Mini-Assessment Process

You can't fix what you can't measure. Yet many companies start expensive software process improvement programs without an accurate measure of their current practices or problems, or what it will cost to fix them. Some companies start programs, and wonder why they can't seem to get on track.

The Mini-Assessment Process (MAP) was designed to provide corporate managers with accurate, detailed assessment results with minimal investment. Level 1 and Level 2 organizations who are considering starting a process improvement program can use it to determine their potential return-on-investment. Organizations who have started their improvement activities, and may lack focus, can use a MAP to pinpoint the areas where further improvement is most desirable and effective.

The Mini-Assessment Process includes:
  • Definition of corporate appraisal objectives;
  • Opening briefing summarizing the process maturity concepts and the MAP methodology;
  • Review of corporate documents (policies, procedures, guidebooks, training materials, etc.);
  • Review of project documents (software development plans, configuration management plans, specifications, quality assurance plans, etc.);
  • Interviews with corporate managers and staff;
  • Interviews with project personnel;
  • Complete findings briefing.
  • The Mini-Assessment Process typically takes one to two days. Fully-authorized assessors follow a tailored version of the assessment method developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and used by hundreds of software companies. Results include the maturity level of your organization and how your practices compare to the industry standards, as documented in the SEI's Capability Maturity Model.

    The assessment findings are presented immediately following the assessment:

  • Maturity rating score for your organization;
  • Detailed strengths and weaknesses against the CMM's Key Process Areas;
  • Cultural barriers to improvement in your organization;
  • Recommended improvement ideas for immediate action.
  • A complete assessment report and improvement action plan can also be produced, if desired.

    Many companies have benefitted from the Mini-Assessment Process, and consider it an important part of their and improvement strategy.

    Assessment Leader

    Rick Hefner has been formally qualified by the Software Engineering Institute, and has conducted over 40 assessments. Dr. Hefner is a nationally recognized speaker on software process maturity and improvement, and served as co-chair of the 1993 National SEPG Conference. For the past eight years, Dr. Hefner has been a member of TRW's Software Engineering Process Group, and conducts periodic software process appraisals for numerous organizations.