"Traveling down the CMMI road can be difficult and time-consuming. Garcia and Turner have given us a practical roadmap that addresses the key points to learn as well as the many potholes to avoid. Their Survival Guide is a most valuable resource for the journey. It will help immeasurably in achieving the process improvement that you seek."
Review By: Cathy Bell 09/04/2007This book will prove valuable whether your company has just started on the journey to implement CMMI, your implementation is underway but you're unsure of how to proceed, or you need to train others in your organization about this process improvement model. First, the authors explain their tenets of process improvement:
It is about learning
It is driven by business value
It can be valuable in any size organization
You have choices in your approach
You have a choice of reference models
These tenets are woven throughout the book and serve as the basis for many of the cited examples, showing both the advantages of adhering to the tenets and the failures when they are ignored. The book is divided into five sections. The first covers the basics of process improvement, including both the benefits and challenges. The second covers planning process improvement, including introducing a process improvement map designed to make implementation a less daunting task. The third prepares the team for inevitable problems and features a case study and encouragement to learn and apply basic survival skills to reach goals. Section four shows how to apply this new knowledge as we gain project sponsors, set goals, measure our progress, tailor the process to our organization, and prepare for CMMI appraisals. The fifth section details resources designed to keep the process improvement initiative alive after its successful implementation.
The authors hold the view that process improvement is a journey. As our tour guides, they feel it is their responsibility to supply us with the right information to make this trip successful. The book contains valuable information on implementing a process improvement initiative as well as exposing the obstacles and pitfalls that could either sidetrack the adventurer or stop the process improvement initiative all together. Chapter 3 openly discusses the effort and costs that are associated with maintaining a process improvement project. The authors present the obstacles so that the reader can plan for them before they materialize. The authors also take the reader through the steps necessary to be successful, always tying the information back to where it fits in the CMMI process.
Although the book is a survival guide for CMMI, the authors acknowledge that readers may have weighed their options and might implement another process improvement model. The principles and tools they cover could be used with other models, but their hope is that the reader will consider using CMMI.
I recently was in a classroom setting and a fellow student asked the professor to explain CMMI, and he said it would take him weeks to explain the process to our class. If he had read this book, I am sure he would have been able to whittle that time down to fit into our class period.