One important goal of controlled software management is clear delineation of responsibility and mechanisms for accountability. Consequently, the following questions should also be asked in an assessment of an organization's process implementation:
1. Does the organization define a role for maintaining its process description and assets?
2. Does the SEPA role have a track record of influencing projects and corporate strategy?
3. Do software project managers author their development plans?
4. Do software project managers present their status assessments themselves?
Environment Automation, Level 3
An organization that lacks a significant level of automation is unlikely to have a truly mature process. Answers to the following questions will help in evaluating an organization's automation level:
1. Does the organizational policy define a minimum core environment?
2. Does the environment support metrics collection as a natural by-product of the process?
3. Is documentation an automated, homogeneous by-product of software engineering (as opposed to a separate, heterogeneous artifact)?
4. Is round-trip engineering adequately supported by automation?
5. Are test artifacts developed and maintained with the same tools, techniques, and change management as the product artifacts?
6. Is the regression testing adequately supported by automation?
7. Are randomized scenarios and after-hours tests used to ensure statistical test coverage?
8. Are the language editors, configuration management environment, compiler, and debugger integrated?
Architecture Engineering, Level 3
An organization that lacks a significant and systematic focus on architecture is unlikely to have a truly mature process. Answers to the following questions will help in evaluating this perspective:
1. Is instrumentation available for providing objective insight into the execution characteristics of demonstrations (as opposed to being custom-devel-oped on each project) ?
2. Are peer inspections focused on the truly critical components?
3. Is there a well-articulated definition of architecture?
4. Is there a rigorous design notation from which design progress, design volatility, and design qualities can be objectively assessed?
5. Does the architecture team exhibit expertise in both the domain knowledge and the relevant software engineering disciplines?
Change Management, Level 3
In an iterative development process, the management of changes and the extent of change freedom are key indications of process maturity.
1. Are software changes defined unambiguously in terms of type and priority?
2. Are measurements of change collected, reported, and analyzed?
3. Are roles and responsibilities for maintaining the change management database defined and enforced?
4. Is there a mechanism for verifying that the originator of a change request is satisfied with the change implementation?
5. Is there a track record of changes as well as demonstrated change avoidance for risk management purposes?
Predictability, Level 3
The best indication of a mature process is predictable results.
1. Does the organization maintain plan versus actual data?
2. Is there a documented correlation between plan versus actuals on recent projects?
3. Are historical plans and actuals used in current projects?
4. Is there a track record of action where plan and actuals diverge?
Integrated Economics, Level 4
The appropriate economic motivations should be woven into an organization's process.
1. Are there sufficient organizational standards to define the metrics primitives so that measurements across projects are comparable?
2. Are measurements from previous iterations used systematically in the planning of subsequent iterations?
3. Does the SEPA assess the current state of the organization's process maturity?
4. Are the process improvement activities of an organization measured against the return on investment?
5. Do software project managers generally believe that the SEPA adds value to their project?
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.