Subset Overview / Details
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Requirement Set: CMMI
Subset: Pure Generic Practices (GEN)
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Notes:

         The contents of this web page were extracted from the following document: Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMISM), Version 1.1, Continuous Representation, CMU/SEI-2002-TR-011, March 2002 (CMMI-SE/SW/IPPD/SS). Copyright 2002 by Carnegie Mellon University. NO WARRANTY.

         Ignore the identifiers in square brackets that appear at the end of paragraphs.

         The formatting may not be the same as in the printed CMMI document. The web page is best viewed in Internet Explorer.

         In the CMMI, a subset is known as a "Process Area (PA)" and a requirement is known as a "Practice". The generic practices are referred to as GPs and the specific practices are referred to as SPs.

         This web page does not contain the overview of any one subset; rather, it contains the detailed description of the GPs which appears in Chapter 4 of the CMMI document. We consider this to be the CMMI subset “Pure Generic Practices”.

GPs:  1.1,    2.1,  2.2,  2.3,  2.4,  2.5,  2.6,  2.7,  2.8,  2.9,  2.10,    3.1,  3.2,    4.1,  4.2,    5.1,  5.2

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CMMI Capability Levels and Generic Model Components

Overview

The capability levels and generic model components focus on building the organization’s ability to pursue process improvement in multiple process areas. Using capability levels, generic goals, and generic practices, users are able to improve their processes, as well as demonstrate and evaluate their organization’s progress as they improve.  [FM121.HDA101.T101]

Capability levels in the continuous representation provide a recommended order for approaching process improvement within each process area.  [FM121.HDA101.T102]

All continuous representations of CMMI models reflect capability levels in their design and content. For each process area, a capability level consists of related specific and generic practices that, when performed, achieve a set of goals that lead to improved process performance.  [FM121.HDA101.T103]

In this section, the phrase “the process” means the process or processes that implement the process area. In Chapter 7, the section of each process area containing generic goals, generic practices, and generic practice elaborations, this phrase has the same meaning.  [FM121.HDA101.T104]

“Institutionalization” is an important dimension to each of the capability levels. When mentioned below in the capability level descriptions, institutionalization implies that the process is ingrained in the way the work is performed.  [FM121.HDA101.T105]

Interpreting Specific Goals in the Continuous Representation

The specific practices belonging to the process areas in the Process Management, Project Management, and Support categories are all capability level 1 practices. However, other process areas (e.g., Engineering process areas) have two types of specific practices: base practices (those at capability level 1) and advanced practices (those at higher capability levels). For those process areas that have advanced practices, the wording of the specific goals does not change with different capability levels, but the set of specific practices that map to them may change.  [FM121.HDA103.T103]

When using the continuous representation in an appraisal, process areas are rated relative to a particular capability level. There are six capability levels numbered 0 through 5. In process areas that have advanced practices, the particular capability level being considered determines the set of specific practices that are investigated when rating a specific goal. The rule is this: when rating a specific goal relative to capability level N, all specific practices through capability level N associated with that specific goal must be investigated.  [FM121.HDA103.T101]

In the descriptions of the capability levels, generic goals, and generic practices in this chapter, the phrase “satisfies … the specific goals of the process area” should be interpreted in light of this rule.  [FM121.HDA103.T102]

Achieving Capability Levels

Like any process area, the capability levels of process areas are achieved through the application of generic practices or suitable alternatives. There are a couple of ways in which their application may not be immediately obvious:  [FM121.HDA104.T101]

           Applying capability level 1 and 2 generic practices

           Applying capability level 3, 4, and 5 generic practices

Reaching capability level 1 for a process area is equivalent to saying you perform the process area, or more precisely, you are achieving the specific goals of the process area.  [FM121.HDA104.T102]

Reaching capability level 2 for a process area is like saying you manage your performance of the process area. There is a policy that indicates you will perform it (that is, a process or processes that are intended to cover it). There is a plan for performing it, there are resources provided, responsibilities assigned, training on how to perform it, selected work products from performing the process area are controlled, etc. What this means in detail is spelled out in the generic practice elaborations for the capability level 2 generic practices that appear in the process area. In other words, an organizational activity can be planned and monitored just like any project or support activity.  [FM121.HDA104.T103]

Reaching capability level 3 for a process area assumes that there is an organizational standard process or processes that cover that process area that can be tailored to the specific need. There are two points to remember:  [FM121.HDA104.T104]

           Tailoring may result in making no changes to the standard process. In other words, the defined process and standard process may be identical. Using the standard process “as is” is tailoring because the choice is made that no further modification is required.

