CMMI with Digité Universal Process Framework

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1 Introduction In today's world, software is becoming a larger part of many products and services. As the importance of software in systems increases, they are strongly influenced by software quality and by the processes used to acquire, develop and maintain the software. Developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), CMMI is a process improvement model that provides a set of best practices, and a yardstick for appraising current practices in software operations. CMMI defines five maturity levels to support and guide process improvement with two alternative approaches staged and continuous. Staged Representation models provide a proven sequence of improvements, beginning with basic management practices and progressing through a predefined and proven path of successive levels, each serving as a foundation for the next. Continuous representation designates capability levels for process improvement within each process area and allows an organization to choose the order of improvement most relevant to its business needs. Challenges of CMMI Implementation Both large and small organizations encounter issues in implementing CMMI in their environment. While large organizations often have a separate process-engineering group (SEPG) for defining and deploying processes, small organizations depend on champions within projects for process adoption. Therefore the pace of implementation is dependent on the workload and motivation levels of these individual champions. There is a danger of knowledge not being shared with the rest of the organization and a potential loss of knowledge when these champions leave the organization. Organization process improvement depends on continuous monitoring and successive refinement of the implemented processes. Ideally a tool that allows companies to model their lifecycle processes, maintain them in a central repository and provide a framework to standardize, automate, collect and share metrics will benefit small organizations to adopt CMMI prescribed process improvement strategies. Also organizations need flexibility in pacing the process improvements, as they are sensitive to business cycles and employee turnover. Such a tool would have the following characteristics: 1. Process Templates to implement a standard software process, including pre-defined generic CMMI templates of different types 2. Defining and tracking metrics for key process areas and key practices 3. Instantiating and executing projects based on template and tailoring guidelines 4. Monitoring project and process performance against organization's goals

2 Digité Universal Process Framework Digité Universal Process Framework (UPF) defines a computational framework for modeling software development lifecycle management processes associated with a wide range of development methodologies such as RUP, PMBOK, and Agile, consistent with CMMI capability/maturity goals of the organization. Using process templates, an organization can develop and maintain an array of process models to support different project types. Further, these templates can be instantiated in accordance with the tailoring guidelines to provide company wide consistent process implementation. The hierarchical constitution of the UPF is shown in the figure 1. It is based on the concepts that all methodologies employ a consistent set of practices that execute concurrently during the lifecycle of the project. Project Mgmt, Requirements Mgmt and Configuration Mgmt are typical practices one would encounter in most software methodologies. Practices may be hierarchical and contain sub-practices as needed. Each practice has a set of goals to be fulfilled as we step through each of the lifecycle phases of the project, and these goals are expressed in a goal matrix. The practice goals are realized through a set of standard activities that distinguish the practice. The activity matrix defines the standard activities for the practice in a given phase. The role-activity bindings define roles that may perform a specific activity, as established by the methodology. Structured review and approval workflows may be imposed on activities and work products through appropriate e-form item/workflow templates. A reasonable degree of flexibility in the process configuration may be achieved with tailoring guidelines to suit the project and organization context.

3 CMMI Implementation with UPF The CMMI templates are modeled as follows: Maturity Levels and their corresponding KPA's are modeled as a hierarchy of practices in UPF and utilized as needed in the process template PLC, SDLC phases and iterations are defined as per standard practices for the project type (application development, maintenance etc.) and applied to the template An Activity Matrix is created, in which standard activities that realize key practices of the KPA are associated with different lifecycle phases as pertinent A Goal Matrix is created, associating appropriate numeric goals of the KPA with the lifecycle phases Role-Activity bindings ensure that activities are assigned in the project to workers with ability to perform these activities Templates of pertinent functions such as Requirements, Test, Defect, Issues, Risk, DAR, DP and Change Management which are tailored to the process requirements are attached to the Process Template and are thus inherited by the adopting projects The activity matrix of a generic CMMI process template is partially shown in the table 1: Table 1: Activity matrix of a generic CMMI process template To further facilitate the adoption of CMMI, Digité is in the process of developing a knowledge base of SDLC processes based on CMMI guidelines for both staged and continuous representation. These templates can be further customized by addition or deletion of KPA's, iterations, key practices, roles and item/workflow templates, prior to deployment. Once the template is instantiated for a project, the UPF creates a project workspace that employs terminology, menu functions and user experience consistent with the CMMI model and guides the project manager through the tailoring process. After tailoring is completed, detailed project plan can be created using project scheduling tools such as Microsoft Project and imported into the system for execution and monitoring. In addition, during the execution of the project, UPF allows further modifications to the project based on tailoring guidelines. For example, one may add additional phase or iteration to the project to support Agile methodologies, or one may add new work-packets to support additional work orders and track their related effort and cost separately.

