Background: The workshop was conducted by Export Import Bank of India at Bangalore, on March 29, 2001. The principal objective of this workshop was to give an overview of importance of quality standards in software development and to provide a road map to achieve SEI-CMM level for the participant companies.
Faculty: Mr. K. Kothandaraman, Practising Manager, KPMG, Bangalore and Mr. V. Bhaskar, General Manager-Quality, Kshema Technolgies, Bangalore, addressed the workshop.
Target Sectors: The seminar was oriented towards targeting the sectors and sub-sectors of Information Technology.
Summary of Proceedings: Mr. Raman gave an overview on the importance of achieving Capability Maturity Model (CMM), which is mainly to provide guidance for improving the organisation's processes and its ability to manage the development, acquisition and maintenance of products and services. The areas of focus under CMM include Maturity Models for software, systems engineering, developing human talent, software acquisition, integrated product development and maturity model integration. Mr. Raman also gave out the management view of the various levels of process under various CMM levels. It was informed that under level -I, which is the initial stage, the process is informal and adhoc, while in level - II, the project management practices are institutionalised. The third level is called defined level, wherein the technical practices are integrated and institutionalised. Under level - IV, which is a managed level, products and processes are quantitatively controlled and under level - V, the process improvements are institutionalised. The appraisal mechanism, Mr. Raman said, includes self-improvement assessment, software process assessment, internal process improvement and interim profile.
Mr. Bhaskar made a presentation on how Kshema Technologies achieved CMM levels, the problems faced by them and actions taken to overcome such problems. Based on his experiences, Mr. Bhaskar said, in the initial level phase, high quality and exceptional performance is possible, so long as the best people could be hired. Under this stage, the major problems faced by the software companies are managerial and not technical. Under the second level, the predominant need is to establish effective software project management. Under this stage, organisational policies guide the projects in establishing management processes. In level three, which is defined maturity level, the organisation builds processes that empower the individuals doing the work. This level builds on the software project management foundation. At level four, decisions are made based on data collected. The organisation sets quantitative goals for both software products and processes. In the final level, the process is quantitatively understood. The focus is on preventing occurrence of defects and innovations, Mr. Bhaskar said.
Mr. Bhaskar gave out the assessment experience of his firm, all through the process and also the prerequisites for proper assessment. Mr. Bhaskar, based on his experiences, placed the following as challenges faced by the firms, while implementing such quality process. These include efficient time management, preparation work for assessment activities, preparing an appropriate questionnaire and getting answers in right perspective, adhering to good practices and report writing.
The speakers addressed various queries raised by the participants.