           Each process area covers multiple activities, some of which are repeatedly performed. You may need to tailor how one of these activities is performed to account for new capabilities or circumstances. For example, you may have a standard for developing or obtaining organizational training that does not consider training over the Web. When preparing to develop or obtain a course that will be delivered over the Web, you may need to tailor that standard process to account for the particular challenges and benefits of training delivered over the Web.

Reaching capability level 4 or 5 for a process area is conceptually feasible but may not be economical except, perhaps, in situations where the product domain has become very stable for an extended period of time.  [FM121.HDA104.T105]

Capability Level 0: Incomplete

An incomplete process is a process that is either not performed or partially performed. One or more of the specific goals of the process area are not satisfied.  [CL101]

Capability Level 1: Performed

A capability level 1 process is characterized as a “performed process.”  [CL102]

A performed process is a process that satisfies the specific goals of the process area. It supports and enables the work needed to produce identified output work products using identified input work products.  [CL102.N104]

A critical distinction between an incomplete process and a performed process is that a performed process satisfies all of the specific goals of the process area.  [CL102.N103]

Level 1 Generic Goals

GG 1           Achieve Specific Goals

                   The process supports and enables achievement of the specific goals of the process area by transforming identifiable input work products to produce identifiable output work products.  [CL102.GL101]

Level 1 Generic Practices

GP 1.1        Perform Base Practices

Perform the base practices of the process area to develop work products and provide services to achieve the specific goals of the process area.

The purpose of this generic practice is to produce the work products and deliver the services that are expected by performing the process. These practices may be done informally, without following a documented process description or plan. The rigor with which these practices are performed depends on the individuals managing and performing the work and may vary considerably.  [GP102]

When using the continuous representation of CMMI, the base practices of a process area refer to all of the capability level 1 specific practices for the process area.  [GP102.N101]

Capability Level 2: Managed

A capability level 2 process is characterized as a “managed process.”  [CL103]

A managed process is a performed (capability level 1) process that is also planned and executed in accordance with policy, employs skilled people having adequate resources to produce controlled outputs, involves relevant stakeholders; is monitored, controlled, and reviewed; and is evaluated for adherence to its process description. The process may be instantiated by an individual project, group, or organizational function. Management of the process is concerned with the institutionalization of the process area and the achievement of other specific objectives established for the process, such as cost, schedule, and quality objectives. See Chapter 3 for an explanation of how “managed process” is used in the CMMI Product Suite.  [CL103.N109]

A critical distinction between a performed process and a managed process is the extent to which the process is managed. A managed process is planned (the plan may be part of a more encompassing plan) and the performance of the process is managed against the plan. Corrective actions are taken when the actual results and performance deviate significantly from the plan. A managed process achieves the objectives of the plan and is institutionalized for consistent performance (see generic practices below).  [CL103.N107]

The objectives for the process are determined based on an understanding of the project’s or organization’s particular needs. Objectives may be quantitative or qualitative.  [CL103.N102]

The objectives for the process may be specific objectives for the individual process or they may be defined for a broader scope (i.e., for a set of processes), with the individual processes contributing to achieving these objectives. These objectives may be revised as part of the corrective actions taken for the process.  [CL103.N103]

The control provided by a managed process helps ensure that the established process is retained during times of stress.  [CL103.N104]

The requirements and objectives for the process are established. The status of the work products and delivery of the services are visible to management at defined points (e.g., at major milestones and completion of major tasks). Commitments are established among those performing the work and relevant stakeholders. Commitments are revised as necessary. Work products are reviewed with relevant stakeholders and are controlled. The work products and services satisfy their specified requirements.  [CL103.N105]

A managed process is institutionalized by doing the following:  [CL103.N106]

           Adhering to organizational policies

           Following established plans and process descriptions

           Providing adequate resources (including funding, people, and tools)

           Assigning responsibility and authority for performing the process

           Training the people performing and supporting the process

           Placing designated work products under appropriate levels of configuration management

           Identifying and involving relevant stakeholders

           Monitoring and controlling the performance of the process against the plans for performing the process and taking corrective actions

           Objectively evaluating the process, its work products, and its services for adherence to the process descriptions, standards, and procedures, and addressing noncompliance

           Reviewing the activities, status, and results of the process with higher level management, and taking corrective action

Institutionalization also implies that the breadth and depth of the implementation of the process and the length of time the process has been in place are appropriate to ensure that the process is ingrained in the way the work is performed.  [CL103.N108]

Level 2 Generic Goals

GG 2           Institutionalize a Managed Process

                   The process is institutionalized as a managed process.  [CL103.GL101]

Level 2 Generic Practices

GP 2.1        Establish an Organizational Policy

Establish and maintain an organizational policy for planning and performing the process.

