Implementation of Multiple Quality Frameworks An Analysis

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1 Implementation of Multiple Quality Frameworks An Analysis Aedah Abd Rahman Open University Malaysia Faculty of Information Technology and Multimedia Communication Shamsul Sahibuddin Faculty of Computer Science and Information Systems Suhaimi Ibrahim Faculty of Computer Science and Information Systems ABSTRACT IT organizations or department have currently implemented multiple quality frameworks to support development and production of highly quality assured software. The factors that drive organizations to adopt this practice is to ensure that alignment towards their business goal is always consistent to remain competitive in the market. The ability to meet user satisfaction and requirements by delivering quality product and services on time has become a trivial challenge to the organizations. This paper will indicates study made on some best practices and process improvement framework and discovers the mapping towards software development processes to ensure reliable and on-time delivery of product and service. The research paper first discusses about three popular quality frameworks and focus on two frameworks. The first one is the process improvement framework Capability Maturity Model Integration, CMMI. The second one is IT Infrastructure Library, ITIL. ITIL is a set of best practices which is intended to help IT organizations to provide reliable services to end users. It is adopted by many organizations in the world. The scope of this study includes mapping of both frameworks by finding the interrelationships among the processes. The link between CMMI and ITIL, determines the contributing factors in producing quality assured software which will be used for this research. Keywords Quality framework, CMMI, ITIL, process improvement, processes 1. INTRODUCTION Higher return on investment and positive business impact encourage organisations to implement process improvement standards and frameworks. Organisations who implement these frameworks will have greater control and audit over the software projects. In the end, the benefits that can be achieved are delivering the finest quality product and services. Stakeholders need to understand the complex processes of every quality framework. Research has shown that there is an increasing number of organisations that adopt more than one frameworks. This initiative has been successful in improving the organisation s software development processes. In this paper, we first present the background of CMMI, ITIL, and ISO We then describe the methodology of the study, which evaluates multiple quality frameworks and identification of challenges that occur. We next present the result and discussion of the study, which shall focus on potential implications of implementing concurrent quality frameworks. The conclusion and further work summarizes the findings and suggests further research directions. 1.2 Background Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is a quality framework which increases efficiency and effectiveness of process improvement efforts of software organisations or departments. It describes discrete levels of process improvement [3, 4]. IT Service (ITSM) aligns people, process, technology and information to deliver quality IT services. It is the asset of Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). This quality improvement and monitoring process is consistently performed. The purpose is to ensure that consistent and reliable service is delivered to end users. ITIL focuses on IT operations. ISO9000 is sponsored by the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO). It is a set of quality management standards that enable an organisation to fulfil the customers quality requirements and applicable regulatory requirements. The aim is to enhance customer satisfaction and achieve continual improvement of its performance in pursuit of these objectives [6]. ISO 9000 is generic and can be applied to all public and private sector organisations for any type of products and services no matter any type and size. 2. MOTIVATION AND OBJECTIVES Organisations have now started to implement multiple quality frameworks due to their urgent needs to satisfy business goal. However, the multitude of framework choices may lead the organisations to confusion. Due to the fact that research related to implementation of multiple quality frameworks is quite rare, this is what that motivates the initial study of this research. This paper determines the factors that arise when implementing multiple quality frameworks. The frameworks are based on proven practices and help software organisations in improving process performance, and deliver high quality software product. Top management levels may use these frameworks as a guidance and reference to improve the organization. Software practitioners may utilize this framework as a practical recommendation and checklists. In support of quality assurance, validation and verification activities can be conducted better. Process improvement can be described in many ways. In this section, we focus on two of the three frameworks with emphasis made on process improvement. The two frameworks, CMMI and ITIL require specific process (or process areas) are considered as alignment to improvement. The ground theory for these two models originated from quality theories as proposed by Crosby, Watts S. Humphrey, Boehm and other famous researchers which promote towards continuous process improvement. 798

