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Cmmi(r Assessments: Motivating Positive Change

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Use Assessments to Drive Process Improvements in Software, Systems, Human Resources, and Beyond

Pioneered by the world's leading innovators in software engineering, assessments have evolved into a remarkably powerful tool for process improvement in areas ranging from systems to services, hardware to human resources.

Unlike audits, assessments are conducted from the inside. When handled correctly, assessments can help transform technical and managerial culture, dramatically improving both quality and profitability. In CMMI Assessments: Motivating Positive Change, two of the field's most respected leaders show exactly how to use them for maximum business advantage. Writing for executives, managers, technical professionals, and assessors themselves, Marilyn Bush and Donna Dunaway illuminate every phase of the assessment process—from planning through post-assessment follow-up.

The authors begin with an expert overview of what assessments entail, when they make sense, how to set achievable goals for them, and how to lead them to success. Next, they "drill down" into each stage of the process, presenting step-by-step instructions and defining the roles and responsibilities of every participant. Coverage includes creating and training assessment teams; identifying assessment products; consolidating interview data and other onsite activities; presenting results; and using those results productively.

Drawing on their unsurpassed experience leading assessments and mentoring assessors, they offer deep insights into the real-world challenges and obstacles you'll face—and proven solutions. They also present an extended case study showing how a real software development organization drove continuous improvement through four years of iterative assessments—moving from CMM Level 2 to elite Level 5 status, and driving dramatic business benefits along the way.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Marilyn Bush is a leading figure in international software process improvement. After twenty years of experience as a project, systems, and software manager, she was enlisted by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University (SEI) to provide practical and managerial perspective on the team that produced the CMM. In 1995, she became one of the co-authors of The Capability Maturity Model: Guidelines for Improving the Software Process. She is also an author of the SEI's Introductory Course on the CMM, and had a hand in developing the SEI CBA IPI Assessment Method and the SEI Lead Assessor Course. The head of her own consulting firm since 1992 (, Marilyn is one of the world's most experienced CMM and CMMI Lead Assessors and has specialized in advising companies at the senior executive level.

Donna K. Dunaway, Ph.D., is a pioneer in the computing industry, having taught herself to program an IBM 704 in the late '50s. After working in a number of software development organizations during her career, she joined the Process Group at the SEI in 1992. She developed and managed the SEI Appraiser Program from its beginnings in 1994 until 2000. She served on the CMMI Product Development Team from 1998 to 2000. As head of her own consulting company, The Dunaway Group (, Donna works with organizations in their process-improvement initiatives to achieve greater benefits from use of the models and assessment methods.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents





About the Authors.

1. Why Do Assessments?

    What Assessments Do

    The Four Principal Functions of Assessments

    The Analytical Function of Assessments

    Assessments Function as Fulcrums of Positive Change

    Assessments Transform Organizations by the Way They Work

    Assessments Educate as They Analyze, Motivate, and Transform

    Why Gaming the Results of an Assessment Doesn’t Help (Though Many Try)

    Can Assessments Really Change an Organization? A Preview of an Extended Case History to Be Found in Part 12

    Bottom-Line Profit and Cost Numbers: Assessments Pay

2. A Brief History of Process Improvement Methodologies and Assessment Methods.

    The Beginnings of Modern Software Assessment Methodology

    The SEI Capability Maturity Model

    The Three Principal Advantages of a Modern Software Assessment over Traditional Manufacturing-Based Audit Procedures

    A Second Path Toward Software Process Improvement Assessments: The History of  SO-9000-3, Bootstrap, SPICE, and the CMMI

    The CMMI: An Enlarged Structure and Scope

    A Hybrid Assessment Approach: The CMMI SCAMPI

    Informal or Reduced Assessments: Class B and Class C Assessments

3. Assessments: An Executive Overview.

    What Are a Senior Executive’s Responsibilities?

    What Are the Phases of an Assessment?

    Cost: How Much Time and Effort Does an Assessment Require?

4. Planning and Preparing for an Assessment, Chapter 1: Senior Management Responsibilities.

    Selecting a Lead Assessor

    Determining the Business Goals and the Organizational and Reference Model Scope of the Assessment

    Choosing an Assessment Sponsor

    Establishing Appropriate Organizational Understanding

5. Planning and Preparing for an Assessment, Chapter 2: Choosing a Time. Formulating an Assessment Plan. Appointing an Organization Site Coordinator and Organizing Logistics.

