CMMI - Generic Practices

Generic Practices at Maturity Levels Common FeaturesProcess By Maturity Level Grid

Although a generic practice, by definition, applies to all process areas, the practical implications of applying a generic practice vary for each process area. [Note] Therefore, it is important to be aware of the extent to which a generic practice may either reinforce expectations set elsewhere in the model, or set new expectations that should be addressed.

Note on generic Practice Numbering
Each Generic Practices has a number associated with it. Generic practices beginning with GP 2 apply to process areas starting at maturity level 2 and thereafter applying to all higher levels. They are indicated by the white colored background. Practices that begin with GP 3 are not expected to be performed until maturity level 3 and are to be evident in all higher maturity levels. They are indicated by a tan background.

The generic practices cited here are for the staged representation. There are other generic practices that are used by the continuous representation. These generic practices are associated with capability levels 1, 4, and 5, and will be specifically mentioned during discussion of that maturity level.

Capability Levels and Generic Model Components

Performed Managed DefinedQuantitatively ManagedOptimizing

The capability levels and generic model components focus on building the organizationís ability to pursue process improvement in multiple process areas. Using capability levels, generic goals, and generic practices, users are able to improve their processes, as well as demonstrate and evaluate improvement progress.

ďInstitutionalizationĒ is an important dimension to each of the capability levels. When mentioned below in the capability level descriptions, institutionalization implies that the process is ingrained in the way the work is performed.

The specific practices belonging to the process areas in the Process Management, Project Management, and Support categories are all capability level 1 practices. However, other process areas (e.g., Engineering process areas) have two types of specific practices: base practices (those at capability level 1) and advanced practices (those at higher capability levels). For those process areas that have advanced practices, the wording of the specific goals does not change with different capability levels, but the set of specific practices that map to them may change.

Level 1: Performed

PracticeDescription
GP 1.1 Perform Base Practices
Perform the base practices of the process area to develop work products and provide services to achieve the specific goals of the process area.

Purpose: to produce the work products and deliver the services that are expected by performing the process. [Note]

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Level 2: Managed

A managed process is a performed (capability level 1) process that is also planned and executed in accordance with policy, employs skilled people having adequate resources to produce controlled outputs, involves relevant stakeholders; is monitored, controlled, and reviewed; and is evaluated for adherence to its process description. The process may be instantiated by an individual project, group, or organizational function. Management of the process is concerned with the institutionalization of the process area and the achievement of other specific objectives established for the process, such as cost, schedule, and quality objectives. See Chapter 3 for an explanation of how ďmanaged processĒ is used in the CMMI Product Suite.

A critical distinction between a performed process and a managed process is the extent to which the process is managed. A managed process is planned (the plan may be part of a more encompassing plan) and the performance of the process is managed against the plan. Corrective actions are taken when the actual results and performance deviate significantly from the plan. A managed process achieves the objectives of the plan and is institutionalized for consistent performance (see generic practices below).

The objectives for the process are determined based on an understanding of the projectís or organizationís particular needs. Objectives may be quantitative or qualitative.

The objectives for the process may be specific objectives for the individual process or they may be defined for a broader scope (i.e., for a set of processes), with the individual processes contributing to achieving these objectives. These objectives may be revised as part o

The control provided by a managed process helps ensure that the established process is retained during times of stress.

The requirements and objectives for the process are established. The status of the work products and delivery of the services are visible to management at defined points (e.g., at major milestones and completion of major tasks). Commitments are established among those performing the work and relevant stakeholders. Commitments are revised as necessary. Work products are reviewed with relevant stakeholders and are controlled. The work products and services satisfy their specified requirements.

A managed process is institutionalized by doing:

Institutionalization also implies that the breadth and depth of the implementation of the process and the length of time the process has been in place are appropriate to ensure that the process is ingrained in the way the work is performed.

PurposeDescriptionSub
Practices
GP 2.1 Establish an Organizational Policy
To define the organizational expectations for the process and make these expectations visible to those in the organization who are affected.
Establish and maintain an organizational policy for planning and performing the process. [Note]  
GP 2.2 Plan the Process
To determine what is needed to perform the process and achieve the established objectives, to prepare a plan for performing the process, to prepare a process description, and to get agreement on the plan from relevant stakeholders.

Establish and maintain the plan for performing the process. [SP]
GP 2.3 Provide Resources
To determine what is needed to perform the process and achieve the established objectives, to prepare a plan for performing the process, to prepare a process description, and to get agreement on the plan from relevant stakeholders.