2 There are still inadequate researches on ITIL. Despite that, the emergence of ITIL awareness has been reported recently [1]. CMMI on the hand has gained popularity after the sunset of Capability Maturity Model (CMM). The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and Software Engineering Process Group (SEPG) provide variety of researches and reports related to CMMI which have been published in many journals and conference. For the purpose of this research paper, we will concentrate on finding the process areas that are involved in the development and operation phases of software development. The important point is to find the link when software development cycle finishes and when software product is delivered to the user. The following section describes the processes in CMMI and ITIL in order to find the possible challenges and factors that arise in adopting both frameworks. 2.1 Software Process Improvement Framework - CMMI CMMI is a capability map which gives description of specific goals and practices that should be attained by an organisation in order to achieve a level of capability and maturity. This paper will look into the criteria in CMMI that are important and relevant to ITIL. CMMI is an integrated process framework which is established to eliminate the problems of multiple CMM. CMMI now has reached version 1.2 three constellations: CMMI-DEV v1.2, CMMI-ACQ v1.2 and CMMI-SVC. The CMMI can be described in two representations of capability: staged and continuous. It is up to the organizations to choose to work on their preferred improvement objective using either staged or continuous approach. The continuous representation, which is more flexible, compared to staged representation. The latter recommends a structured approach using one-way at a time. The differences between continuous and staged representation are described in the following table. Table 1. Difference between continuous and staged representation Continuous Representation Staged Representation No common features are Common features are included included for generic goals (GG) for generic goals (GG). Structured approach 6 levels of process capability 5 maturity levels Incomplete, performed, managed, Initial, managed, defined, defined, quantitatively, quantitatively managed, optimizing optimizing The criteria that occur in the staged representation can be explained as: Maturity level 1 (initial): Process is normally unstable, changeable, adhoc an unstructured.. Organisation has informal process control. It does not have proper control mechanism and no process areas are institutionalized. Maturity level 2 (managed): Starts with basic project management. Standardization within individual projects exists. Maturity level 3 (defined): Organizations already have their own set of standard processes. This level is characterized by process standardisation throughout all projects. Maturity level 2 has been achieved by the organisation. Maturity level 4 (quantitatively managed): Emphasize that measurement and control mechanism must be performed on the process. Quantitative management is the marques of this level and it uses statistical and quantitative techniques. Maturity levels 2 and 3 have been achieved by the organisation. Maturity level 5 (optimizing): Continuous process improvement is concentrated on. Maturity levels 2, 3 and 5 have been achieved by the organisation. The figure below illustrates maturity levels (MLs) in CMMI. INITIAL DEFINED MANAGED QUANTITATIVELY MANAGED OPTIMIZING Figure 1. Staged approach: maturity level of CMMI. We define Process Areas (PAs) in CMMI as the groups of releavant practices which are performed together to achieve a set of objectives or goals. Table 2 summarizes the maturity levels in staged representation with their related PAs. Secondly, the continuous approach which is grouped by category (Process Project Engineering and Support) is shown in Table 3. Table 2. Staged approach: MLs and PAs CMMI Maturity Process Areas (PAs) Levels (MLs) 1 Initial 2 Managed Requirements (REQM), Project Planning (PP), Project Monitoring and Control (PMC), Supplier Agreement (SAM), Measurement and Analysis (MA), Process and Product Quality Assurance (PPQA), Configuration (CM) 3 Defined Requirement Development (RD), Technical Solution (TS), Product Integration (PI), Verification (VER), Validation (VAL), Organizational Process Focus (OPF), Organizational Process Definition (OPD), Organizational Training (OT), Integrated Project (IPM), Risk (RSKM), Decision Analysis and Resolution (DAR), Organizational Environment for Integration (OEI), Integrated Teaming (IT), Integrated Supplier (ISM) 4 Quantitatively Organizational Process Performance Managed (OPP), Quantitative Project (QPM) 5 Optimizing Organizational Innovation and Deployment (OID), Causal Analysis and Resolution (CAR) 799

