting the
      cent). With only a 65 percent availability to
      develop processes, a four-month calendar
                                                                    developing the process                       seeds of the new PMR process, familiariz-
                                                                                                                 ing them with the format, and creating a
      (assuming 159 man hours per calendar
      month) effort required about six months.
                                                                    assets, start prototyping                    more formal review process. Having the
      In the absence of a full-time consultant,
      companies might assign one or more per-
                                                                   processes from the very                       project leaders participate early on allows
                                                                                                                 them to learn by example, even before the
      sons to each PA. Assuming a staff of                         beginning by treating the                     process has been documented.
      seven (i.e., one person per PA) and a 20
      percent availability (eight hours per week),                  CMMI effort as a pilot                       Pilot Key Processes in an
      it should take about three months to devel-                                                                SEPG
      op all the processes. However, most staff                      project, experimenting                      Use the SEPG to prototype several of
      assigned to process development tend to                                                                    the high return on investment (ROI)
      be pulled off to perform their normal                         with processes that can                      processes and templates.
      responsibilities. Availability usually shrinks                                                                 Prototype an action item management
      to 5 percent (two hours per week) and                             be adapted and                           process and action item log template
      sometimes to zero for extended lengths of                                                                  (PMC), create a process change manage-
      time. At 5 percent, process development                      eventually transitioned to                    ment process and process change request
      with a staff of seven can stretch from                                                                     (PCR) forms (OPF), define process stan-
      three months to as many as 12 months or                          the organization.”                        dards (OPD), and define meeting agendas
      more. With a consultant, the process                                                                       and minutes (PMC) which can be applied
      development schedule can become more                        for the Requirements Development (RD)          to many types of meetings. Once the
      deterministic and the staff can stay                        PA. Supplier Agreement Management was          SEPG processes have stabilized, tailor the
      focused on their projects and the new                       deemed not applicable (N/A) and con-           process change management process and
      effort involved. At MORI, the five-person                   firmed by our lead appraiser. Although a       templates to suit the REQM and CM
      SEPG committed about 8 percent of their                     continuous representation was chosen to        change control processes. Tailor the meet-
      time in support of the process develop-                     execute the PI project, the actual goal was    ing agenda and minutes template to use
      ment effort and the percentage of time                      to achieve a staged representation ML2 rat-    for project staff and customer meetings,
      rises to about 13 percent when you include                  ing.                                           for the software configuration control
      training and mentoring activities.                               The planned order of process devel-       board (CCB) and the requirements CCB.
                                                                  opment was the following:                      Define metrics to track project and SEPG
      Run the CMMI Effort as an                                   1. OPD, OPF, DAR.                              activity. Discuss and track schedule
      Agile Project and Use It to                                 2. Requirements Management (REQM)              progress and issues with the SEPG. Reuse
      Pilot Key Concepts and Tools                                     + Requirements Template.                  these metrics to track project effort,
      Regardless of who is developing the                         3. Project Planning (PP).                      schedule, and activities.
      process assets, start prototyping process-                  4. Project Monitoring and Control                  In our case, the project leads were so
      es from the very beginning by treating the                       (PMC).                                    excited about having certain tools, espe-
      CMMI effort as a pilot project, experi-                     5. Configuration Management (CM).              cially an electronic way to track and man-
      menting with processes that can be                          6. Process and Product Quality Assur-          age action items, they piloted them with-
      adapted and eventually transitioned to                           ance (PPQA).                              out being asked, adapting them to suit
      the organization.                                           7. Measurements and Analysis (MA).             their own needs well in advance of the

      8 CROSSTALK The Journal of   Defense Software Engineering                                                                                     August 2007
Featured Article (Continued)                                                                                                                                                   Page 7

