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Kiril's web log
Endless projects? 
Tuesday, May 1, 2007, 11:07 PM - CMMI, CMMI Implementation, Introduction to CMMI course
A series of small projects or an endless project is a dilemma for all people implementing CMMI practices in environment that operates a support team that performs series of small fixes and enhancements. Over the last one week I participated on two separate occasions in discussions how CMMI is to be applied in such environments, so here is my view on the topic and links to relevant information.

Firstly the current version of CMMI is called CMMI-DEV i.e. it is designed to address development organizations primarily while leaving an option of interpretation for service environments. There is going to be a separate CMMI-SVC constellation(edition) of CMMI to be announced in 2007 that will be written specifically with the service organizations problems in mind. Thus should one be impatient to implement CMMI or if the service business is only a fraction of the overall business some interpretation of CMMI-DEV will be needed.

An excellent place to start is the guideline for interpreting CMMI 1.1 in service environments released by SEI in 2005:

http://www.sei.cmu.edu/pub/documents/03 ... 3tn005.pdf

It gives mapping/interpretation of CMMI practices in the context of service organization. One particular area of interest is how one defines a project in support environment.

CMMI-DEV v1.2 brought additional ease in interpretation by taking special attention during design and development of the model for expanding the model coverage. Most changes in this regard are in the informative material and provide notes and examples for usage of practices in service and hardware organizations. There is however one change in the glossary that is of significant importance to this subject.

Prior to v1.2 CMMI has adopted PMI alike definition of project i.e. a group of resources directed towards a common goal with a definite beginning and an end. This came to a change in v1.2 now a project in required to have a start point but is not required to end/finish. This small change allows now organization operating support team to maintain a single plan for maintenance that has many small phases estimated separately.

This all seemed crystal clear to me until a recent discussion on the CMMI Process Improvement Yahoo group. It turned out the first three prints of the CMMI book were flawed and provided wrong definitions of key terms like project, service and project startup. Namely a project was mandated to have a completion –thus the view of implementation in service organizations required an artificial and totally redundant break up of activities in service organization into time limited slots of say one year. This has caused confusion amongst many professionals. A special notice about the errors in the first three prints can be found in the CMMI book errata page maintained by AW professional web site:

http://www.awprofessional.com/content/i ... 182007.pdf

To complete our discussion here are few important points hen you do support for a client organization:

1. CMMI-DEV v1.2 is friendly towards service environments. Few examples are the definitions of terms in the glossary: Project in the glossary is defined as something that has a start and operates according to plan. There is NO requirement for end or completion unlike PMBOK. Thus project can be the overall setup for delivery of products/services. Product in the glossary covers both tangible products and services. Quote "In the CMMI Product Suite, a service is a product that is intangible and non-storable. (See also “product,” “customer,” and “work product.”)". This makes life easier in defining what the support project produces. This makes me believe you can implement CMMI-DEV practices in an environment that does small support tasks within the context of a larger contract.

2. CMMI does not prescribe life cycle i.e. you decide what phases you will have in servicing a request. There could be guideline as to what is required for different types of requests i.e. what phases. Ultimately there is sense in each practice in the CMMI model and your processes should cover all of them to be appraised. It is the business need that should drive the definition of the exact details of the preformed activities and their scheduling.

3. There is one critical distinction when talking about outsourcing - who owns the processes. If it is the client organization then they ought to go for appraisal and what the supplier does is personnel leasing i.e. supplier ought to enhance upon its people management capabilities, not CMMI, may be People CMM. If it is the service organization that owns the process then it should work on improving processes using CMMI practices.

Last but not least I just received an e-mail from SEI to confirm the successful completion of my instructor for Introduction to CMMI training. I am waiting to see my name on the list published on http://partner-directory.sei.cmu.edu/

Cheers and all the best!

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I am an Intro to CMMI instructor! 
Friday, April 27, 2007, 11:08 PM - CMMI, Introduction to CMMI course
Today I finished successfully the observation for becoming Introduction to CMMI instructor.

It was very exhausting, interesting and challenging experience.

Good is that there were two of us Youri Metchev and me teaching together so we split modules and exercises. Thus one gets time to go over material just before presenting it and it also allows get some rest between presentations. Despite this the 3 days are exhausting. Added to the teaching itself the stress for me was quite high so this added up to the exhaustion.

