Generic elements are called “generic” because the same statement applies to multiple process areas. A generic element describes the characteristics that must be present to institutionalize the processes that implement a process area.
OverviewThis section describes in detail all the generic goals and generic practices of CMMI—model components that directly address process institutionalization. As you address each process area, refer to this section for the details of all generic practices. Generic practice elaborations appear after generic practices to provide guidance on how the generic practice can be applied uniquely to process areas.
Process InstitutionalizationInstitutionalization is an important concept in process improvement. When mentioned in the generic goal and generic practice descriptions, institutionalization implies that the process is ingrained in the way the work is performed and there is commitment and consistency to performing (i.e., executing) the process. An institutionalized process is more likely to be retained during times of stress. When the requirements and objectives for the process change, however, the implementation of the process may also need to change to ensure that it remains effective. The generic practices describe activities that address these aspects of institutionalization. The degree of institutionalization is embodied in the generic goals and expressed in the names of the processes associated with each goal as indicated in Table 6.1.
|Generic Goal||Progression of Processes|
|GG 1||Performed process|
|GG 2||Managed process|
|GG 3||Defined process|
Performed ProcessA performed process is a process that accomplishes the work necessary to satisfy the specific goals of a process area.
Managed ProcessA managed process is a performed process that is 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 can be instantiated by a project, group, or organizational function. Management of the process is concerned with institutionalization and the achievement of other specific objectives established for the process, such as cost, schedule, and quality objectives. The control provided by a managed process helps to ensure that the established process is retained during times of stress. The requirements and objectives for the process are established by the organization. The status of the work products and services are visible to management at defined points (e.g., at major milestones, on completion of major tasks). Commitments are established among those who perform the work and the relevant stakeholders and are revised as necessary. Work products are reviewed with relevant stakeholders and are controlled. The work products and services satisfy their specified requirements. 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 can be part of a more encompassing plan) and the execution of the process is managed against the plan. Corrective actions are taken when the actual results and execution deviate significantly from the plan. A managed process achieves the objectives of the plan and is institutionalized for consistent execution.
Defined ProcessA defined process is a managed process that is tailored from the organization’s set of standard processes according to the organization’s tailoring guidelines; has a maintained process description; and contributes process related experiences to the organizational process assets. 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. The organization’s 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, the interfaces) among 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. (See the definition of “standard process” in the glossary.) A project’s defined process provides a basis for planning, performing, and improving the project’s tasks and activities. A project can have more than one defined process (e.g., one for developing the product and another for testing the product). A defined process clearly states the following:
- Entry criteria
- Verification steps
- Exit criteria
Relationships Among ProcessesThe generic goals evolve so that each goal provides a foundation for the next. Therefore, the following conclusions can be made:
- A managed process is a performed process.
- A defined process is a managed process.
Generic Goals and Generic PracticesThis section describes all of the generic goals and generic practices, as well as their associated subpractices, notes, examples, and references. The generic goals are organized in numerical order, GG 1 through GG 3. The generic practices are also organized in numerical order under the generic goal they support.
- Capability Level 0 Incomplete
- An incomplete process is a process that either is not performed or is partially performed. One or more of the specific g…
- Capability Level 1 Performed
- A capability level 1 process is characterized as a performed process.
- Capability Level 2 Managed (CMMI-ACQ)
- A capability level 2 process is characterized as a managed process.
- Capability Level 3 Defined (CMMI-ACQ)
- A capability level 3 process is characterized as a defined process.