                                                                                                        Lessons Learned in Using Agile Methods for Process Improvement

      development of the associated work                             survey current industry for examples of        out being encumbered with the need to
      product templates. Their early adoption                        policies, processes, work products, tools,     become process experts, especially if
      efforts helped identify issues and greatly                     and lessons learned. It is possible to ben-    they lack the capability to develop their
      reduced the PI effort duration and risk.                       efit from the works of established             own detailed processes, as is the case with
          When asked for a list of the employ-                       processes, but approach with caution as        many organizations just starting down
      ees’ most useful/important new tools                           not all examples will necessarily fit your     the road of PI. Providing detailed PA
      and processes, the following is the feed-                      organization. At MORI, the Internet was        process descriptions and procedures as
      back we received:                                              used to research example policies; earned      well as standard forms, templates, and
      • Action Item Log.                                             value management, risk management, and         infrastructure (e.g. common project
      • Weekly Status Meetings.                                      example DAR processes; lessons learned         repository folder structure, CM library,
      • PMR.                                                         templates; change request forms; configu-      and defect tracking tools) makes the job
      • Schedule Tracking.                                           ration identification and naming conven-       of project participants and upper man-
      • Change Control.                                              tions; and baseline tagging techniques.        agement easier, especially when moving
      • Metrics and the project measurement                                                                         from project to project. It speeds institu-
          repository.                                                Leverage Industry Standards                    tionalization and simplifies the appraisal
                                                                     Use industry-accepted standards for docu-      process. Processes were documented
      Identify and Implement                                         mentation instead of creating your own.        from the union of the classic IBM ETVX
      High-Impact Technology                                         MORI purchased the Institute of                (entry, task, verification, exit) and Watts
                                                                     Electrical and Electronics Engineers           Humphrey’s ETXM (entry, task, exit,
      Improvements                                                   (IEEE) Software Engineering Collection         measure) process architectures to yield an
      During PI planning, determine if there are
                                                                                                                    ETVXM (entry, task, verification, exit,
      PAs that could benefit from the acquisition
                                                                                                                    measure) process architecture, where
      and integration of third-party support
      products to streamline what otherwise                                    “The value of                        both measures and verification steps aug-
                                                                                                                    ment the description of the entry and
      might be manually intensive processes.
      MORI decided to focus on acquiring tools
                                                                      documentation standards                       exit criteria and tasks to be performed
                                                                                                                    [4]. If going for CL3, remember to add
      to automate CM and defect tracking in the
      near term and possibly address require-
                                                                       such as those produced                       explicit tailoring instructions to fully sat-
                                                                                                                    isfy Generic Practice (GP) 3.1 and ensure
      ments management in the long term.                               by the IEEE is that they                     the organization collects best practice
          To facilitate the acquisition process,
                                                                                                                    examples for its process asset library.
      develop and roll out a high-quality DAR                             are a result of the
      process to the SEPG. MORI used a DAR
                                                                                                                    Be CMMI Friendly
      process using an agreed upon set of eval-                         collaboration of many                       Make some of your processes and work
      uation criteria to acquire a freeware CM
                                                                                                                    products CMMI friendly and, hence,
      tool. Although the product review and                           leading industry experts.                     appraisal-friendly; show how they map to
      selection process was detailed, thorough,
                                                                                                                    each PA. For example, in meeting agen-
      and extensive, there were some unexpect-                               By using such                          das and minutes, create subsections for
      ed issues that arose after the tool was
      installed.                                                          standards, you are                        each PA. This will help guide important
                                                                                                                    discussions while providing quite a bit of
          Employ prototyping or simulation
      techniques when evaluating these critical                           leveraging a larger                       indirect evidence across several PA’s. To
                                                                                                                    simplify the appraisal, create project sum-
      products. Several issues with the CM sys-
      tem could have been avoided if we had,                             pool of expertise...”                      mary presentations that show how each
                                                                                                                    PA is satisfied. Although the Standard
      for example, prototyped check-in and
                                                                                                                    CMMI Appraisal Method for Process
      check-out procedures for each candidate                        [3]. The value of documentation stan-          Improvement         (SCAMPI)       Method
      CM system solution. When we experi-                            dards such as those produced by the            Definition Document suggests creating
      enced these types of issues, we updated                        IEEE is that they are a result of the col-     presentations as a way to increase
      the DAR process (through a process                             laboration of many leading industry            appraisal related oral affirmations [5],
      change request and the SEPG) to identify                       experts. By using such standards, you are      providing direct mappings to each PA
      more precise product evaluation criteria                       leveraging a larger pool of expertise rather   within the presentation helps simplify the
      and incorporate simulation and prototyp-                       than trying to come up with an internally      job of the appraisal team when it comes
      ing as a requirement when selecting simi-                      produced standard, resulting in consider-      to the verification of objective evidence
      lar products. This lesson learned was then                     able savings.                                  (of oral affirmations).
      applied to the evaluation of the defect
      tracking system where simulation of the                        Implement Defined
      change state model was applied to the can-
                                                                                                                  Outsource QA, Ensure Your
                                                                     Processes                                    Designated QA Lead Is
      didate products.                                               Develop organizational standard process-
                                                                     es (i.e. define critical processes at a CL3 Objective, and Keep QA
      Leverage the Internet for                                      level of detail) and tools that include tai- Checklists Simple
      Process Development                                            loring guidelines instead of flowing down      An area that is often a challenge for most
      Information                                                    detailed process decisions to each pro-        organizations new to process is QA. As
      Leverage the resources of the Internet to                      ject, as is the case for an ML2 organiza-      Juran has noted, while companies are
                                                                     tion (under the staged CMMI approach).         generally experts in their particular disci-
                                                                     This frees projects to do their work with-
           SCAMPI is a service mark of Carnegie Mellon University.                                                  pline such as product development, they

