A project manager can plan a project better if past experience on projects is available. The project planning infrastructure can help effectively capture data and lessons learned and make them available to project managers. The main components of the planning infrastructure at Infosys are the process database, the process capability baseline, and the process assets. These elements have the following key characteristics:
A process database contains the performance data of completed projects. It contains data on risks, effort and effort distribution, defect and defect distribution, size, and other project characteristics.
The process capability baseline summarizes the process performance across projects, thereby specifying the range of results to be expected if the processes are followed. It contains measures such as quality, productivity, defect removal efficiency, and effort and defect distribution.
Process assets are documents such as checklists, templates, methodologies, and guidelines. They improve productivity by reducing effort required to do some tasks, and they improve quality by reducing defects or catching them early.
If these elements are not in place in an organization, project managers can take actions to build limited forms of some of these components. A few project managers who get together and collect their experience can build a limited PDB. The key issue here is to perform project closure analysis (discussed in Chapter 12). When you have created a limited PDB, you can also extract some aspects of a PCB. Building a set of process assets is even easier; you simply collect the templates, checklists, and similar materials that are used in projects. Then you review and polish them and make them available.
These infrastructure elements do not directly satisfy requirements of the CMM KPAs dealing with project management. They are, however, necessary for satisfying many of the project-management-related KPAs at levels 3 and 4. The systems discussed in this chapter also satisfy requirements of some other KPAs of the CMM. For example, existence of a process database is explicitly required by the CMM at level 3, as is the management of process assets. The process capability baseline is needed by both the KPAs at level 4.