This book is about a new way of approaching process improvement for engineering development. Process improvement is a generally well-understood and accepted means of achieving quality and productivity gains for software development, and the recognition of its importance for other engineering disciplines is growing. The success and wide adoption of the Capability Maturity Model for Softwareâ has led to increased development of similar models in disciplines other than software. The resulting adoption of multiple models in engineering organizations has led to conflicts in process improvement goals and techniques, considerable increases in required training, and confusion on the part of practitioners as to which of the various models applies to their specific needs.
Review By: Harry L. Kirkpatrick 08/03/2009In this third edition of "CMMI Distilled," the authors introduce the CMMI model, information on continuous process improvement, and practical advice on how to use CMMI in tandem with other approaches. This updated edition reduces the amount of historical information and provides updated changes to the CMMI architecture, content, and presentation. In this edition, the authors address CMMI usage in tandem with Six Sigma, lean engineering, and other continuous improvement approaches. The book is very concise and well organized.
The book is divided into four parts:
Integrated Process Improvement—The reader is introduced to the concept of, rationale for, and benefits derived from integrated process improvement.
The CMMI Models—The authors discuss the CMMI architecture and components, to help the reader more clearly understand how CMMI is structured and how its parts relate to one another and to integrated continuous improvement as a whole.
Using CMMI—The authors attempt to provide help in selecting the best routes based on your organization’s particular continuous improvement needs.
The Future of CMMI—The authors attempt to predict how CMMI may change in the future.
The book provides numerous reference materials that should be helpful to those just getting started with CMMI, as well as those that are more experienced using CMMI. Readers will find the footnotes and the chapter conclusions to be helpful in tying things together. The authors included several interesting and factual quotes, such as:
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. (Albert Einstein)
Good, fast, cheap: Pick any two. (Sign in print shop)
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain. (Maya Angelou)
The authors did a great job explaining:
How any change will require letting go of old ways of doing business, even ways that may have been successful to some degree in the past
How continuous improvement is not just for the big guys who have loads of available overhead
How executive buy-in and support are critical to obtain resources for process improvement activities
Process improvement will become another paper exercise that produces hollow artifacts and lackluster performance, without executive buy-in and support
How quality shortcomings are prime candidates for the scrutiny of a process improvement project
How change for the sake of change is both unsettling and counterproductive
CMMI Distilled is especially appropriate for executives and managers who need to understand why continuous improvement is valuable, why CMMI is a tool of choice, and how to maximize the return on their efforts and investments. Engineers are bound to find ideas on how to perform better.