      August 2007                                                                                                                                   www.stsc.hill.af.mil   9
     Feature Article (Continued)                                                                                                                                           Page 8
nts average per project over a nine month window for maintaing Web enabled Management Information Systems.

             Stories of Change

                                                                                                                           impacts to projects, the project leads
                                        Implementation Status vs. Forecast                                                 worked with the PI consultant to negoti-
                                                                                                                           ate the projected completion dates of
                100%                                           Table 1. Process Development Effort                         each of the work products associated
                 80%                                                                                  % Complete of        with the new processes. Using a simple
                 60% Activity                                                                         SEI CMMI Level 2
                                                                                                     Effort                spreadsheet-based tool, the projects and
                                                                  Responsible Party                                        the organization were able to tie the com-
                 40%                                                                                Hours
                                                                                                                           pliance status of each of the specific and
                 20%                                                                                  Status               generic practices of each PA to the
 Develop Processes, Policies, and Work                      Consultant                                647
 Product Templates 0%                                                                                                      expected and actual completion dates of
                                                                                                                           their associated work products. By initial-
                   Ap -06

                   De -06
                   Ju 06
                   M -06

                   Au 6

                   Ja 06
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                   M r-06

                    Ju 6

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                   Fe 07
                                                                                                                           izing the tool with expected work prod-
                   Se -06
                   Oc 06

 Meetings, Process Changes, and SEPG                        Consultant                                186







 Bootstrap                                                                                                                 uct completion dates, monthly compli-