3 Process has five PAs, Project Engineering and Support have six PAs. The category, PAs and maturity levels are shown in Table 3. Table 3. Continuous approach: Category, PAs and MLs Category Process Areas (PAs) Process (5 PAs) Project Engineering Support Maturity Level (ML) OPD 3 OPF 3 OT 3 OPP 4 OID 5 PP 2 PMC 2 SAM 2 IPM 3 RSKM 3 IT 3 QPM 4 REQM 2 RD 3 TS 3 PI 3 VER 3 VAL 3 CM 2 PPQA 2 MA 2 DAR 3 OEI 3 CAR 5 We elaborate more on CMMI-Service. CMMI for Services constellation does not include Engineering process area category unlike CMMI for Development constellation. CMMI for Services constellation reuse and modify some CMMI process areas. The following modification type has been done: Process Areas Configuration Project Monitoring and Control Project Planning Process and Product Quality Assurance Risk Table 4. PAs and modification type Supplier Agreement Requirements Modification Type Amplification Additional goal and practices 2.2 IT Service Best Practice ITIL ITIL is divided into 2 categories: ITIL Service Support and ITIL Service Delivery. The processes that exist in ITIL Service Support are: Incident Problem Change Release and Configuration. Table 5. Summary of IT service management framework Major categories Service Service Delivery Support Control Release Resolution Relationship Capacity Service Continuity & Availability Service Level Service Reporting, Information Security Budgeting and Accounting for IT Services Configuration Change Release Incident Problem Business Relationship Supplier 3 METHODOLOGY Popular quality frameworks that emerge today to support process improvement are ITIL, CMMI, ISO 9000, CobiT, Bootstrap, etc. Results generated from study by previous researches have shown that many countries in Asia Pacific adopted the multiple quality frameworks concurrently [1]. This research paper summarises the evaluation on current research on concurrent adoptions of three of the frameworks. This study narrows into explaining in detail CMMI and ITIL frameworks. The research investigates into the factors why software practitioners adopt concurrent quality frameworks. Adoptions of multiple frameworks may trigger several issues from the perspective of software practitioner and other stakeholders of the project. The study also focuses on finding the interrelationships among multiple quality frameworks. 3.1 Comparison of Process Quality Frameworks The comparison of quality frameworks is shown in the following table. We compare three process quality frameworks in terms of focus, target, number of processes, and features. ITIL has its own strengths such as providing a framework for managing outsourced applications. It also addresses on initiating and managing of applications. However, there is also the negative side 800

4 such as, some processes in Service Delivery really depends on interpretation. ITIL provides standard, like ISO 9000; however ITIL has no certification like CMMI. As for CMMI, is a very detailed specification and may be used for self assessment. The limitation is it does not address the operation issues such as change, problem and security management. CMMI also set goals but how to achieve them are not mentioned. Implementation and success of CMMI requires strong external support. Focus area Number of processes Table 6. Comparison of process quality frameworks ITIL CMMI ISO 9000 IT service management Improve and assess Generic quality management system (operation side) performance of software development (development side) 2 areas of ITSM: 5 processes for Service Support (operational) and 5 processes for Service Delivery (tactical) 22 process areas; 2 representation: Staged (Maturity Level 1 to 5) & Continuous (Capability Level 0 to 5) Target IT service providers Software development organizations or departments Features and Technology independent, Process flows Focuses on continuous Characteristics are pre-defined and meet 80 & IT improvement for organization s process requirements, Does not address development of new applications Process Improvement Some research on ITIL CMM is ongoing application development, Address on software development, but not on IT operation issues Highly support 20 processes Family of standards providing requirements and guidelines for certification o Focus on quality management standards ISO 9004 provides high level guidance for process improvement 3.2 Issues in Implementing Multiple Process Quality Frameworks Issues may arise when implementing multiple process quality frameworks. Problems that exist between both processes in CMMI and ITIL are such as process overlaps and existing of similar relationships; and complexity that arise due to the integration. The analysis of mappings between both frameworks is