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1 INFO 631 Prof. Glenn Booker Week 5 – Quality Assessment & Process Improvement 1INFO631 Week 5

2 INFO631 Week 52 Time for a Sanity Check We have defined many ways to measure a project, and establish various guides for quality Now, as a project is happening, we want to determine if we are reaching our goals

3 INFO631 Week 53 Assessment versus Audit Here, per Kan, distinguish between a quality assessment and a quality audit –A quality assessment is an evaluation of the project to see if desired goals are being met, and identify problem areas –A quality audit is used to refer to formal external activities, such as an ISO 9000 audit or CMMI audit

4 INFO631 Week 54 Quality Assessment A quality assessment could be done by an independent team, or by people within the project’s QA organization Assessments can be done at various points in a project –A typical project might schedule 4-6 major quality reviews (Kan, p. 398), evenly spaced during the project

5 INFO631 Week 55 Quality Assessment Each quality assessment typically has three phases –Preparation phase –Evaluation phase –Summarization phase Recommendations and Risk Mitigation The scope of data and measures are key aspects of each phase

6 INFO631 Week 56 Preparation Phase Given the development process used on a project, and the project schedule, determine where the project stands relative to them –Need to focus on both qualitative and quantitative data to determine development progress, find problems, and predict final product quality

7 INFO631 Week 57 Preparation Phase Qualitative data can be obtained from interviews (one-on-one or small group) or questionnaires May focus on identifying –Whose input is critical right now? –Are affected all areas represented? –Who needs to know what’s happening right now?

8 INFO631 Week 58 Preparation Phase –What are the key risks, and our mitigation strategy for each? –How does our status compare to similar previous projects?

9 INFO631 Week 59 Evaluation Phase Now that you have the data on hand, the evaluation phase is the act of using various techniques to analyze the data, and extract the desired information –Data might be presented using the indicators discussed with GQ(I)M

10 INFO631 Week 510 Evaluation Phase Part of the challenge is understanding when you have enough data, and how to put the data in perspective of the project as a whole –Here it’s critical to choose the right measures to evaluate the data, and pick good evaluation criteria to judge what’s ‘good’ and ‘bad’

11 INFO631 Week 511 Summarization phase Now we want to blend the qualitative and quantitative results into an overall summary of the state of the project Summary is typically broken into major sections, depending on the types of activities currently occurring –Design reviews, code inspections, system testing, regression testing, etc.

12 INFO631 Week 512 Summarization phase –Each section’s current status might be summarized with a basic stoplight scale (red/yellow/green) to indicate how severe problems are in that area –These could be tracked over time to show trends in quality

13 INFO631 Week 513 Recommendations and Risk Mitigation Part of the summary is to give specific recommendations –Look at current risky areas, and describe what activities are needed to bring them under better control? This often links to your project’s risk management strategy, where you identified significant risks, and defined a risk mitigation strategy for each

14 INFO631 Week 514 Risk Mitigation Risk strategies can include –Contain the risk, using specific activities to reduce the chance of it happening (risk prevention) and reduce its impact if it does occur (risk mitigation) –Develop a contingency plan to manage the risk if it occurs

15 INFO631 Week 515 Risk Mitigation –Transfer to risk to another organization or part of the system (let a subcontractor develop a part you know poorly, for example) –Ignore the risk, if it has low impact –Avoid the risk, by using a different process or eliminate a risky feature from the product requirements

16 INFO631 Week 516 Conducting Assessments In planning an assessment, the scope is a critical aspect –Often an assessment will be limited to part of a project, to address areas most likely to be critical –The emphasis is still on determining whether the project is meeting its goals for quality

17 INFO631 Week 517 Conducting Assessments Audits are performed in a manner similar to assessments –The difference in focus is that audits focus on comparing processes to a process model (CMMI, ISO 9000), whereas assessments compare project outcomes to its own goals –An audit’s scope could cover several projects within one organization

18 INFO631 Week 518 Conducting Assessments In addition to the usual models, audits could be based on other models –Bootstrap –Trillium –ISO 12207 –ISO 15504 –DOD-STD-2167a (obsolete) –MIL-STD-498 (obsolete)

19 INFO631 Week 519 Conducting Assessments Likewise, the scope of an audit could differ based on the model selected –ISO 9000 is facility-based, since it was created for a manufacturing environment –CMMI is organization-based, regardless of where the organization is located

20 INFO631 Week 520 Process Assessment Cycle The conduct of a process assessment or audit typically has six major steps –Preplanning – before the audit, get sponsorship for the audit and define its scope and purpose –Planning – Select who will conduct the audit, when, and provide training if needed