The purpose of this generic practice is to define the organizational expectations for the process and make these expectations visible to those in the organization who are affected. In general, senior management is responsible for establishing and communicating guiding principles, direction, and expectations for the organization.  [GP103]

Not all direction from senior management will bear the label “policy.” The existence of appropriate organizational direction is the expectation of this generic practice, regardless of what it is called or how it is imparted.  [GP103.N101]

GP 2.2        Plan the Process

Establish and maintain the plan for performing the process.

The purpose of this generic practice is to determine what is needed to perform the process and achieve the established objectives, to prepare a plan for performing the process, to prepare a process description, and to get agreement on the plan from relevant stakeholders.  [GP104]

Requirements for the process's specified work products and for performing the work may be derived from other requirements. In the case of a project’s processes, they may come from that project’s requirements management process; in the case of an organization’s process, they may come from organizational sources.  [GP104.N101]

The objectives for the process may be derived from other plans (e.g., the project plans). Included are objectives for the specific situation, including quality, cost, and schedule objectives. For example, an objective might be to reduce the cost of performing a process for this implementation over the previous implementation.  [GP104.N102]

Although a generic practice, by definition, applies to all process areas, the practical implications of applying a generic practice vary for each process area. Consider two examples that illustrate these differences as they relate to planning the process. First, the planning described by this generic practice as applied to the Project Monitoring and Control process area may be carried out in full by the processes associated with the Project Planning process area. In such a situation, the generic practice imposes no additional expectations for planning. Second, the planning described by this generic practice as applied to the Project Planning process area typically would not be addressed by the processes associated with other process areas in the model. Therefore, the generic practice sets an expectation that the project planning process itself be planned. It is important to be aware of the extent to which this generic practice may either reinforce expectations set elsewhere in the model, or set new expectations that should be addressed.  [GP104.N105]

Establishing a plan includes documenting the plan and providing a process description. Maintaining the plan includes changing it as necessary, in response to either corrective actions or to changes in requirements and objectives for the process.  [GP104.N103]

The plan for performing the process typically includes the following:  [GP104.N106]

           Process description

           Standards for the work products and services of the process

           Requirements for the work products and services of the process

           Specific objectives for the performance of the process (e.g., quality, time scale, cycle time, and resource usage)

           Dependencies among the activities, work products, and services of the process

           Resources (including funding, people, and tools) needed to perform the process

           Assignment of responsibility and authority

           Training needed for performing and supporting the process

           Work products to be placed under configuration management and the level of configuration management for each item

           Measurement requirements to provide insight into the performance of the process, its work products, and its services

           Involvement of identified stakeholders

           Activities for monitoring and controlling the process

           Objective evaluation activities for the process and the work products

           Management review activities for the process and the work products

Subpractices

1.    Obtain management sponsorship for performing the process.  [GP104.SubP101]

2.    Define and document the process description.  [GP104.SubP102]

The process description, which includes relevant standards and procedures, may be included as part of the plan for performing the process or may be included in the plan by reference.  [GP104.SubP102.N101]

3.    Define and document the plan for performing the process.  [GP104.SubP103]

This plan may be a stand-alone document, embedded in a more comprehensive document, or distributed across multiple documents. In the case of the plan being distributed across multiple documents, ensure that a coherent picture is preserved of who does what. Documents may be hardcopy or softcopy.  [GP104.SubP103.N102]

4.    Review the plan with relevant stakeholders and get their agreement.  [GP104.SubP104]

This includes reviewing that the planned process satisfies the applicable policies, plans, requirements, and standards to provide assurance to relevant stakeholders.  [GP104.SubP104.N101]

5.    Revise the plan as necessary.  [GP104.SubP105]

GP 2.3        Provide Resources

Provide adequate resources for performing the process, developing the work products, and providing the services of the process.

The purpose of this generic practice is to ensure that the resources necessary to perform the process as defined by the plan are available when they are needed. Resources include adequate funding, appropriate physical facilities, skilled people, and appropriate tools.  [GP105]

The interpretation of the term “adequate” depends on many factors and may change over time. Inadequate resources may be addressed by increasing resources or by removing requirements, constraints, and commitments.  [GP105.N101]

GP 2.4        Assign Responsibility

Assign responsibility and authority for performing the process, developing the work products, and providing the services of the process.