explained in views below: Table 7. Analysis of mapping between CMMI and ITIL ITIL Capacity Service Reporting Control : Configuration & Change Release : Release Resolution : Incident Problem Relationship : Business Relationship Supplier CMMI Project category Process Category Engineering category Process Project 4 RESULT AND DISCUSSION The comparison shown in the previous section indicated there is a need to reduce any variance and challenges that may occur when adopting multiple quality frameworks. We focused on the implementation of frameworks that software process improvement, CMMI and best practice that support services, IT Service. The mappings between CMMI and ITIL depicted that some process areas overlaps among each other. The interrelationship shows that 10 CMMI processes overlap with 9 ITIL process areas. The result of correlation made produces redundancy of processes that may satisfy requirements of CMMI and may also satisfy the requirements of ITSM. Thus the percentage of those processes used by the organisations need to be studied. The act of integrating multiple quality frameworks that maps the use of common processes may also affect the stakeholders and overall business goal. Thus, the proposed questionnaire should contain the following variables (or factors). Variables/ Factors Framework Number of Survey Responses Status of Implementation Table 8. Proposed factors Number of organization implementing the frameworks Number of framework implemented in the organisation 801

5 The framework factor indicates the list of frameworks that are used by the organisations such as CMMI/CMM, ITIL, CobiT, ISO9001, Bootstrap, Six Sigma and others. The second factor, number of survey responses indicates the participating. Status of implementation factor will be ranged from 4 scales from no implementation to full implementation. The final factor is the number of framework implemented in the organisation, indicates the total number of various (if any) adopted by the organisation. Organisations have the freedom to adopt as many frameworks as they like depending on their business and organisation goals. 5 CONCLUSION AND FURTHER WORK This paper discusses the implementation of multiple quality frameworks in supporting process improvement and service management. Generally, evaluation has been made among various frameworks used by organisation such as CobiT, ISO 9001, ITIL and CMMI. Moreover CMMI levels that are related to the research work have been explored. Next, we concentrated on two of the frameworks, which are CMMI and ITIL. Industry software practitioners emphasize on the importance of selecting the appropriate and suitable software process improvement as the main goal of the organizations. A good choice of quality framework leads to producing high-quality software within the expected time. Future work shall focus on conducting a survey on the implementation of multiple quality frameworks in organisations in Malaysia. Along the way, we hope to find other contributing factors that initiate the use of various quality frameworks. The implications of this practice will also be investigated further. 6 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Our special thanks to and Open University Malaysia for their continuous support on this research. 7 REFERENCES [1] Bittinger, T. B. & McGowan, C. (2005). ITIL Adoption in Asia Pacific. [2] Campbell, P. L. (2005). A CobiT Primer. Sandia National Laboratories. No. SAND [3] CMMI Product Team. (2002). Capability Maturity Model Integration, Version 1.1, CMMI-SW/SE/IPPD/SS, Staged Representation. CMU/SEI-2002-TR-011. [4] CMMI Product Team. (2002). Capability Maturity Model Integration, Version 1.1, CMMI-SW/SE/IPPD/SS, Continuous Representation Technical Note. CMU/SEI TR-012. [5] Dodson, K. M., Hoffman, H. F., Ramani, G.S. & Yedlin, D. K. (2006). Adapting CMMI for Acquisition Organisations: A Preliminary Report. Technical Report. CMU/SEI-2006-SR [6] ISO. (2005). Understand the Basics: ISO 900 and ISO [7] Jones, L. G. & Soule, A. L. (2002). Software Process Improvement and Product Line Practice: CMMI and the Framework for Software Product Line Practice. CMU/SEI TN-012. [8] Hochstein, T. & Brenner. (2005). Service-Oriented IT : Benefit, Cost and Success Factors. European Conference on Information Systems. Regensburg, Germany. [9] Info-Tech Research Group. (2006). A Guide to Software Maintenance Improvement. Info-Tech White Papers. [10] Kasse, T. (2004). Practical Insight into CMMI. Artech House. [11] Khan, R.A., Mustafa, K, & Ahson, S.I. (2006). Software Quality Concepts and Practices. Oxford, UK: Alpha Science. [12] Kulpa, M.K. & Johnson, K.A. (2003). Interpreting the CMMI: A Process Improvement Approach. Auerbach Publications. [13] Pressman, R. (2004). Software Engineering: A Practitioner s Approach (6 th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill International. [14] Sommerville, I. (2004). Software Engineering (7 th ed.). Essex, England: Pearson Education Limited. 802

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