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Apr 11

How many DAR’s should be conducted per project? Are there any criteria to decide the number?

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by Kevin Cotherman, Blog, Comments Off on How many DAR’s should be conducted per project? Are there any criteria to decide the number?

Apr 11

This question was submitted by an attendee of our “Ask the Lead Appraisers” webinar. We received great questions from the group, so we decided to post the questions and our answers so everyone can benefit. The CMMI Institute-certified Lead Appraisers hosting the webinars and answering questions are Kevin Cotherman and Debbie O’Grady.

How many DAR’s should be conducted per project? Are there any criteria to decide the number?


How many DAR’s…..? This is a great question, and one that has troubled several organizations.

There is no requirement as to the number of formal decisions (DAR’s) that a project has to perform, but a project has to show evidence that a DAR was performed.  The problem sometimes occurs when a project has not met the criteria for performing a formal decision.

The first practice of DAR states, “Establish and maintain guidelines to determine which issues are subject to a formal evaluation process.”  This is designed to have projects use a formal decision process when it meets certain criteria, such as above a cost value or picking a design, to name two criteria.

I have been involved with projects that do not meet these criteria, so a formal decision has never been conducted.  Unfortunately, The DAR process area cannot be not applicable, so some evidence must be presented for each project.

Your organization can have a formal decision process, and it can have another decision process that will be used when certain criteria is met.  You could call this a small or little DAR.  The guidelines for performing this DAR will need to be delineated (in SP1.1) along with the formal DAR guidelines.  And you still need to have a process for this DAR that meets all of the practices for the DAR process area.  But this could be applied to a project that is over budget or behind schedule by a certain percentage.  A DAR could be performed to determine the best course of action, e.g., work overtime, request additional resources, or request more money/time from the customer.  Coming up with the best solution based on performing a DAR in this situation would satisfy the DAR process area.

A project budget/schedule is one example.  Your project managers make decisions every day.  Talk with them to determine the best situation that would call for a DAR to be performed.  Document that process and have all project managers review it.  Implement it after it has been peer reviewed and accepted.

If you want to ask your own questions, you can ask in our contact us section. Kevin Cotherman and Debbie O’Grady will get them answered on the next ”Ask The Lead Appraisers” webinar – or if you wish to remain anonymous, just send us an email.




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