Assessing capability maturity tools for process management improvement: A case study

Ma, Huan Chi
Cusack, Brian
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Master of Computer and Information Sciences
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Auckland University of Technology

The motivation for the research came from my daily work stress, and years of observation of work processes and the project management of my work places. From my perspective there has always been too much resource wastage on account of mistakes being made and the lack of a dynamic and comprehensive status analysis and resource allocation control. The availability of capability maturity tools appears as a working solution for software driven work environments. The current work systems are depending on the simple tracking methods of the process and work experience gained by years of work and faults, rather than scientific measurement and assessment. Many companies implement CRM software but then do not get all the benefits because the quality management strategies are not fully implemented. My expectation is that by exploring the relationship between CMMI and a CRM corporate system, better knowledge can be gained regarding the relationship between a software system, management strategy, and performance. The implications of the study will be principally for project management in this type of situation.

The research is based on a case study, in real work systems for a software development environment. The design is to examine the current process approach and target the weak spots, collect the data and analyse the results in action. The use case is sampled from one extracted work process, and it is broken down to tasks and activities. Through evaluation of the current CRM system tracking method, flaws are found and corrected by inserting new CMMI practices. Then the results before and after the application are compared for open discussion and evaluation.

The research question is: • What resource optimisation value has CMMI for IT services delivery?

The relevant sub questions are: • How are IT services measured? • What are the critical system attributes for measurement? • What are the measurements used for? • How are defects disclosed by CMMI assessment?

The working hypothesis is: • CMMI gives quality improvement opportunities for IT services.

The overall result of the research is positive. It finds solutions to the questions and issues exposed in the research, and also opens more potential quality improvements for CRM software processes. The research has a direct contribution to the current CRM management platform with benefits to management for more precise decision making, project planning and resource management. Since the research is done directly in a real-life development house, with many sized teams, the findings have relevance in the context and potential for other CRM users to consider for critical reflection. The research has also included the implementation and application procedures and plans at a practical level, which enables guidance for someone wishing to test out these ideas.

Considerations for further research have also been made. During the research the scope of quality improvement for CRM has only just been started. Because one process was selected to make the project manageable, then there are many other things to be tested and tried, and the effects measured. The documented results show potential for other related future research. Some of these projects are: • Ideal CMMI Cost to Outcome Balance • Different Focus on Capacity and Maturity • Further IT Quality Improvement Options • CMMI in Software Quality Assurance • Resource Optimisation for IT Service Automation

CMMI , Capability maturity tool , Process management , Case study , Software development , Optimisation , Resource allocation
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