21 INFO631 Week 521 Process Assessment Cycle –Fact gathering – determine how data will be collected for the audit; interviews, documents, demonstrations, questionnaires, etc. –Fact analysis – analyze the data, and get additional data if needed to fill holes in understanding the subject –Reporting – prepare a presentation to give the results of the audit

22 INFO631 Week 522 Process Assessment Cycle –Finally, after the audit, determine how its results will impact the project’s process improvement activities Assessments follow the same activities described above; and are typically conducted every few months Audits have to be repeated every 6-18 months to remain valid

23 INFO631 Week 523 A Bigger Picture Assessment or audit results can be tracked over many events to look for chronic problem areas, or help refine process improvement plans

24 INFO631 Week 524 More Details on Audits Kan’s chapter 17 focuses on more details of how process audits are conducted We’ll hit the highlights here For more information, go to the SEI website, and look for information on SCAMPISCAMPI

25 INFO631 Week 525 CMMI Structure The CMMI is broken into five cumulative levels of maturity (#1-5), plus sometimes level 0 is possibleCMMI –Level 0 means your project doesn’t do everything necessary for, e.g. software development –Level 1 means your project does stuff, but no one knows how (“ad hoc” processes)

26 INFO631 Week 526 CMMI Structure –Level 2 is the first level earned by an assessment; it means a project performs basic project and process management activities –Level 3 means that an organization (note the shift from project) has processes which are consistently tailored across several projects

27 INFO631 Week 527 CMMI Structure –Level 4 means the organization has measured and tracked key activities consistently for so long that statistical process control is in place –Level 5 means the organization actively prevents defects from occurring, and is experimenting with even better processes (continuous process improvement)

28 INFO631 Week 528 Staged versus Continuous CMMI can be used in staged or continuous representation (form) –Staged is the approach just described – the organization must perform certain types of activities to earn an overall maturity rating –Continuous form means that each type of activity is rated separately, so there’s no overall rating

29 INFO631 Week 529 Staged versus Continuous In practice, most organizations get audited using the staged approach –That CMMI Level 5 plaque on the wall is impressive! But the work of preparing for audits often follows the continuous approach –Assess what kind of activities are most in need of help (process, project, technical, etc.), and work on them first

30 INFO631 Week 530 The Bottom Line The overall goal for a CMMI-based assessment is to determine if the project or organization fulfills the goals of the model –Are the goals of each type of activity being met consistently across the organization? –Often called institutionalization of the activity – it’s a way of life for them

31 INFO631 Week 531 More Structure CMMI is broken into about 23 Process Areas (PA) – each is a ‘type of activity’ mentioned earlier –Each PA has a few Specific Goals, which are the heart of that activity Then there are more general activities defined for each PA – doing all of them constitutes ‘institutionalization’

32 INFO631 Week 532 More Structure The general process area structure includes –Commitment to Perform – means that program management defines a policy to do the stuff in this PA –Ability to Perform – means that program management provides the resources and training needed to do these activities, and plans to do them

33 INFO631 Week 533 More Structure –Directing Implementation – means that program management manages the processes involved in this activity, ensures quality, and coordinates with other stakeholders on the project –Verifying Implementation – covers review of activities with higher management, and conducting independent process audits

34 INFO631 Week 534 More Structure –Then the specific goals of each PA are defined in more detail by its Specific Practices These describe the types of activities which, done together, will fulfill the goals of the process area In addition, based on the desired maturity level, there are Generic Goals which apply to every PA Pretty simple, huh?

35 INFO631 Week 535 CMMI and Measurement The measurement focus for CMMI is –1) Define a plan of activities, –2) Track actual progress, then –3) Measure actual and planned performance, and make decisions based on it At higher levels of maturity, analysis of data and prediction occur

36 INFO631 Week 536 CMMI and Measurement For example, at Level 2, the Measurement and Analysis process area has specific goals of –Measurement objectives and activities are aligned with identified information needs and objectives. –Measurement results that address identified information needs and objectives are provided. From herehere

37 INFO631 Week 537 CMMI and Measurement At level 4, the Quantitative Project Management process area has specific goals of –The project is quantitatively managed using quality and process-performance objectives. –The performance of selected subprocesses within the project's defined process is statistically managed.

38 INFO631 Week 538 CMMI in Brief CMMI is mostly looking to see if you say what you’re going to do, make it possible to do so, do it, and measure what you did Following a process improvement path takes lots of time and commitment from all levels of management

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