Software Process Improvement

Improving Project Performance and Productivity Through Continuous Process Improvement

Course Overview
Process improvement activities are essential to continued successful software development and maintenance. As the marketplace for software matures, software buyers are demanding more reliable, efficient performance from software vendors. Achieving acceptable levels of maturity is a matter of survival in this environment.

The Capability Maturity Model (CMM®) by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University outlines a path toward process improvement that is clear and concise. This framework consists of 18 Key Process Areas (KPAs) that cover the primary activities involved in developing and maintaining software effectively and efficiently, and doing a better job of it than before each and every time.

This four-day course introduces the Capability Maturity Model and its 18 KPAs. It includes a review of the costs and benefits of process improvement and provides an opportunity for the participants to assess the processes at work in their production and maintenance environment. Participants work together to develop action plans to implement a continuous improvement process in their workplace.

Day 1 - introduces the subject of process improvement and covers the differences between product based approaches versus process based approaches. The structure of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM®) is then described along with Key Process Areas (KPAs), goals, and common features. Each CMM level is then covered in depth. Participants perform a variety of exercises designed to enhance understanding of the CMM and how it can address real problems from the student's home organizations. This day is mainly associated with getting management control of projects.

Day 2 - continues the in-depth coverage of the CMM® levels finishing with Level 2 and moving on through Levels 3, 4 and 5. This day emphasizes the organizational aspects of process improvement and provides more exercises to reinforce the learning and gain visibility into how the CMM® can help solve real world problems.

Day 3 - covers the procedures, methods, tools, techniques, metrics and documentation that are most useful in supporting software process improvement efforts. The day starts with a description of how process maturity is measured. Examples of interpreting the CMM®'s terminology and use of judgment in applying the CMM®'s requirements to real organizations are covered. The new CMM-Integratedsm is also covered with an overview that highlights its current status and compares/contrasts it to the CMM®. The day concludes with a discussion of how to implement a process improvement program in your organization and covers both the CMM® recommended Software Engineering Process Group and alternative methods of organizing such as the Experience Factory successfully used by NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center.

Day 4 - covers the procedures and methods for conducting a Software Capability Evaluation to determine a baseline for process improvement and obtain a CMM® Level rating.

Who Should Attend?

What Will You Learn?



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