The purpose of this generic practice is to ensure that there is accountability throughout the life of the process for performing the process and achieving the specified results. The people assigned must have the appropriate authority to perform the assigned responsibilities.  [GP106]

Responsibility can be assigned using detailed job descriptions or in living documents, such as the plan for performing the process. Dynamic assignment of responsibility is another legitimate way to perform this generic practice, as long as the assignment and acceptance of responsibility are ensured throughout the life of the process.  [GP106.N101]

Subpractices

1.    Assign overall responsibility and authority for performing the process.  [GP106.SubP101]

2.    Assign responsibility for performing the specific tasks of the process.  [GP106.SubP102]

3.    Confirm that the people assigned to the responsibilities and authorities understand and accept them.  [GP106.SubP103]

GP 2.5        Train People

Train the people performing or supporting the process as needed.

The purpose of this generic practice is to ensure that the people have the necessary skills and expertise to perform or support the process.  [GP107]

Appropriate training is provided to the people who will be performing the work. Overview training is provided to orient people who interact with those performing the work.  [GP107.N101]

Examples of methods for providing training include: self study; self-directed training; self-paced, programmed instruction; formalized on-the-job training; mentoring; and formal and classroom training.  [GP107.N104]

Training supports the successful performance of the process by establishing a common understanding of the process and by imparting the skills and knowledge needed to perform the process.  [GP107.N103]

GP 2.6        Manage Configurations

Place designated work products of the process under appropriate levels of configuration management.

The purpose of this generic practice is to establish and maintain the integrity of the designated work products of the process (or their descriptions) throughout their useful life.  [GP109]

Refer to the Configuration Management process area for more information on placing work products under configuration management.  [GP109.R101]

The designated work products are specifically identified in the plan for performing the process, along with a specification of the level of configuration management.  [GP109.N101]

Different levels of configuration management are appropriate for different work products and for different points in time. For some work products, it may be sufficient to maintain version control (i.e., the version of the work product in use at a given time, past or present, is known and changes are incorporated in a controlled manner). Version control is usually under the sole control of the work product owner (which may be an individual, a group, or a team).  [GP109.N102]

Sometimes, it may be critical that work products be placed under formal or “baseline” configuration management. This type of configuration management includes defining and establishing baselines at predetermined points. These baselines are formally reviewed and agreed on, and serve as the basis for further development of the designated work products.  [GP109.N104]

Additional levels of configuration management between version control and formal configuration management are possible. An identified work product may be under various levels of configuration management at different points in time.  [GP109.N103]

GP 2.7        Identify and Involve Relevant Stakeholders

Identify and involve the relevant stakeholders as planned.

The purpose of this generic practice is to establish and maintain the expected involvement of stakeholders during the execution of the process.  [GP124]

Involve relevant stakeholders as described in an appropriate plan for stakeholder involvement. Involve them appropriately in activities such as the following:  [GP124.N101]

           Planning

           Decisions

           Communications

           Coordination

           Reviews

           Appraisals

           Requirements definitions

           Resolution of problems/issues

Refer to the Project Planning process area for information on the project planning for stakeholder involvement.  [GP124.N101.R101]

The objective of planning the stakeholder involvement is to ensure that interactions necessary to the process are accomplished, while not allowing excessive numbers of affected groups and individuals to impede process execution.  [GP124.N102]

Subpractices

1.    Identify stakeholders relevant to this process and decide what type of involvement should be practiced.  [GP124.SubP101]

Relevant stakeholders are identified among the suppliers of inputs to, the users of outputs from, and the performers of the activities within the process. Once the relevant stakeholders are identified, the appropriate level of their involvement in process activities is planned.  [GP124.SubP101.N101]

2.    Share these identifications with project planners or other planners as appropriate.  [GP124.SubP102]

3.    Involve relevant stakeholders as planned.  [GP124.SubP103]

GP 2.8        Monitor and Control the Process

Monitor and control the process against the plan for performing the process and take appropriate corrective action.

The purpose of this generic practice is to perform the direct day-to-day monitoring and controlling of the process. Appropriate visibility into the process is maintained so that appropriate corrective action can be taken when necessary. Monitoring and controlling the process involves measuring appropriate attributes of the process or work products produced by the process.  [GP110]

Refer to the Project Monitoring and Control process area for more information about monitoring and controlling the project and taking corrective action.  [GP110.R102]

Refer to the Measurement and Analysis process area for more information about measurement.  [GP110.R101]

Subpractices

1.    Measure actual performance against the plan for performing the process.  [GP110.SubP101]

The measures are of the process, its work products, and its services.  [GP110.SubP101.N101]

2.    Review accomplishments and results of the process against the plan for performing the process.  [GP110.SubP102]

3.    Review activities, status, and results of the process with the immediate level of management responsible for the process and identify issues. The reviews are intended to provide the immediate level of management with appropriate visibility into the process. The reviews can be both periodic and event driven.  [GP110.SubP108]

4.    Identify and evaluate the effects of significant deviations from the plan for performing the process.  [GP110.SubP104]

