Establish and maintain guidelines to determine which issues are subject to a formal evaluation process.


Not every decision is significant enough to require a formal evaluation process. The choice between the trivial and the truly important is unclear without explicit guidance. Whether a decision is significant or not is dependent on the project and circumstances and is determined by established guidelines.


Typical guidelines for determining when to require a formal evaluation process include the following:
  • A decision is directly related to issues that are medium-to-high-impact risk.
  • A decision is related to changing work products under configuration management.
  • A decision would cause schedule delays over a certain percentage or amount of time.
  • A decision affects the ability of the project to achieve its objectives.
  • The costs of the formal evaluation process are reasonable when compared to the decision’s impact.
  • A legal obligation exists during a solicitation.
  • When competing quality attribute requirements would result in significantly different alternative architectures.

Refer to the Risk Management (RSKM) (CMMI-DEV) process area for more information about evaluating, categorizing, and prioritizing risks.


Examples of activities for which you may use a formal evaluation process include the following:
  • Making decisions involving the procurement of material when 20 percent of the material parts constitute 80 percent of the total material costs
  • Making design-implementation decisions when technical performance failure can cause a catastrophic failure (e.g., safety-of-flight item)
  • Making decisions with the potential to significantly reduce design risk, engineering changes, cycle time, response time, and production costs (e.g., to use lithography models to assess form and fit capability before releasing engineering drawings and production builds)

Example Work Products

  1. Guidelines for when to apply a formal evaluation process


1. Establish guidelines for when to use a formal evaluation process.

2. Incorporate the use of guidelines into the defined process as appropriate.

Refer to the Integrated Project Management (IPM) (CMMI-DEV) process area for more information about establishing the project’s defined process.