Provide adequate resources for performing the process, developing the work products, and providing the services of the process.  
GP 2.4 Assign Responsibility
To ensure that there is accountability throughout the life of the process for performing the process and achieving the specified results. The people assigned must have the appropriate authority to perform the assigned responsibilities.

Assign responsibility and authority for performing the process, developing the work products, and providing the services of the process..

Responsibility can be assigned using detailed job descriptions or in living documents, such as the plan for performing the process. Dynamic assignment of responsibility is another legitimate way to perform this generic practice, as long as the assignment and acceptance of responsibility are ensured throughout the life of the process.

[SP]
GP 2.5 Train People
To ensure that the people have the necessary skills and expertise to perform or support the process.

Train the people performing or supporting the process as needed..

Appropriate training is provided to the people who will be performing the work. Overview training is provided to orient people who interact with those performing the work. Training supports the successful performance of the process by establishing a common understanding of the process and by imparting the skills and knowledge needed to perform the process.

 
GP 2.6 Manage Configurations
To establish and maintain the integrity of the designated work products of the process (or their descriptions) throughout their useful life.

Place designated work products of the process under appropriate levels of configuration management..

The designated work products are specifically identified in the plan for performing the process, along with a specification of the level of configuration management.

[SP]
GP 2.7 Identify and Involve Relevant Stakeholders
To establish and maintain the expected involvement of stakeholders during the execution of the process.

Identify and involve the relevant stakeholders as planned..

The designated work products are specifically identified in the plan for performing the process, along with a specification of the level of configuration management.

[SP]
GP 2.8 Monitor and Control the Process
To perform the direct day-to-day monitoring and controlling of the process.

Monitor and control the process against the plan for performing the process and take appropriate corrective action..

Appropriate visibility into the process is maintained so that appropriate corrective action can be taken when necessary. Monitoring and controlling the process involves measuring appropriate attributes of the process or work products produced by the process.

[SP]
GP 2.9 Objectively Evaluate Adherence
Objectively evaluate adherence of the process against its process description, standards, and procedures, and address noncompliance.

Monitor and control the process against the plan for performing the process and take appropriate corrective action..

People not directly responsible for managing or performing the activities of the process typically evaluate adherence. In many cases, adherence is evaluated by people within the organization, but external to the process or project, or by people external to the organization. As a result, credible assurance of adherence can be provided even during times when the process is under stress (e.g., when the effort is behind schedule or over budget).

[SP]
GP 2.10 Review Status with Higher Level Management
Objectively evaluate adherence of the process against its process description, standards, and procedures, and address noncompliance.

Monitor and control the process against the plan for performing the process and take appropriate corrective action..

People not directly responsible for managing or performing the activities of the process typically evaluate adherence. In many cases, adherence is evaluated by people within the organization, but external to the process or project, or by people external to the organization. As a result, credible assurance of adherence can be provided even during times when the process is under stress (e.g., when the effort is behind schedule or over budget).

[SP]

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Level 3: Defined

A defined process is a managed (capability level 2) process that is tailored from the organization's set of standard processes according to the organizationís tailoring guidelines, and contributes work products, measures, and other process-improvement information to the organizational process assets.

The organizationís set of standard processes, which are the basis of the defined process, are established and improved over time. Standard processes describe the fundamental process elements that are expected in the defined processes. Standard processes also describe the relationships (e.g., the ordering and interfaces) between these process elements. The organization-level infrastructure to support current and future use of the organization's set of standard processes is established and improved over time.

The organizational process assets are artifacts that relate to describing, implementing, and improving processes. These artifacts are assets because they are developed or acquired to meet the business objectives of the organization, and they represent investments by the organization that are expected to provide current and future business value. See Chapter 3 for an explanation of how ďorganizational process assetsĒ is used in the CMMI Product Suite.

A defined process clearly states:

A defined process is institutionalized by doing:

A critical distinction between a managed process and a defined process is the scope of application of the process descriptions, standards, and procedures. For a managed process, the process descriptions, standards, and procedures are applicable to a particular project, group, or organizational function. As a result, the managed processes for two projects within the same organization may be very different.

At the defined capability level, the organization is interested in deploying standard processes that are proven and that therefore take less time and money than continually writing and deploying new processes. Because the process descriptions, standards, and procedures are tailored from the organization's set of standard processes and related organizational process assets, defined processes are appropriately consistent across the organization. Another critical distinction is that a defined process is described in more detail and performed more rigorously than a managed process. This means that improvement information is easier to understand, analyze, and use. Finally, management of the defined process is based on the additional insight provided by an understanding of the interrelationships of the process activities and detailed measures of the process, its work products, and its services.