5.    Identify problems in the plan for performing the process and in the execution of the process.  [GP110.SubP105]

6.    Take corrective action when requirements and objectives are not being satisfied, when issues are identified, or when progress differs significantly from the plan for performing the process.  [GP110.SubP106]

There are inherent risks that should be considered before any of the corrective actions are taken.  [GP110.SubP106.N102]

Corrective action may include the following:  [GP110.SubP106.N101]

       Taking remedial action to repair defective work products or services

       Changing the plan for performing the process

       Adjusting resources, including people, tools, and other resources

       Negotiating changes to the established commitments

       Securing change to the requirements and objectives that have to be satisfied

       Terminating the effort

7.    Track corrective action to closure.  [GP110.SubP107]

GP 2.9        Objectively Evaluate Adherence

Objectively evaluate adherence of the process against its process description, standards, and procedures, and address noncompliance.

The purpose of this generic practice is to provide credible assurance that the process is implemented as planned and adheres to its process description, standards, and procedures. See the definition of “objectively evaluate” in Appendix C, the glossary.  [GP113]

People not directly responsible for managing or performing the activities of the process typically evaluate adherence. In many cases, adherence is evaluated by people within the organization, but external to the process or project, or by people external to the organization. As a result, credible assurance of adherence can be provided even during times when the process is under stress (e.g., when the effort is behind schedule or over budget).  [GP113.N101]

Refer to the Process and Product Quality Assurance process area for more information about objectively evaluating adherence.  [GP113.N101.R101]

GP 2.10      Review Status with Higher Level Management

Review the activities, status, and results of the process with higher level management and resolve issues.

The purpose of this generic practice is to provide higher level management with the appropriate visibility into the process.  [GP112]

Higher level management includes those levels of management in the organization above the immediate level of management responsible for the process. In particular, higher level management includes senior management. These reviews are for managers who provide the policy and overall guidance for the process, not for those who perform the direct day-to-day monitoring and controlling of the process.  [GP112.N102]

Different managers have different needs for information about the process. These reviews help ensure that informed decisions on the planning and performing of the process can be made. Therefore, these reviews are expected to be both periodic and event driven.  [GP112.N101]

Capability Level 3: Defined

A capability level 3 process is characterized as a “defined process.”  [CL104]

A defined process is a managed (capability level 2) process that is tailored from the organization's set of standard processes according to the organization’s tailoring guidelines, and contributes work products, measures, and other process-improvement information to the organizational process assets.  [CL104.N106]

The organization’s set of standard processes, which are the basis of the defined process, are established and improved over time. Standard processes describe the fundamental process elements that are expected in the defined processes. Standard processes also describe the relationships (e.g., the ordering and interfaces) between these process elements. The organization-level infrastructure to support current and future use of the organization's set of standard processes is established and improved over time. See the definition of “standard process” in Appendix C, the glossary. See Chapter 3 for an explanation of how “organization’s set of standard processes” is used in the CMMI Product Suite.  [CL104.N101]

The organizational process assets are artifacts that relate to describing, implementing, and improving processes. These artifacts are assets because they are developed or acquired to meet the business objectives of the organization, and they represent investments by the organization that are expected to provide current and future business value. See Chapter 3 for an explanation of how “organizational process assets” is used in the CMMI Product Suite.  [CL104.N102]

A defined process clearly states the following:  [CL104.N103]

           Purpose

           Inputs

           Entry criteria

           Activities

           Roles

           Measures

           Verification steps

           Outputs

           Exit criteria

A defined process is institutionalized by doing the following:  [CL104.N104]

           Addressing the items that institutionalize a managed process

           Following a plan that incorporates a defined process

           Collecting work products, measures, and improvement information for supporting the use and improvement of the organizational process assets

See Chapter 3 for an explanation of how “defined process” is used in the CMMI Product Suite.  [CL104.N107]

A critical distinction between a managed process and a defined process is the scope of application of the process descriptions, standards, and procedures. For a managed process, the process descriptions, standards, and procedures are applicable to a particular project, group, or organizational function. As a result, the managed processes for two projects within the same organization may be very different.  [CL104.N105]

At the defined capability level, the organization is interested in deploying standard processes that are proven and that therefore take less time and money than continually writing and deploying new processes. Because the process descriptions, standards, and procedures are tailored from the organization's set of standard processes and related organizational process assets, defined processes are appropriately consistent across the organization. Another critical distinction is that a defined process is described in more detail and performed more rigorously than a managed process. This means that improvement information is easier to understand, analyze, and use. Finally, management of the defined process is based on the additional insight provided by an understanding of the interrelationships of the process activities and detailed measures of the process, its work products, and its services.  [CL104.N108]

Level 3 Generic Goals

GG 3           Institutionalize a Defined Process

                   The process is institutionalized as a defined process.  [CL104.GL101]

Level 3 Generic Practices

GP 3.1        Establish a Defined Process

Establish and maintain the description of a defined process.