There is a lot I learned preparing and actually teaching the Intro to CMMI course. You learn a lot of small tips to better present material to people. Our observer was Pat Kirwan a great guy; he helped us evolve our teaching and presentations skills dramatically during the 3 days.

I also got really deep into the book – before you train in the observation you realize responsibility you take by standing in front of audience that has invested significant amount of money to learn something. I look as well at the expectations and plans wemade with ESI for delivering training and this capability depends on your performance during the observation.

Well once you realize you have prepared enough and you are not so bad in communicating to the audience - It gets much easier. Indeed you start having fun engaging people and discussing different matters. It gets tough sometimes when a strange question is thrown, but I guess this id normal. It is an intro calls and people would have hard time with even basic concepts.

Well end of the day I am very very happy. It has been a great experience and I am keen to do more training now.

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My first CMMI training is scheduled! 
Thursday, April 5, 2007, 12:48 AM - CMMI
Hello,

I have just received the official confirmation from SEI that my observation Introduction to CMMI training will be on 25-27 April 2007.

This will be a public course. It will be offered in Sofia, Bulgaria. So if you would like to come please get in touch with ESI http://www.esicenter.bg. I would be more then glad to have bigger audience.

For details on what this training is about see the SEI official page about Introduction to CMMI training

This is great news as both ESI and myself will have much better opportunities to help companies in the region work with the model.

I hope to see you there!
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A SPIN BG meeting 
Saturday, January 20, 2007, 12:31 AM - CMMI, CMMI Publications
We had a SPIN BG meeting this week.

There were several quite interesting items discussed:

1. There is a Bulgarian company that achieved maturity level 2 in CMMI. The company name is MPS. This is big achievement as it is the first company in the region that has achieved a CMMI rating from A class SCAMPI. We discussed their SCAMPI experience on the meeting.

2. Just a month later a Romanian company achieved CMMI maturity level 3 rating

3. I made short presentation about the new developments in CMMI 1.2 . Of course you can download it form the link - CMMI 1.2 what is new
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On the way to become CMMI Instructor 
Thursday, December 21, 2006, 11:15 AM - CMMI, Personal
The latest news about me is that I took the way to becoming instructor for the Introduction to CMMI course. I already attended the course in November in Frankfurt and am now looking to schedule and conduct my observation. For this I am partnering with the Bulgarian ESI Center .

Perhaps many would like to know more about the Instructor course. Well the course is superb in my opinion. We had excellent trainers that have been working with CMMI for many years and had very deep understanding of complex concepts. The other important part is that you learn a lot about training by watching the instructors as well as the other students.


The model training



Even though the training is not aimed towards the model you do learn a lot about CMMI in these 3 days. To learn at this level about CMMI one must have very good idea of the process areas and the discussion will bring new level of understanding of the model. Some of the things discussed include Process Area relationships, evolution of concepts through the levels of the model, better understanding of how to read and apply CMMI and last but not least the concept of institutionalization.


Trainer training



The other aspect of importance to me was to acquire or enrich my trainer skills and better understand what it takes to teach the course. Again the experience and professionalism of the trainers helped a lot.
The intro training is very fine balance between interactive and engaging training experience and racing against the clock. The training gives you some guidelines how to avoid loosing time, save time if you lost some and how to keep the discussion to the point and avoid distractions.
On the trainer training one is able to see two experienced trainers and several other individuals in my case all form different cultural background. This combined with the ability to experiment with different approaches makes the training valuable experience that sets guidelines for further improvement.


I guess some of you will be interested to take the instructor course yourself and are wondering how difficult is the training and what preparation is required. The answer is that one needs to know the model well and spend a week or two in preparation on the model and few days for completion of the pre-class assignment. The training itself is intensive and not easy, but the instructors do help a lot and aim to have all successful classes. During the course there is one examination and several presentations for assessing the capabilities of the candidate instructors. These should not be a problem provided one knows the model well and is serious about becoming instructor. Indeed during the presentations you will be encouraged to experiment and try out approaches you would not otherwise attempt in front of audience.

Finally if you are new to CMMI and would like to learn more get in touch!

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