PurposeDescriptionSub
Practices
GP 3.1 Establish a Defined Process
To establish and maintain a description of the process that is tailored from the organization's set of standard processes to address the needs of a specific instantiation.
Establish and maintain the description of a defined process.The descriptions of the defined processes provide the basis for planning, performing, and managing the activities, work products, and services associated with the process. [SP]
GP 3.2 Collect Improvement Data
To collect information and artifacts derived from planning and performing the process.
Collect work products, measures, measurement results, and improvement information derived from planning and performing the process to support the future use and improvement of the processes and process assets. [SP]

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Level 4: Quantitatively Managed

A quantitatively managed process is a defined (capability level 3) process that is controlled using statistical and other quantitative techniques. Quantitative objectives for quality and process performance are established and used as criteria in managing the process. The quality and process performance are understood in statistical terms and are managed throughout the life of the process.

The quantitative objectives are based on the capability of the organization's set of standard processes, the organizationís business objectives, and the needs of the customer, end users, organization, and

The people performing the process are directly involved in quantitatively managing the process.

Quantitative management is performed on the overall set of processes that produces a product or provides a service. The sub-processes that are significant contributors to overall process performance are statistically managed. For these selected sub-processes, detailed measures of the process performance are collected and statistically analyzed. Special causes of process variation are identified and, where appropriate, the source of the special cause is addressed to prevent future occurrences.

The quality and process performance measures are incorporated into the measurement repository to support future fact-based decision making.

A quantitatively managed process is institutionalized by doing:

A critical distinction between a defined process and a quantitatively managed process is the predictability of the process performance. The term ďquantitatively managedĒ implies using appropriate statistical and other quantitative techniques to manage the performance of one or more critical sub-processes of a process so that the future performance of the process can be predicted. A defined process only provides qualitative predictability.

Activities for quantitatively managing the performance of a process include:

The corrective actions described above include changing the objectives or ensuring that relevant stakeholders have a quantitative understanding of, and have agreed to, the performance shortfall.

PurposeDescriptionSub
Practices
GP 4.1 Establish Quantitative Objectives for the Process
To determine and obtain agreement from relevant stakeholders about specific quantitative objectives for the process. These quantitative objectives can be expressed in terms of product quality, service quality, and process performance.
Establish and maintain quantitative objectives for the process that address quality and process performance based on customer needs and business objectives. [SP]
GP 4.2 Stabilize Sub-process Performance
To stabilize the performance of one or more sub-processes of the defined (capability level 3) process that are critical contributors to the overall performance using appropriate statistical and other quantitative techniques.
Stabilize the performance of one or more subprocesses to determine the ability of the process to achieve the established quantitative quality and process-performance objectives.

A stable sub-process shows no significant indication of special causes of process variation. Stable sub-processes are predictable within the limits established by the natural bounds of the sub-process. Variations in the stable sub-process are due to a constant system of chance causes, and the magnitude of the variations may be small or large.

[SP]

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Level 5: Optimizing

An optimizing process is a quantitatively managed (capability level 4) process that is changed and adapted to meet relevant current and projected business objectives. An optimizing process focuses on continually improving the process performance through both incremental and innovative technological improvements. Process improvements that would address root causes of process variation and measurably improve the processes are identified, evaluated, and deployed as appropriate. These improvements are selected based on a quantitative understanding of their expected contribution to achieving the process-improvement objectives versus the cost and impact to the organization. The process performance of the processes is continually improved.

Selected incremental and innovative technological process improvements are systematically managed and deployed into the organization. The effects of the deployed process improvements are measured and evaluated again.

An optimizing process is institutionalized by doing:

A critical distinction between a quantitatively managed process and an optimizing process is that the optimizing process is continuously improved by addressing common causes of process variation. A quantitatively managed process is concerned with addressing special causes of process variation and providing statistical predictability for the results. Though the process may produce predictable results, the results may be insufficient to achieve the established objectives. In a process that is optimized, common causes of process variation are addressed by changing that process in a manner that will lead to a shift in the mean or a decrease in variation when it is brought back to stability. These changes are intended to improve process performance and achieve established process-improvement objectives.

PurposeDescriptionSub
Practices
GP 5.1 Ensure Continuous Process Improvement
To select and systematically deploy process and technology improvements that contribute to meeting established quality and process-performance objectives.
Ensure continuous improvement of the process in fulfilling the relevant business objectives of the organization.