    Choosing a Time for the Assessment

    The Assessment Plan

    Managing Logistics: Appointing an Organization Site Coordinator

    Assessment Readiness: When Is an Organization Ready for an Assessment?

6. Planning and Preparing for an Assessment, Chapter 3: Creating an Assessment Team. Selecting Projects to Be Assessed. Selecting People to Be Interviewed. Defining the Final Assessment Products. Distributing Questionnaires.

    Selecting the Assessment Team

    Selecting Projects to Be Assessed

    Selecting People to Be Interviewed 

    Defining Final Assessment Products 

    Distributing Questionnaires

7. Planning and Preparing for an Assessment, Chapter 4: Assessment Team Training and Post-Training Activities.

    Assessment Team Training

    The Assessment Team’s Pre-Onsite Organization and Activities

    Preparing Organization Participants for What Is to Come 

8. Onsite Activities, Chapter 1: The Kick-Off Meeting and Other Presentations. Collecting and Managing Documents Throughout the Assessment. Problems Associated with Immature Organizations.

    The Kick-Off Meeting and Other Presentations

    Collecting and Managing Documents Throughout the Assessment

    Problems Associated with an Immature Organization’s Desire to “Do Well” on an Assessment

9. Onsite Activities, Chapter 2: Interviewing.

    Interviewing: An Overview

    Interviewing Dynamics

    Assessment Team Roles During the Interview

    The Stages of an Interview

    Note Taking

    Different Interviews for Different Jobholders

10. Onsite Activities, Chapter 3: The Day-to-Day Consolidation of Data.

    Consolidating Data: An Overview

    Team Members Take Notes and Prepare to Construct “Observations” About Questionnaires, Documentation Reviews, Presentations, and Interviews

    Transforming Notes into Observations

    How Consolidation Produces Day-to-Day Alterations in the Assessment Plan

    Consolidation Is a Consensus Process

    Warning: Consensus Must Not Be Deferred Until the Final Stages of an Assessment

    A Lurking Disaster to Consensus: Misunderstanding the Model

    The Special Requirements of the SCAMPI Consolidation Approach

11. The Final Stages of an Onsite Assessment: Summing Up and Presenting Results.

    Consolidating Draft Findings

    Draft Findings Meetings: An Overview

    The Team’s Final Consolidation: Ratings, Including the Maturity Level Rating

    CMMI Continuous Model

    The Preparation of Final Findings

    Presenting Final Findings Informally to Senior Management (Optional)

    The Final Findings Presentation

    Post-Final Findings Executive Session (Optional)

    Assessment Wrap-Up

12. How to Use the Results of an Assessment Productively.

    Introduction: After an Assessment

    Who? (Who Drives a Disciplined Post-Assessment Plan? Who Makes It Work?)

    When Should Post-Assessment Planning Begin? How Ambitious Should It Be? 

    What Does a Post-Assessment Improvement Plan Look Like? How Should It Unfold? In What Spirit Should It Be Undertaken?

    After the Plan: Managing the Introduction of Improved Processes

    Creating, Tracking, and Implementing a Post-Assessment Plan for Process Improvement: A Step-by-Step Case History of How Organization Z Transformed Assessment Recommendations into Action Items, Implemented Improvements, and Conducted Subsequent Assessments and Improvement Cycles over a Four-Year Period




Product Details

Addison-Wesley Professional
Programming - Software Development
Bush, Marilyn
Dunaway, Donna
Capability maturity model (Computer software)
Software Development & Engineering - General
Software Engineering-General
The SEI Series in Software Engineering
Publication Date:
February 2005
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
9.54 x 6.5 x 1.24 in 816 gr

Related Subjects

Business » Accounting and Finance
Computers and Internet » Networking » General
Computers and Internet » Software Engineering » General
Engineering » Engineering » General Engineering
History and Social Science » Economics » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Travel » General

Cmmi(r Assessments: Motivating Positive Change
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Product details 432 pages Addison-Wesley Professional - English 9780321179357 Reviews:
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