CMMI Obtain Commitment to the Requirements

Knowing and Committing to Requirements

Once we have identified and understood the requirements, we then must gain organizational support for delivering to meet the customer demand.  It does not matter if we are a supplier or taking on a project internal to our company, we will need people to stand behind the endeavor – commitment.

Commitment is more Difficult than it seems 

Experience suggests commitment is more difficult than it looks.  Organizations make the commitment often without really understanding what that means, or knowing the present level of commitment to which they are presently subjected.  The result is an over-taxing or more hours booked than available talent and resources.  Additionally, it is difficult to make the commitment for the individual, even when we assign that talent to the project. In other words, having the talent assigned to the project is not the same thing as having the talent and resources committed to the project.  In the model we can expect the typical work products to be[1]:

  1. Requirements impact assessment
  2. Documented commitments to requirements and requirements changes

 Intersection of Engineering and Project Management

Again, here is another touch point of engineering, product development, and project management. Part of the monitoring commitments falls to the project management defined areas of CMMI.  This process area is responsible for monitoring the commitments and compare to the project plan. This is done via metrics identified early in the project.  Metrics are not some subjective green smiley face that can be easily duped or spun and requires a certain amount of objectivity and diligence to understand the situation.  To ensure we are working according to plan, our project activities will include some specific reviews of progress and compare that to the commitments, taking the requisite actions when there is a gap between the intended and the actual.  In general, we will produce records of our commitment reviews such work items as[2]:

  1. Regularly review commitments both internal and external
  2. Identify commitments that have not been satisfied or are at significant risk of not being satisfied
  3. Document the results of the commitment review

Summary of Obtain Commitment and Requirements

We can see how these two subsystems; requirements management and project management intersect and interact.  We also can see that taking on the project requires we are willing to place the resources of the company, that is talent and equipment to bear on behalf of the project.  Without the backing of the organization, this project may consume valuable resources and produce nothing of benefit.  Experience suggests this happens more often than we care to admit.

[1] Chrissis, M. B., Konrad, M., & Shrum, S. (2003). CMMI: Guidelines for process integration and product improvement. Boston: Addison-Wesley. page 489

[2] Chrissis, M. B., Konrad, M., & Shrum, S. (2003). CMMI: Guidelines for process integration and product improvement. Boston: Addison-Wesley. page 395

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