Optimizing processes that are agile and innovative depends on the participation of an empowered workforce aligned with the business values and objectives of the organization. The ability to rapidly respond to changes and opportunities is enhanced by finding ways to accelerate and share learning. Improvement of the processes is inherently part of everybodyís role, resulting in a cycle of continual improvement.

[SP]
GP 5.2 Correct Root Causes of Problems
To analyze defects and other problems that were encountered, to correct the root causes of these types of defects and problems, and to prevent these defects and problems from occurring in the future.
Identify and correct the root causes of defects and other problems in the process. [SP]

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Common Features of Generic Processes

Commitment to Perform Ability to Perform Directing ImplementationVerifying Implementation

Common features are groupings that provide a way to present the generic practices.

There are four common features used in CMMI models with a staged representation:

  1. Commitment to Perform,
  2. Ability to Perform,
  3. Directing Implementation, and
  4. Verifying Implementation.

Commitment to Perform

PracticeDescription
GP 2.1 Establish an Organizational Policy
Establish and maintain an organizational policy for planning and performing the process.

Purpose: to define the organizational expectations for the process and make these expectations visible to those in the organization who are affected.

In general, senior management is responsible for establishing and communicating guiding principles, direction, and expectations for the organization. [Note]

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Ability to Perform

PracticeDescription
GP 2.2 Plan the Process
Establish and maintain the plan for performing the process.

Purpose: to determine what is needed to perform the process and achieve the established objectives, to prepare a plan for performing the process, to prepare a process description, and to get agreement on the plan from relevant stakeholders.

Requirements for the process's specified work products and for performing the work may be derived from other requirements. In the case of a projectís processes, they may come from that projectís requirements management process; in the case of a process, they may come from organizational sources.

The objectives for the process may be derived from other plans (e.g., the project plans). Included are objectives for the specific situation, including quality, cost, and schedule objectives. For example, an objective might be to reduce the cost of performing a process for this implementation over the previous implementation.

Establishing a plan includes documenting the plan and providing a process description. Maintaining the plan includes changing it as necessary, in response to either corrective actions or to changes in requirements and objectives for the process.

More...
Plan for process
Sub Practices

GP 2.3 Provide Resources
Provide adequate resources for performing the process, developing the work products, and providing the services of the process.

Purpose: to ensure that the resources necessary to perform the process as defined by the plan are available when they are needed. Resources include adequate funding, appropriate physical facilities, skilled people, and appropriate tools.[Note]

GP 2.4 Assign Responsibility
Assign responsibility and authority for performing the process, developing the work products, and providing the services of the process.

Purpose: to ensure that there is accountability throughout the life of the process for performing the process and achieving the specified results. The people assigned must have the appropriate authority to perform the assigned responsibilities.

Responsibility can be assigned using detailed job descriptions or in living documents, such as the plan for performing the process. Dynamic assignment of responsibility is another legitimate way to perform this generic practice, as long as the assignment and acceptance of responsibility are ensured throughout the life of the process.

More...
Sub Practices

GP 2.5 Train People
Train the people performing or supporting the process as needed.

Purpose: to ensure that the people have the necessary skills and expertise to perform or support the process.

Appropriate training is provided to the people who will be performing the work. Overview training is provided to orient people who interact with those performing the work. [Note]

Training supports the successful performance of the process by establishing a common understanding of the process and by imparting the skills and knowledge needed to perform the process.

GP 3.1 Establish a Defined Process
Establish and maintain the description of a defined process.

Purpose: to establish and maintain a description of the process that is tailored from the organization's set of standard processes to address the needs of a specific instantiation. The organization should have standard processes that cover the process area, as well as have guidelines for tailoring these standard processes to meet the needs of a project or organizational function. With a defined process, variability in how the processes are performed across the organization is reduced and process assets, data, and learning can be effectively shared. [Note]

More...
Sub Practices

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Directing Implementation

PracticeDescription
GP 2.6 Manage Configurations
Place designated work products of the process under appropriate levels of configuration management.

Purpose: to establish and maintain the integrity of the designated work products of the process (or their descriptions) throughout their useful life.[Note]

The designated work products are specifically identified in the plan for performing the process, along with a specification of the level of configuration management.

Different levels of configuration management are appropriate for different work products and for different points in time. For some work products, it may be sufficient to maintain version control (i.e., the version of the work product in use at a given time, past or present, is known and changes are incorporated in a controlled manner). Version control is usually under the sole control of the work product owner (which may be an individual, a group, or a team).

