Ground System Architectures Workshop 2004 and
USC Center for Software Engineering
Los Angeles Software Process Improvement Network

"Interpreting CMMI* for COTS-Based Systems (CBS)"

Speakers:Lisa Brownsword and Ceci Albert, Software Engineering Institute (SEI)


Wednesday, March 31, 2004 at 5:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

Location:Manhattan Beach Marriott.See Directions Below


†††† The desire to build, field and support systems using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products and other off-the-shelf products to meet the needs of business or operational applications is increasing.Many organizations find these COTS-based systems (CBS) difficult to build, field, and support.Practical experience shows that building systems using COTS products requires changed roles and responsibilities, new skills, and different processes.Building and supporting a CBS demands MORE, not less, discipline in management and engineering practices than for custom software development.Organizations using the Capability Maturity Model Integration (SM) (CMMI*) for process improvement find it surprising that applying the CMMI* to COTS-based systems requires more than using the Supplier Sourcing discipline.

†††† Based on knowledge from applying the CMMI to improve software development processes and lessons learned from over 50 projects using COTS products, this presentation addresses the question, "How can the CMMI be interpreted for organizations building, fielding, and supporting a COTS-based system?"It characterizes the unique aspects associated with using COTS products in system development and provides high-level guidance on interpreting and using the CMMI practices to facilitate the definition of appropriate processes for developers and maintainers of COTS-based systems.

*Capability Maturity Model and CMMI are registered at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Carnegie Mellon University


Lisa Brownsword is a senior member of the technical staff at the SEI in the CBS and Integrating Software Intensive Systems (ISIS) Initiatives.She is researching constructive and programmatic issues for interoperability and integration.She co-developed CBS awareness courses, authored articles for Crosstalk and IEEE Software to highlight the implications of CBS on development processes, and co-developed EPIC, a process for developing CBS.At Rational, she mentored managers and practitioners in spiral development processes, architecture-centered development, and object technology.

Ceci Albert is the SEI chief engineer for the Army.She coordinates delivery of SEI technologies and resources across the Army acquisition community and leads the Army Team within the SEIís Acquisition Support Program to help improve the Army's practices in acquiring high quality software intensive systems.Previously, she was in the CBS Initiative addressing programmatic issues related to CBS development and co-developed a process for developing CBS.In the Air Force she developed major software programs for satellite ground systems; taught at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces; and managed archive and dissemination programs at the National Imagery and Mapping Agency.


5:30 to 6:00Networking††††††††††† 6:00 to 8:00Presentation with short networking break

RESERVATIONS:Please provide name and email by March 25 to C. Nixon 310.336-7127 or L. Kumm 336-2302

For more information contact LaDonna Pierce, (213) 740-5703,


*** NOTE the SPECIAL LOCATION†† Recheck the web site before the meeting ***

Directions:Manhattan Beach Marriott, 1400 Parkview Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266310.546.7511

405 southbound: take the Rosecrans West exit.Turn right onto Rosecrans heading west.

405 northbound: take the Rosecrans exit.Turn left onto Rosecrans heading west.

Cross Aviation.Turn left (south) at the Park View / Nash signal.The hotel is straight ahead.

Fee for parking at hotel.Free parking available on street nearby.

Map is at Guide Page 732 H4


* Future Meetings - Save the Dates: Jul 28, Aug 25, Sep 22, Oct 27, Dec 1

Apr 28:Integrating Software and System Reliability, Myron Hecht

May 26:Formal Methods Used in Software Verification, Robert T. Bauer

June 30:XP-For-One, Carlton Nettleton