Analyze suggested improvements for their possible impact on achieving the organization’s quality and process performance objectives.


Suggested improvements are incremental and innovative improvements that are analyzed and possibly selected for validation, implementation, and deployment throughout the organization.

Example Work Products

  1. Suggested improvement proposals
  2. Selected improvements to be validated


1. Analyze the costs and benefits of suggested improvements.

Process performance models provide insight into the effect of process changes on process capability and performance.

Refer to the Organizational Process Performance (OPP) (CMMI-DEV) process area for more information about establishing process performance models.

Improvement suggestions that have a large cost-to-benefit ratio or that would not improve the organization’s processes may be rejected.


Criteria for evaluating costs and benefits include the following:
  • Contribution toward meeting the organization’s quality and process performance objectives
  • Effect on mitigating identified project and organizational risks
  • Ability to respond quickly to changes in project requirements, market situations, and the business environment
  • Effect on related processes and associated assets
  • Cost of defining and collecting data that support the measurement and analysis of the process and technology improvement
  • Expected life span of the improvement

2. Identify potential barriers and risks to deploying each suggested improvement.


Examples of barriers to deploying improvements include the following:
  • Turf guarding and parochial perspectives
  • Unclear or weak business rationale
  • Lack of short-term benefits and visible successes
  • Unclear picture of what is expected from everyone
  • Too many changes at the same time
  • Lack of involvement and support from relevant stakeholders


Examples of risk factors that affect the deployment of improvements include the following:
  • Compatibility of the improvement with existing processes, values, and skills of potential end users
  • Complexity of the improvement
  • Difficulty implementing the improvement
  • Ability to demonstrate the value of the improvement before widespread deployment
  • Justification for large, up-front investments in areas such as tools and training
  • Inability to overcome “technology drag” where the current implementation is used successfully by a large and mature installed base of end users

3. Estimate the cost, effort, and schedule required for implementing, verifying, and deploying each suggested improvement.

4. Select suggested improvements for validation and possible implementation and deployment based on the evaluations.

Refer to the Decision Analysis and Resolution (DAR) (CMMI-DEV) process area for more information about analyzing possible decisions using a formal evaluation process that evaluates identified alternatives against established criteria.

5. Document the evaluation results of each selected improvement suggestion in an improvement proposal.

The proposal should include a problem statement, a plan (including cost and schedule, risk handling, method for evaluating effectiveness in the target environment) for implementing the improvement, and quantitative success criteria for evaluating actual results of the deployment.

6. Determine the detailed changes needed to implement the improvement and document them in the improvement proposal.

7. Determine the validation method that will be used before broad-scale deployment of the change and document it in the improvement proposal.

Determining the validation method includes defining the quantitative success criteria that will be used to evaluate results of the validation.

Since innovations, by definition, represent a major change with high impact, most innovative improvements will be piloted. Other validation methods, including modeling and simulation can be used as appropriate.

8. Document results of the selection process.


Results of the selection process usually include the following:
  • The disposition of each suggested improvement
  • The rationale for the disposition of each suggested improvement