The purpose of this generic practice is to establish and maintain a description of the process that is tailored from the organization's set of standard processes to address the needs of a specific instantiation. The organization should have standard processes that cover the process area, as well as have guidelines for tailoring these standard processes to meet the needs of a project or organizational function. With a defined process, variability in how the processes are performed across the organization is reduced and process assets, data, and learning can be effectively shared.  [GP114]

Refer to the Organizational Process Definition process area for more information about the organization's set of standard processes and tailoring guidelines.  [GP114.R101]

The descriptions of the defined processes provide the basis for planning, performing, and managing the activities, work products, and services associated with the process.  [GP114.N102]

Subpractices

1.    Select from the organization’s set of standard processes those processes that cover the process area and best meet the needs of the project or organizational function.  [GP114.SubP101]

2.    Establish the defined process by tailoring the selected processes according to the organization’s tailoring guidelines.  [GP114.SubP102]

3.    Ensure that the organization’s process objectives are appropriately addressed in the defined process.  [GP114.SubP103]

4.    Document the defined process and the records of the tailoring.  [GP114.SubP104]

5.    Revise the description of the defined process as necessary.  [GP114.SubP106]

GP 3.2        Collect Improvement Information

Collect work products, measures, measurement results, and improvement information derived from planning and performing the process to support the future use and improvement of the organization’s processes and process assets.

The purpose of this generic practice is to collect information and artifacts derived from planning and performing the process. This generic practice is performed so that the information and artifacts can be included in the organizational process assets and made available to those who are (or who will be) planning and performing the same or similar processes. The information and artifacts are stored in the organization’s measurement repository and the organization’s process asset library.  [GP117]

Examples of relevant information include the effort expended for the various activities, defects injected or removed in a particular activity, and lessons learned.  [GP117.N101]

 

Refer to the Organizational Process Definition process area for more information about the organization’s measurement repository and process asset library and for more information about the work products, measures, and improvement information that are incorporated into these organizational process assets.  [GP117.N101.R101]

Subpractices

1.    Store process and product measures in the organization's measurement repository.  [GP117.SubP102]

The process and product measures are primarily those that are defined in the common set of measures for the organization’s set of standard processes.  [GP117.SubP102.N101]

2.    Submit documentation for inclusion in the organization’s process asset library.  [GP117.SubP103]

3.    Document lessons learned from the process for inclusion in the organization’s process asset library.  [GP117.SubP104]

4.    Propose improvements to the organizational process assets.  [GP117.SubP101]

Capability Level 4: Quantitatively Managed

A capability level 4 process is characterized as a “quantitatively managed process.”  [CL105]

A quantitatively managed process is a defined (capability level 3) process that is controlled using statistical and other quantitative techniques. Quantitative objectives for quality and process performance are established and used as criteria in managing the process. The quality and process performance are understood in statistical terms and are managed throughout the life of the process.  [CL105.N111]

See Chapter 3 for an explanation of how “quality and process-performance objectives” is used in the CMMI Product Suite.  [CL105.N112]

The quantitative objectives are based on the capability of the organization's set of standard processes, the organization’s business objectives, and the needs of the customer, end users, organization, and process implementers, subject to available resources.  [CL105.N101]

The people performing the process are directly involved in quantitatively managing the process.  [CL105.N102]

Quantitative management is performed on the overall set of processes that produces a product or provides a service. The subprocesses that are significant contributors to overall process performance are statistically managed. For these selected subprocesses, detailed measures of the process performance are collected and statistically analyzed. Special causes of process variation are identified and, where appropriate, the source of the special cause is addressed to prevent future occurrences.  [CL105.N103]

The quality and process performance measures are incorporated into the organization’s measurement repository to support future fact-based decision making.  [CL105.N104]

A quantitatively managed process is institutionalized by doing the following:  [CL105.N105]

           Addressing the items that institutionalize a defined process

           Establishing and maintaining quantitative objectives for quality and process performance

           Stabilizing the performance of subprocesses critical to the performance of the process

           Establishing and maintaining an understanding of the ability of the process to achieve the established quantitative objectives for quality and process performance

A critical distinction between a defined process and a quantitatively managed process is the predictability of the process performance. The term “quantitatively managed” implies using appropriate statistical and other quantitative techniques to manage the performance of one or more critical subprocesses of a process so that the future performance of the process can be predicted. A defined process only provides qualitative predictability.  [CL105.N106]