                                                                                                                           ance goals were automatically generated.
               Figure 1: MORI Associates’ Process and CMMI Forecast Committee, Profile
 Review, Approve, and Revise Process                        SEPG, Steering    and Compliance          404                      This tool effectively creates a hybrid
 Assets “lack expertise in the ‘quality disciplines’ – implementation status as you roll out the PIID that not only reports CMMI com-
Compliance of PAs Leading Up To Appraisal – Work Product Completion Perspective                                            pliance but also allows projects to track
               the methodology, skills, and tools required processes. Use a high quality lead apprais-
 Total to plan for quality” [6]. PPQA is a PA that er to perform a gap 1237                                                the monthly status of the direct and indi-
                                                                                                       analysis of the
 Process Areas June 2006                           July 2006     August 2006       September 2006                          rect artifacts needed to satisfy the PA
               is more open ended in terms of the details processes and validate the PIID mappings.
        REQM its specific practices. Many companies 98%
               of                94%                 98%             Interpreting the model100% in the context of specific and generic practices. This hybrid
                                               Table 2. Process Implementation Effort for Projects and Organization uses the work product status data
           PP                    97%                 98%
               find it a challenge to implement, and it is 100%                            100%
                                                                                                                           entered in by the project leads to calcu-
          PMC                                        95%
               often found93% be a weakness during 96%
                                    to                                                     100%
           CM  appraisals. Common issues uncovered are 88%
         PPQA QA training is not properly addressed, 84%
                                 75%                 80%
                                                                 Responsible Party    “The overall forecast
                                                                                                                           late a percentage of compliance for each
                                                                                                                           PA and allows the project leads and orga-
           MA  that audits are not performed until right 96%
                                 66%                 96%                         defines expected monthly
                                                                                                                           nization to determine if they are meeting
                                                                                                                           the planned forecast and still on track to
 Training before the appraisal and thus not institu-
                and Mentoring                                 Consultant                           167
               tionalized, objectivity is not achieved, and                       process implementation                   achieve the overall PI effort as planned.
                                                                                                                           This tool also generates an expected
 Training audits of the audits are overlookedOrganization
                and Mentoring                                  (i.e.                               251
               GP2.9 for PPQA is not covered). This is                             goals for each PA (in                   appraisal-readiness date for the PI effort
                                                                                                                           and can be used as an input to revise the
               typically the case for organizations lacking
 Implement New Project-Specific Processes Projects
 (38 workdedicated QA resources.
                                                                                  terms of work product
                                                                                                   724*                    PI plan and schedule.
                                                                                                                               A good way to visualize this is
                    There are some short-term solutions:
               Assign an acting QA lead, distribute the Steering
 Implement New Organizational Processes                       SEPG,
                                                                                 completion) and predicts
                                                                                                                           through an example. Let us say that a spe-
                                                                                                                           cific practice requires four distinct work
               audit responsibilities across the company,
 (8 work products)
               and consider outsourcing some of the
                                                              Committee, Sponsor
                                                                                 the overall target date to                products to be generated in order for the
                                                                                                                           practice to be fully implemented and
                                                careful about out-
               audits. However, benine-month window for maintaing Web-enabled Management Information Systems.
* Effort represents average per project over a
               sourcing QA. MORI learned that if QA                                reach full compliance                   therefore compliant with the CMMI. Let
               audits are outsourced and the QA lead is                                                                    us also assume that each work product
               not totally independent of the projects, it                        with the CMMI model.”                    takes a month to create and is to be cre-
               is necessary to have the consultant check                                                                   ated in a serial fashion. The forecasted
               back to ensure issues were addressed many different approaches is a continual compliance trend would then be 25 per-
                                                       Implementation Status vs. Forecast
               properly and in the appropriate time- challenge. It is best to have an experienced cent, 50 percent, 75 percent, and 100 per-
               frame. Also, make sure QA auditors are set of eyes looking at the PIID.                                     cent across this four month time period.
               trained in the processes and work prod-                                                                     One
                                                                                                                   % Complete of could then collect the actual status
                                 60%                                                                                        Level 2
                                                                                                                   SEI CMMIof each of these work products from
               ucts they audit.                                      Forecast and Track CMMI
                                 40%                                                                                       each project as it progresses and average
               Create the Practice                                   Compliance for the Life ofImplementation statuses each month to visualize the
                                 20%                                                                               Status
                                                                                                                           organization’s progress toward full com-
               Implementation Indicator                              Each Project and the
                                   0%                                                                                      pliance for the practice. For long-lead
               Database (PIID) Early and                             Organization                                          work products, such as the requirements
                                                                     Forecasting process implementation
                                   Ap 06

                                   De -06
                                   Ju 06
                                   M -06

                                   Au 6

                                   Ja 06
                                   Fe 06

                                   M 6

                                    Ju 6

                                   No -06

                                   Fe 07
                                   Se -06
                                   O 06