4 By providing an integrated platform that supports all aspects of CMMI related project execution activities, such as, requirement management, time sheet, issue/defect management, Digité Enterprise is able to automate the collection of relevant KPA s and their analysis. This significantly reduces the burden of complying with CMMI. Examples of measures collected include: Schedule, effort, and resource variations based on deliverables or project phases, test coverage and effectiveness, defect density, and compliance to various goals and service level agreements. Further, it also allows comparison of current project against historical data from similar projects. Case Study Aztec Software and Technology Services Ltd., (www.aztecsoft.com) is implementing process automation using Digité Enterprise to facilitate its CMMI initiatives at its offshore development center in India. Aztec's specialty is in software product development services that accelerate the creation of software products, reduces time to market and help make schedules predictable in order to better manage resources, predict costs, and reduce market and technology risks. Founded in 1995, Aztec has serviced more than 100 customers worldwide. Aztec Software has executed projects with many of the largest global software companies. Project team sizes vary from 5 to over 300. Since deployment in late 2004, over 10 projects are already using Digité Enterprise and the rest are adopting it progressively. Raghavan M, Head-Quality at Aztec Software and Technology Services Limited, who is leading the implementation of Digité Enterprise says: In our CMMI journey we have two areas where we could do with automation. First, compliance and maintaining audit trails/documentary evidences for the different project activities. Without a tool like Digité Enterprise, these activities will involve significantly more effort on the part of the Project Leaders. With Digité Enterprise, we are in the process of automating activities such as Project Initiation, Project Planning, obtaining commitments from the various support groups as well tracking of action items/issues with the different support groups involved. The tool provides a flexible framework that would help us in obtaining stakeholders' commitment and maintaining activity trails (traceability). Also, the process of Audits could be automated to a large extent; all documentary evidences are available online thus reducing the effort involved in these activities by which we can focus our efforts more on Process Improvement Activities rather than merely ensuring process compliance. The second area is Data Collection and Metrics. Earlier, the organization had disparate tools for capturing raw data such as Timesheets, Defects and Issues etc. These were tedious manual efforts involving collating data from these systems, manipulating them and computing relevant metrics. Visibility into resource utilization and project health was also quite cumbersome. By using a process automation tool such as Digité Enterprise all the metrics are collected centrally as a by-product of automation, and available on-demand. To make CMMI effective, metrics should be automatically collected and instantly visible at any

5 point in time from anywhere. A traffic signal like project health indicator is essential for management review when managing multiple projects concurrently. Digité Enterprise's metrics collection framework is helping in tracking the defects, efforts and schedule variances, and delivers value to our customers. Based on the initial success, Aztec plans to move all our future projects to Digité Enterprise. We are also looking forward to develop a richer knowledge base so that the tool can provide contextual help on the best practices. Summary For organizations embarking on process improvements based on the CMMI model, tool such as Digité will help them quickly deploy processes and achieve level of execution consistent with CMMI goals. Using process compliance metrics, organizations can assess their current readiness for certification and discover areas of improvement. For CMMI-certified companies, Digité provides flexibility through the UPF to convert their organizational processes into Digité templates and manage them over time. About Digité Enterprise Solution Digité Enterprise, which is a leading-edge software application for managing enterprise business processes and project portfolios, is designed for the emerging realities of a connected world. A world in which information flows immediately to where it s needed, teams are based on skills and economics rather than location and company boundaries, and business processes are constantly honed for competitive advantage. Digité Enterprise provides a highly customizable and comprehensive software framework that forms the central hub of a business or IT initiative, providing stakeholders with their own role based portal view. In short, Digité Enterprise is designed to enable the way people work in today's world. Contact Learn more about the enterprise-solutions by visiting or contacting one of our sales representatives in your area. Head Office Digité Inc. 82 Pioneer Way, Suite # 102 Mountain View CA94041 USA Phone: Development Centre Digité Infotech Pvt. Ltd Samruddhi Venture Park 4th floor, Central MIDC Road Andheri (E), Mumbai 93 India Phone: Fax: Development Centre Digité Infotech Pvt. Ltd No.822, 8th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore-44 India Phone: Copyright 2007 Digité Inc. All rights reserved. Digité. All other product or company names are used for identification purposes only, and may be trademarks of their respective owners. * CMMI is registered trademark of Carnegie Mellon University - Software Engineering Institute (SEI-CMU).

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