Activities for quantitatively managing the performance of a process include the following:  [CL105.N110]

           Identifying the subprocesses that are to be brought under statistical management

           Identifying and measuring product and process attributes that are important contributors to quality and process performance

           Identifying and addressing special causes of subprocess variations (based on the selected product and process attributes and subprocesses selected for statistical management)

           Managing each of the selected subprocesses, with the objective of bringing their performance within natural bounds (i.e., making the subprocess performance statistically stable and predictable based on the selected product and process attributes)

           Predicting the ability of the process to satisfy established quantitative quality and process-performance objectives

           Taking appropriate corrective actions when it is determined that the established quantitative quality and process-performance objectives will not be satisfied

The corrective actions described above include changing the objectives or ensuring that relevant stakeholders have a quantitative understanding of, and have agreed to, the performance shortfall.  [CL105.N109]

Level 4 Generic Goals

GG 4           Institutionalize a Quantitatively Managed Process

                   The process is institutionalized as a quantitatively managed process.  [CL105.GL101]

Level 4 Generic Practices

GP 4.1        Establish Quantitative Objectives for the Process

Establish and maintain quantitative objectives for the process that address quality and process performance based on customer needs and business objectives.

The purpose of this generic practice is to determine and obtain agreement from relevant stakeholders about specific quantitative objectives for the process. These quantitative objectives can be expressed in terms of product quality, service quality, and process performance.  [GP118]

Refer to the Quantitative Project Management process area for information on how quantitative objectives are set for subprocesses of the project’s defined process.  [GP118.R101]

The quantitative objectives may be specific to the process or they may be defined for a broader scope (e.g., for a set of processes). In the latter case, these quantitative objectives may be allocated to some of the included processes.  [GP118.N101]

These quantitative objectives are criteria used to judge whether the products, services, and process performance will satisfy the customers, end users, organization management, and process implementers. These quantitative objectives go beyond the traditional end-product objectives. They also cover intermediate objectives that are used to manage the achievement of the objectives over time. They reflect, in part, the demonstrated performance of the organization's set of standard processes. These quantitative objectives should be set to values that are likely to be achieved when the processes involved are stable and within their natural bounds.  [GP118.N102]

Subpractices

1.    Establish the quantitative objectives that pertain to the process.  [GP118.SubP101]

2.    Allocate the quantitative objectives to the process or its subprocesses.  [GP118.SubP102]

GP 4.2        Stabilize Subprocess Performance

Stabilize the performance of one or more subprocesses to determine the ability of the process to achieve the established quantitative quality and process-performance objectives.

The purpose of this generic practice is to stabilize the performance of one or more subprocesses of the defined (capability level 3) process that are critical contributors to the overall performance using appropriate statistical and other quantitative techniques. Stabilizing selected subprocesses of the process supports predicting the ability of the process to achieve the established quantitative quality and process-performance objectives.  [GP119]

A stable subprocess shows no significant indication of special causes of process variation. Stable subprocesses are predictable within the limits established by the natural bounds of the subprocess. Variations in the stable subprocess are due to a constant system of chance causes, and the magnitude of the variations may be small or large.  [GP119.N103]

Predicting the ability of the process to achieve the established quantitative objectives requires a quantitative understanding of the contributions of the subprocesses that are critical to achieving these objectives and establishing and managing against interim quantitative objectives over time.  [GP119.N104]

Selected process and product measures are incorporated into the organization’s measurement repository to support process performance analysis and future fact-based decision making.  [GP119.N101]

Subpractices

1.    Statistically manage the performance of one or more subprocesses that are critical contributors to the overall performance of the process.  [GP119.SubP101]

2.    Predict the ability of the process to achieve its established quantitative objectives considering the performance of the statistically managed subprocesses.  [GP119.SubP102]

3.    Incorporate selected process performance measurements into the organization’s process performance baselines.  [GP119.SubP103]

Capability Level 5: Optimizing

A capability level 5 process is characterized as an “optimizing process.”  [CL106]

An optimizing process is a quantitatively managed (capability level 4) process that is changed and adapted to meet relevant current and projected business objectives. An optimizing process focuses on continually improving the process performance through both incremental and innovative technological improvements. Process improvements that would address root causes of process variation and measurably improve the organization’s processes are identified, evaluated, and deployed as appropriate. These improvements are selected based on a quantitative understanding of their expected contribution to achieving the organization’s process-improvement objectives versus the cost and impact to the organization. The process performance of the organization’s processes is continually improved.  [CL106.N107]

