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Questions typically asked by SITARA to its customers while embarking on  Consultancy or Assessments for Software Process Initiatives:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE FROM

SITARA PROCESS JEWELBOXTM

From years of experience working with strategic management consulting and assessments, SITARA Technologies has a very surprising finding to report - 

"Organizations often underestimate the quantum of work involved in change management initiatives and as a consequence are often under prepared to face up to the challenges that are often encountered"

In order to facilitate organizations to think through the software process improvement scenario, the following questions from SITARA Process JewelBoxTM is approved for public release, to give a feel for the extent of work that might be required to leverage full potential and value from change management initiatives (either a software or a people process improvement program). 

It is advised that the senior management along with the process management group such as the Software Engineering Process Group address these questions in unambiguous terms to de-risk the change management program and protect investments.

1 Is the site primarily looking for a SW-CMM implementation?
2 Is the site looking for consultancy, assessment or both?
3 What is the primary focus of software activity (development, maintenance or both) of the site that wants an assessment?
4 What is the main domain (like telecom, web applications, product development etc.) around which the software activity (development, maintenance or both) is being carried out?
5 What is the scope of the assessment (only the development process, or only the maintenance process or both)?
6 Is the assessment restricted to a single site or is the process (development, maintenance or both) distributed across multiple sites?
7 Would you need a People CMM implementation along with Software CMM?
8 What internal organizational abilities (such as process owners who can drive the initiative) exists at this time?
9 When was the most recent CMM assessment done?
10 What were the Assessment Recommendations?
11 Can we have a copy of the action plan since the last assessment?
12 Has the site been formally assessed in the recent 1 year? If Yes,
  1. What was the process capability?
  2. What is the primary nature of software activity for the assessed site? Development, Maintenance or both?
  3. How many projects does the assessed site execute on an average, typically in a year?
  4. What is the total strength of the assessed site?
  5. Who was the lead assessor on the assessment?
  6. How closely did the assessment results map to your business needs?
  7. Did the assessment give you enough insight into a follow on action program?
  8. How many people are involved in the follow on action program?
  9. What are your present business needs that fall short from being met with the SPI initiative?
  10. Have you identified the process areas you want to improve?
  11. What is the SPI roadmap?
13 Is the site working currently on a process improvement initiative? If Yes,
  1. What has worked well?
  2. What has not worked well?
14 Can we have the organization structure for the division/unit that was assessed and what is the current structure?
15 What was the size of the organization/division/unit that was assessed?
16 What is the current size of the organization that is proposed to get assessed?
17 What is the size of the team engaged in the different process improvement activities?
18 What %age of the organization participates in the different process improvement programs?
19 What is the size of the Software Engineering Process Group?
20 What is the role of Software Quality Assurance in the Software Process Improvement initiative?
21 What is the size of the SQA in the organization?
22 Do you have a separate group such as the testing group which conducts activities independent of the development teams?
23 What are the different process groups that have been identified for the process improvement activities and what is the reporting structure?
24 What is the commitment of the senior management to software process improvement initiatives?
25 What is the primary reason for the software process improvement? And, what are the business goals/objectives that the senior management wants to address with the software process improvement program?
26 How does the organization come to know of better development/testing/QA processes and strategies that are NOT yet part of the organization?
27 What action if any, is taken by the senior management to internalize these newer techniques into the organization?
28 Does the organization have any impact with either changes to technology/tools or process innovations?
29 What is the proposed Return on Investment with the Software Process Improvement Initiative and what was the deviation from the actual RoI and estimated RoI from building the infrastructure?
30 Since when did the organization start the different Software Process Improvement initiatives?
31 How difficult is it for the organization to come to grips with addressing "change" initiatives?
32 How acceptable is the team that is driving the change initiative within the organization?
33 What are the different types of development processes/testing processes that are in use and documented to be the organizational standards?
34 How were they established as the organizational standards?
35 Do all project execution efforts in the organization use these standards either "as is" or "derive" what is reasonable for use on projects?
36 What is the role of the SEPG/QA in such tailoring activities?
37 How many projects have been able to deliver on time, on budget with acceptable levels of quality in the recent 6 months?
38 How many projects are in execution since the recent 6 months?
39 What are the different project specific and organization wide tools in practice?
40 What formal mechanisms are established in projects to ensure that the software developed is correct, complete and consistent with the stated and implied requirements?
41 What is the testing procedure and testing strategy?
42 How critical is the software developed to end user concerns? In other words how critical is it for the organization to develop "zero known defects"?
43 What are the quality goals for the organization?
44 How often is the project tracked against milestones and who participates in these tracking mechanisms?
45 How often are risks identified and how adequately are the abatement procedures addressing the risks?
46 How frequently does a role in the organization review the configuration management activities?
47 What is the role if any, of subcontractors on development initiatives?
48 What is the mechanism, if any for selecting and using subcontractors?
49 How easy is it for the organization to obtain the enrollment of the better-qualified and better skilled individuals into SQA functions?
50 Does the organization have long-term imperatives with their CMM initiatives after getting to the Level 3?
51 Is the organization going in for the CMM assessment for any specific business reasons?
52 What are the proposed annual budgets for software process improvement activities?

NOTE: A level on the CMM is ONLY an abbreviation to the detailed process infrastructure that is institutionalized, used and continuously improved upon.

So, asking the question - "what level of process maturity to target"? needs to seek resolutions and answers to the above set of questions. 

Glossary of Terms

P-CMM, People-CMM

People Capability Maturity Model

RoI

Return on Investment

SEPG

Software Engineering Process Group

SPI

Software Process Improvement

SQA

Software Quality Assurance

SW-CMM

Software Capability Maturity Model

Trademark Acknowledgements

All terms mentioned on SITARA's site that are known to be trademarks or service marks have been appropriately capitalized and are acknowledged to belong to their respective owners. Use of a term should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademarks or service marks.

     

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