Sometimes, it may be critical that work products be placed under formal or ďbaselineĒ configuration management. This type of configuration management includes defining and establishing baselines at predetermined points. These baselines are formally reviewed and agreed on, and serve as the basis for further development of the designated work products.

Additional levels of configuration management between version control and formal configuration management are possible. An identified work product may be under various levels of configuration management at different points in time.

GP 2.7 Identify and Involve Relevant Stakeholders
Identify and involve the relevant stakeholders as planned.

Purpose: to establish and maintain the expected involvement of stakeholders during the execution of the process, while not allowing excessive numbers of affected groups and individuals to impede process execution. [Note]

More...
Stakeholder Involvement Plan
Sub Practices

GP 2.8 Monitor and Control the Process
Monitor and control the process against the plan for performing the process and take appropriate corrective action.

Purpose: to perform the direct day-to-day monitoring and controlling of the process. Appropriate visibility into the process is maintained so that appropriate corrective action can be taken when necessary.

Monitoring and controlling the process involves measuring appropriate attributes of the process or work products produced by the process.[Note]

More...
Sub Practices

GP 3.2 Collect Improvement Information
Collect work products, measures, measurement results, and improvement information derived from planning and performing the process to support the future use and improvement of the organizationís processes and process assets.

Purpose: collect information and artifacts derived from planning and performing the process. This generic practice is performed so that the information and artifacts can be included in the organizational process assets and made available to those who are (or who will be) planning and performing the same or similar processes. The information and artifacts are stored in the organizationís measurement repository and the organizationís process asset library. [Note]

More...
Sub Practices



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Verifying Implementation

PracticeDescription
GP 2.9 Objectively Evaluate Adherence
Objectively evaluate adherence of the process against its process description, standards, and procedures, and address noncompliance.

Purpose: provide credible assurance that the process is implemented as planned and adheres to its process description, standards, and procedures. [Note]

People not directly responsible for managing or performing the activities of the process typically evaluate adherence. In many cases, adherence is evaluated by people within the organization, but external to the process or project, or by people external to the organization. As a result, credible assurance of adherence can be provided even during times when the process is under stress (e.g., when the effort is behind schedule or over budget).[Note]

GP 2.10 Review Status with Higher Level Management
Review the activities, status, and results of the process with higher level management and resolve issues.

Purpose: provide higher level management with the appropriate visibility into the process.

Higher level management includes those levels of management in the organization above the immediate level of management responsible for the process. In particular, higher level management includes senior management. These reviews are for managers who provide the policy and overall guidance for the process, not for those who perform the direct day-to-day monitoring and controlling of the process.

Different managers have different needs for information about the process. These reviews help ensure that informed decisions on the planning and performing of the process can be made. Therefore, thely Managedse reviews are expected to be both periodic and event driven.



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Generic Practice Usage By Process Activity Grid

This table describes the use of generic practices grouped by Process groups. CMMI associates these processes with the Maturity Level they satisfy. The fulfillment of the process area's activities and functions are necessary for the organization to be considered at that defined level of maturity. The colour coding indicates at what maturity level the process area is considered to be integral to reaching the designated maturity level. Basic processes are considered to belong to Maturity levels 2 and below while Advanced processes indicate activity which will be considered only when the organization has achieved the previous maturity level (ie. implemented all the processes associated with the level [Note]). Clicking on the check mark in the grid below provides an explanation of how the generic process (column) works for the associated process (row).

2. Managed  3. Defined  4. Quantitatively Managed  5. Optimizing 

Sub-Processes Managed Defined
2.1
Policy
2.2
Plan
2.3
Resources
2.4
Authority
2.5
Training
2.6
Configs
2.7
Stakhldrs
2.8
Monitor
2.9
Adherence
2.10
Review
3.1
Described
3.2
Imprvmnt
Process Management
Organizational Process Focus
Organizational Process Definition
Organizational Training
Organizational Process Performance
Organizational Innovation and Deployment
Project Management
Project Planning
Project Monitoring and Control
Supplier Agreement Management
Integrated Project Management for IPPD
Risk Management
Integrated Teaming
Integrated Supplier Management

Quantitative Project Management
Engineering
Requirements Management
Requirements Development
Technical Solution
Verification
Validation
Product Integration
Support
Measurement and Analysis
Process and Product Quality Assurance
Configuration Management
Decision Analysis and Resolution
Organizational Environment for Integration
Causal Analysis and Resolution

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