Selected incremental and innovative technological process improvements are systematically managed and deployed into the organization. The effects of the deployed process improvements are measured and evaluated against the quantitative process-improvement objectives.  [CL106.N103]

An optimizing process is institutionalized by doing the following:  [CL106.N104]

           Satisfying the items that institutionalize a quantitatively managed process

           Establishing and maintaining quantitative process-improvement objectives

           Identifying and deploying both incremental and innovative technological improvements that continually improve the range of process performance

A critical distinction between a quantitatively managed process and an optimizing process is that the optimizing process is continuously improved by addressing common causes of process variation. A quantitatively managed process is concerned with addressing special causes of process variation and providing statistical predictability for the results. Though the process may produce predictable results, the results may be insufficient to achieve the established objectives. In a process that is optimized, common causes of process variation are addressed by changing that process in a manner that will lead to a shift in the mean or a decrease in variation when it is brought back to stability. These changes are intended to improve process performance and achieve the organization’s established process-improvement objectives.  [CL106.N105]

A common cause of process variation is a cause that is inherently part of a process and affects the overall performance of the process. See the definition of “common cause of process variation” in Appendix C, the glossary.  [CL106.N106]

Level 5 Generic Goals

GG 5           Institutionalize an Optimizing Process

                   The process is institutionalized as an optimizing process.  [CL106.GL101]

Level 5 Generic Practices

GP 5.1        Ensure Continuous Process Improvement

Ensure continuous improvement of the process in fulfilling the relevant business objectives of the organization.

The purpose of this generic practice is to select and systematically deploy process and technology improvements that contribute to meeting established quality and process-performance objectives.  [GP125]

Optimizing processes that are agile and innovative depends on the participation of an empowered workforce aligned with the business values and objectives of the organization. The organization’s ability to rapidly respond to changes and opportunities is enhanced by finding ways to accelerate and share learning. Improvement of the processes is inherently part of everybody’s role, resulting in a cycle of continual improvement.  [GP125.N101]

Subpractices

1.    Establish and maintain quantitative process-improvement objectives that support the organization’s business objectives.  [GP125.SubP101]

The quantitative process-improvement objectives may be specific to the individual process or they may be defined for a broader scope (i.e., for a set of processes), with the individual processes contributing to achieving these objectives. Objectives that are specific to the individual process are typically allocated from quantitative objectives established for a broader scope.  [GP125.SubP101.N101]

These process-improvement objectives are primarily derived from the organization’s business objectives and from a detailed understanding of process capability. These objectives are the criteria used to judge whether the process performance is quantitatively improving the organization’s ability to meet its business objectives. These process-improvement objectives are often set to values beyond the current process performance, and both incremental and innovative technological improvements may be needed to achieve these objectives. These objectives may also be revised frequently to continue to drive the improvement of the process (i.e., when an objective is achieved, it may be set to a new value that is again beyond the new process performance).  [GP125.SubP101.N102]

These process-improvement objectives may be the same as, or a refinement of, the objectives established in the Establish Quantitative Objectives for the Process generic practice, as long as they can serve as both drivers and criteria for successful process improvement.  [GP125.SubP101.N103]

2.    Identify process improvements that would result in measurable improvements to process performance.  [GP125.SubP102]

Process improvements include both incremental changes and innovative technological improvements. The innovative technological improvements are typically pursued as efforts that are separately planned, performed, and managed. Piloting is often performed. These efforts often address specific areas of the processes that are determined by analyzing the process performance and identifying specific opportunities for significant measurable improvement.  [GP125.SubP102.N101]

3.    Define strategies and manage deployment of selected process improvements based on the quantified expected benefits, the estimated costs and impacts, and the measured change to process performance.  [GP125.SubP103]

The costs and benefits of these improvements are estimated quantitatively, and the actual costs and benefits are measured. Benefits are primarily considered relative to the organization’s quantitative process-improvement objectives. Improvements are made to both the organization’s set of standard processes and the defined processes.  [GP125.SubP103.N101]

Managing deployment of the process improvements includes piloting of changes and implementing adjustments where appropriate, addressing potential and real barriers to the deployment, minimizing disruption to ongoing efforts, and managing risks.  [GP125.SubP103.N102]

GP 5.2        Correct Root Causes of Problems

Identify and correct the root causes of defects and other problems in the process.

The purpose of this generic practice is to analyze defects and other problems that were encountered, to correct the root causes of these types of defects and problems, and to prevent these defects and problems from occurring in the future.  [GP121]

Refer to the Causal Analysis and Resolution process area for more information on identifying and correcting root causes of selected defects. Even though the Causal Analysis and Resolution process area has a project context, it can be applied to processes in other contexts as well.  [GP121.R101]