                                                                                                                           traceability matrix (RTM), status tracking

               Get It Validated By a





                                                                     helps an organization track its progress





                                                                                                                           could be made more granular by report-

               Competent Lead Appraiser                              and assess its appraisal readiness. As part
                                                                                                                           ing progress at the product component
               Create the PIID early and use it to track of the sponsor’s request to evaluate the
                                                                                                                           level, for example.
                 Compliance of PAs Leading Up To Appraisal                   Work Product Completion Perspective The overall forecast defines expected
 Table 3.Table 3: Compliance of PAs Leading Up to Appraisal ––Work ProductCompletion Perspective
                                                                                                                           monthly process implementation goals for
                  Process Areas               June 2006      July 2006       August 2006            September 2006         each PA (in terms of work product com-
                        REQM                     94%            98%               98%                       100%
                                                                                                                           pletion) and predicts the overall target date
                                                 97%            98%              100%                       100%
                                                                                                                           to reach full compliance with the CMMI
                                                 93%            95%               96%                       100%
                                                                                                                           model. This self-assessment also helps
                          CM                     73%            84%               88%                       100%
                                                                                                                           meet the requirements of OPF SP 1.2.
                        PPQA                     75%            80%               84%                       100%
                                                                                                                               The forecast and achievement profile
                          MA                     66%            96%               96%                       100%
                                                                                                                           for process and CMMI compliance
                                                                                                                           across the MORI organization is shown

             10 CROSSTALK The Journal of        Defense Software Engineering                                                                                 August 2007
Featured Article (Continued)                                                                                                                                            Page 9

                                                                                                 Lessons Learned in Using Agile Methods for Process Improvement

      in Figure 1. The bars represent the fore-               achieved a high state of readiness much        mentoring, and bootstrap services. Using
      casted process implementation (i.e. per-                sooner. MORI achieved ML2 (staged              an agile approach can yield significant and
      centage of full CMMI ML2 compliance                     representation) on October 4, 2006, in         even unexpected results over more tradi-
      using the staged representation) goals for              nine months with six global and several        tional methods.�
      each month as a cumulative quantity,                    PA’s strengths with only two weaknesses.
      while the line graph shows the actual                   This result further reflects how a com-        References
      compliance achieved.                                    mitment to quality and continuous              1. Rico, David F. “How to Estimate ROI
          Figure 1 shows the early gains made                 improvement combined with a more                  for Inspections, PSPSM, TSPSM, SW-
      from prototyping some of the processes                  agile approach can help you reach your            CMM, ISO 9000, CMMI.” Software
      and tools in the SEPG and then piloting                 improvement goals in dramatic fashion.            Tech News 5.4 (2002) <www.software
      tailored versions to the projects. It also                                                                technews.com/stn5-4/inspections.
      shows a slight dip in August as the organi-             Summary                                           html>.
      zation played catch-up on their QA audits               As a result of this PI effort, MORI            2. Rico, David F. “Capability Maturity
      (by outsourcing); otherwise, the PI effort              learned many lessons that spanned the             Model Integration – CMMI Cost
      was executed according to the plan.                     entire PI life cycle. Creating a streamlined      Model.” David Rico 2001 <http://
          While it was not technically and fully              PI effort is definitely possible when you         davidfrico.com/cmmi.pdf>.
      compliant until September, it had achieved              follow a more agile approach.                  3. IEEE. IEEE Software Engineering
      a high degree of institutionalization well              Implementing an incremental/iterative             Collection. IEEE, 2003 <www
      in advance since the majority of many of                approach, piloting prototypes to the orga-        .ieee.org/>.
      the PA’s had already been up and running                nization early and often, leveraging indus-    4. Humphrey, Watts S. Managing the
      for quite some time (the first process was              try standards and examples, and identify-         Software Process. Addison Wesley,
      rolled out in February). This is a major                ing and using metrics to monitor and              1990.
      benefit derived from implementing an                    adjust the plan and schedule as needed are     5. SCAMPI Upgrade Team. Standard
      incremental and iterative approach.                     all ways to develop processes in a highly         CMMI Appraisal Method for Process
          The compliance profile from the PA                  responsive manner. Reducing the overall           Improvement A, Version 1.2: Method
      perspective is shown in Table 3. By June                impact to the organization is possible            Definition Document. SEI, Carnegie
      (four months before the actual appraisal),              when you outsource process develop-               Mellon University, 2006.
      a large percentage of each PA had been                  ment, implement well defined processes,        6. Juran, J.M. Juran on Quality by
      implemented. The percentages were based                 and provide the right mix of training,            Design. Free Press, 1992.
      not only on whether a particular process
      was being performed but on the coverage                                               About the Authors
      of work products completed as well. For
      example, complete credit was not claimed
      for REQM SP 1.4 until the RTM was                                        Nelson Perez is presi-                           Ernest C. Ambrose is
      completed. The appraiser’s perspective is                                dent of Sierra’s Edge,                           the SEPG lead as well as
      similar but not as rigid. Appraisers want to                             Inc., and was the archi-                         a project lead for MORI
      ensure that processes and work products                                  tect and author of all the                       Associates,     Inc.,  a
      meet the intent of the model, and they                                   policies and process                             woman-owned, Small
      want to see sufficient evidence that the                                 assets at MORI Associ-                           Business Administration
      processes are being followed. So, for
                                                              ates. He has more than 20 years of expe-         8(a) certified, small disadvantaged busi-
      example, an RTM in the process of devel-
      opment with substantial progress made is                rience and has worked the entire life            ness providing professional consulting
      acceptable and practical. The reason we                 cycle of and held numerous manage-               services for sophisticated information
      chose a different interpretation was to                 ment and engineering positions on such           technology solutions, program support,
      drive the projects toward completing their              high-visibility programs as the B2 Stealth       staff augmentation, and engineering
      work products. As a result, one project                 Bomber, National Aeronautics and                 operations for government agencies and
      was able to complete its RTM by the                     Space Administration Space Shuttle, and          Fortune 500 companies. MORI is the
      appraisal, while the others had made sig-               Homeland Defense. Perez has co-                  recent recipient of Maryland’s Top 100
      nificant progress toward completing                     authored one patent, and his first PI            Minority Business Enterprise Award and
      theirs. In the end, all were able to claim              effort helped garner the U.S. Air                is ranked as one of Washington
      full credit for their RTM.                              Force/TRW (now part of Northrop                  Technology’s FAST 50 companies.
          From the trends in Table 3, one might               Grumman) Special Operation Force
      expect weaknesses in PPQA and CM                        Extendable        Integration     Support             MORI Associates, Inc.
      since they lagged the other PA’s in reach-
                                                              Environment program the U.S. Air                      6701 Democracy BLVD
      ing comparable compliance levels. They
      were among the last three processes to be               Force 21st Partnership Century Team                   STE 206
                                                              Quality Award.                                        Bethesda, MD 20817
      rolled out. The appraisal did note a weak-
                                                                                                                    Phone: (301) 493-6674
      ness in PPQA, but none in CM.
          Although the original schedule called                    Sierra’s Edge, Inc.                              E-mail: eambrose@
      for a February 2007 appraisal, the Lead                      P.O. Box 3176                                           moriassociates.com
      Appraiser felt that MORI had already                         Silver Spring, MD 20918-3176
                                                                   Phone: (301) 801-0740
           PSP and TSP are service marks of Carnegie Mellon
           University.                                             E-mail: nelson@sierrasedge.com

