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Kiril's web log
Technology meets needs 
Friday, July 15, 2005, 12:30 AM - CMMI, CMMI Implementation, Technology, Technology Ideas
If you have read one of my first postings (CMMI first post ) you know I have been looking for the right tools for the job up till now. It seems the search is almost over and I have found a solution that will require little or no programming effort and will allow to achieve the goals set forth in the earlier posting.

The solution I have in mind combines the latest Office technology from Microsoft to deliver flexible and easy to use system.

1. SharePoint Services
2. InfoPath
3. SQL Server
4. Word
5. Excel

The idea is to organize the various artifacts in SharePoint to utilize its facilities for:

- organizing data in various views (grouped by, filtered, with only relevant information displayed)
- easy access via web interface
- provision for integration with Office, SQL Server and virtually all other MS Technology
- ability to version data

InfoPath provides means for editing structured data i.e. has advantage over Excel and Word with

- strong formatting i.e. users cannot involuntarily corrupt the format/schema
- validation facilities
- multiple views on data
- ability to sign documents electronically, important for documents that pass through review cycles
- ability to integrate with external data sources

SQL Server is of course providing facility for keeping data in a format that is easy to query, aggregate and analyze

Word and Excel are going to be used as report/result presentation tools.

The Big Picture

So far I had elaborated initial vision of the solution and only high level architecture.

In short we need:

1. Process Asset Library - holding different organizational process artifacts
2. Project Measurement Repository – this will hold the measurements we collect.
3. Per project repositories where project records will be held along with the projects defined processes
4. Additional data – these will be different lists with clients, contacts, suppliers, training & qualification records

The basic workflow for a contracted project will be:

1. Plan the project:
a. Input project summary info (planned cost, size, effort)
b. Create Project Repository
c. Create Project’s Defined process

2. Summarize milestone i.e. allocated engineers, planned and actual milestone data (effort, # defects, # change requests)

3. Complete the project

a. Enter completed project actual values and lessons learned, problem root cause analysis
b. Summarize the projects process specifics into the PAL as needed

Well this is what I am working on now. Once I make the complete solution from technology and requirements I will post more details.

I am also going to look at what the MS Team system is like as it may be just too similar to what I am doing. I am a bit afraid that it is going to be too much Microsoft Centric and integrated with Visual Studio, which of course is not good for .Net free projects.

Thanks for reading :)

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CMMI first post 
Monday, June 13, 2005, 10:55 PM - CMMI, CMMI Implementation
Here I will be publishing items I stumble upon while implementing the quality management system of Tineo IT Labs using the CMMI guidelines. Tineo IT Labs is a new software service company, founded in February 2005, aiming to deliver top quality service in Europe and around the globe. Our belief is that using simple communication and business processes combined with sound engineering and management practices we can deliver high value service to our customers.
To get the job done we will be using the principles of CMMI. Initially I will be implementing quality management system to comply with ISO and CMMI level 2. It will for sure include a lot of level 3 stuff, but not all.
My first step is to get a solid foundation for the effort, including:

Templates/framework for documenting processes

It will be really nice to have format that easily supports hyperlinks, embedding of files, graphics and printing. In addition some automatic way to trace items between documents would be great particularly for process inputs and outputs.

Process Asset Library (PAL) system

The process asset library is the place where all data will be stored. Now my plans for what goes in to it are:

- organizational processes documentation classified by process area/intended audience/resource type

- tailored process documents by project type/customer

- process documents from previous projects including archived documentation, lessons learned and metrics summaries.

I am not sure if process documents of running projects should be contained in this library as they are live documents and will require less rigid control, plus they should be easily accessible to project members at all times.

Metrics systems

The metrics system is vital for us, as it will provide transparency to customers on the status of their projects.
The metrics database should be easily used by engineers daily it should be possible to integrate with 3rd party sources of data like issue tracking systems.
The end result should display project status screen to customers/managers indicating overall project state and summary of the individual project aspects.
At present I am reviewing one metrics system I downloaded from NASA's website

Come back for more!

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