CMMI – “Oh PIP!”

The Operations Process Group (OPG) met  this week to keep progressing the CMMI project for SAS Operations. This team is responsible for creating and implementing the integrated process improvement plan for the Operations function within our business group.  This is $6 Billion per year business group that is part of a $24 Billion dollar a year company, so the task is extensive and complicated.  Even more so when you consider that this business group was formed from merger and acquisition of at least a half dozen companies, several of which had long history with specific cultural norms.  Here’s an overview and some thoughts on what we accomplished this week.

We covered a lot of different topics this week including:

– Organizational Process Development (OPD) – Straightforwardly this is the development of a common set of documented processes that describe how you perform your processes, in our case for ALL services provided.  This is largely done since we have corporate procedures, a product development system, and a management system of documents and some additional instructions already available.  We did decide to create a map that will point users to important documents, but it’s not clear yet how or if that will work.  We decided to use our internal “cloud” storage to house plans.  CMMI will need a number of documented plans to describe important business activities and they have to be controlled.

– Organization Process Focus (OPF) – This is one of the most powerful pieces of the entire CMMI toolset IMHO.  Simply put, this is how you are going to do process improvement at the highest level in the organization or what we refer to as the “O” level.  I spent a day or so writing our Operations Process Improvement Plan or “Oh-PIP” that describes how we take ideas and turn them in to prioritized, funded, staffed projects.

– We also spent a day working on converting the other projects we know we have to go do in the next eleven months out of CMMI language in to more user friendly words.  This will speed up getting the projects started.  Have to be careful to leave enough CMMI words in the structure for the CMMI appraiser who does not speak our language to be able to see what we did that affects each process area.

– Finally we worked on the overall integrated schedule for the project and reviewed our progress with the Process Improvement Lead.

Next week I start monthly special topics to the Leadership Team at the site where I word to start conveying progress and communicating information that can be flowed down to the rest of the organization.  This will be difficult to do because I won’t have much time on the schedule and there will probably be a lot of questions, a good many of which I won’t know how to answer yet.  But there is enough detail now that we can start talking about specifics like what projects, when, who will likely be involved.

Let me know if you have any questions about CMMI.