      August 2007                                                                                                                           www.stsc.hill.af.mil   11
                                                                                                                                             Page 2

SEPG North America                     SEPG Europe                                 SEPG Latin America                    SEPG Australia
Tampa, Florida                         Munich, Germany                             Santiago, Chile                       Melbourne, Australia
March 17–20, 2008                      June 10–13, 2008                            November 26–28, 2007                  August 18–21, 2008
www.sei.cmu.edu/sepg/2008              www.sei.cmu.edu/sepgeurope/2008             www.esi.es/SEPGLA                     www.sepgaust.com.au

Thank you to the SEPG North America Program Committee
A special thank you to the following
                                                   Dallas SPIN (www.dfw-asee.org/ ): Arisa Ude        Research Triangle Park (North Carolina) SPIN
SPIN members who volunteered their time to
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participate on the SEPG North America 2008         Dayton SPIN (www.daytonspin.org/ ):
                                                                                                      Richmond SPIN: Venkata Bodapati
Program Committee. The committee reviewed          Tina Walls, Mike Evanoo, Dan Potts,
the abstracts that made up the conference          Dennis Ludwig                                      Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) (www.
program. SEPG North America is truly an                                                               herbertconsulting.com/ ): Juliana Herbert
                                                   Great Lakes (Michigan) SPIN (www.gl-spin.org/ ):
international community show as we had
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participation from 10 different countries!
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