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Microsoft Cloud: Book Review

Book Review: CMMI for Development

Guidelines for Process Integration and Product Improvement

CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) models are the product of the industry’s best coming together to build a collection of best practices that help organizations to improve their processes.

The version 1.3 core framework now supports CMMI for Services, CMMI for Development, and CMMI for Acquisition. This book covers CMMI for Development.

It begins with an introduction to process improvement, the CMMI history, the CMMI framework, and CMMI for development.

It then has several chapters that go into detail explaining the ins and outs of the CMMI framework. Topics covered include Core Process Areas and CMMI Models, Understanding Levels, Structures of the Continuous and Staged Representations, Understanding Capability Levels and Maturity Levels, Process Areas, Achieving High Maturity, Recursion and Iteration of Engineering Processes, Adopting CMMI, and SCAMPI Appraisal Methods.

My favorite chapter in this section is Chapter 4: Relationship Among Process Areas. It has great diagrams that show the relationships between the process areas. It really helps to give them context.

Part one ends with Essays and Case Studies. It has 5 essays and 3 case studies. My favorite essay is Ten Missing Links to CMMI Success. Some of the other are Avoiding Typical Process Improvement Pitfalls, Hiring a CMMI Consultant or Lead Appraiser, and From Doubter to Believer: My Journey to CMMI.

The book then continues with a detailed overview of the Generic Goals and Generic Practices which is followed by a chapter on each of the Process Areas in the CMMI for Development. Each chapter about a process area gives in-depth coverage. They include the purpose, introductory notes, related process areas, and specific practices by goals which include example work products.

The book ends with a few appendix – References, Acronyms, CMMI Version 1.3 Project Participants, and a really nice Glossary.

One of the things I like about the book is the Perspectives. They are little sidebars that include insight from the creators and industry experts. Some of them are pretty interesting like the one about how the name constellation started being used.

There are also tons of tips, hints, and x-refs in the sidebars throughout the process areas part of the book. Tips and hints where similar in that they provided additional information about the topic at hand. The x-ref boxes include cross reference material. Sometimes the cross references where in the book and sometimes they are external.

The book is the crème de la crème of the CMMI resources. This material comes straight from the experts. I have been involved in a lot of process improvement initiatives. Not all of the CMMI initiatives, which is a shame. I can tell you that if I had my choice, the wisdom found in this book would be applied to all the projects I go to.

All in all, if you are involved with process improvement, you own it to yourself to get this book. If you are involved with CMMI for development at all, you MUST get this book.

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Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

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