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Process Improvement Essentials by James R. Persse PhD

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Project Management Process Areas

The following sections detail the Process Areas specific to project management.

Project Planning

In my opinion, the Project Planning Process Area is the single most important PA in the entire CMMI model. Others might dispute that point (and validly), but what's generally accepted is that a reliable quality result can only come from up-front planning: the more, the better. That's why CMMI places such a strong emphasis on planning (just as ISO 9001 and Six Sigma do).

The structure of the Project Planning PA helps an organization resist the temptation to hurry up and go. Today we have ample data on what happens when pressure to begin pushes a project into premature action. Issues with resource allocation, budgeting, scheduling, scope, and functionality crop up early and plague a project across its life cycle.

Planning is a way to reduce these kinds of problems (and the risks they bring). A well-designed planning program provides two key benefits to any project effort: it provides a road map for thinking a project through prior to making commitments, and it delivers a medium for agreement between parties as to how the project will be managed.

Three specific goals

There are three goals in the Project Planning PA, each designed to strengthen your position in meeting a project's objectives:

  1. Establish estimates of what it will take to see a project through from start to finish. These estimates include such things as the size and scope of the end product, the number ...

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