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The Basics of CMMI: Practical Guide about CMMI

Definition of CMMI

Capability Maturity Model Integration, commonly abbreviated as CMMI is one of the process improvement approach which has proven background of providing organizations with all the very essential basic elements of making the processes more effective and efficient. To make usability of maturity models in improved forms specifically for software engineering and generally for other disciplines is one of the ultimate target of CMMI along with integration of other models in one united framework.

Structure of CMMI

The structure of CMMI consists of two components which are:

  • Staged : breaks down into five maturity levels
  • Continuous : defines capability within each and every profile

What are Maturity Levels?

Plateau of process improvement is what maturity levels are and they belonged to staged structure of CMMI whereas each maturity level has been drilled down for continuous improvement. Maturity levels provide number of rock solid benefits which are:

  • An origin to start from
  • Common Vision
  • Prioritization of actions
  • A path to improve system within the organization

CMMI Representation – Maturity Levels

 There are total five maturity models of CMMI models which are described stage wise below:

  • Initial : Unpredictable process which are poorly controlled and mostly reactive
  • Managed : Categorized for specific projects with reactive approach
  • Defined : Proactive process approach
  • Quantitatively Managed : All processes measured, controlled and monitored
  • Optimizing : Continuous improvement of the process in Focus

Maturity Level 1 – Initial

Those software companies who do not have standard procedure for development of software nor do they possess any effective tracking system to predict any future costs to be incurred or the present finances that are incurring in the system at the moment. Level 1 organizations tends to over commit, often comes under stress when in pressure and often becomes weak when it comes to sustainability.

Maturity Level 2 – Managed

Those companies that have successfully being able to accomplish specific goals of their process area with all the requirements being managed, process being practically planned, performed effectively, regularly measured and securely controlled.

Maturity Level 3 – Defined

At maturity level 3, an organization has been enabled to accomplish all the specific and generic goals of the maturity level 2 and maturity level 3. The organization that are actually at Maturity level 3 are healthily characterized and well understood. Standards, scope of standards, process descriptions are well managed in this standard. Maturity level 3, the processes are well determined and are more proactive in terms of processes, products and services and detailed measures are taken.

Maturity Level 4 – Quantitatively Managed

Those organization that are on Maturity level 4 have achieved all the specific goals of the process areas that belong to Maturity level 2, 3 and 4 and all the generic goals assigned to maturity level 2 and 3. At the level of Maturity 4, all the performance of the process are managed by using statistical controls and other quantitative techniques and tips. At maturity level 3, all the processes are only qualitatively predictable. However in Maturity level 3, all the processes are quantitatively predictable.

Maturity Level 5 – Optimizing

Those organizations that stand on Maturity level 5 had achieved all the specific goals of process areas that belongs to Maturity level 2, 3, 4 and 5 and all the generic goals that belongs to maturity level 2 and 3. All the processes are based on continually improvement process based on quantitative basis through innovative and creative technological solutions. The main point of difference between Maturity level 4 and Maturity level 5 is how the type of process variation has been addressed by stakeholders.  All the process activities are the set that belong to measurable, controllable and trackable category and all processes run on optimized solution with optimized resources.

Can Anyone Skip or Jump Maturity Levels?

All the maturity levels should be followed sequence wise and in proper order without jumping or skipping any Maturity level because each maturity level have a foundation for effective and optimized way of process implementation to proceed and sustain the last level. Please keep in consideration that those organizations that stand on higher maturity level has low risk of being trapped in a crises.

Which Process Levels Are More Connected Towards Capability Levels?

Following are the process areas that are connected towards capability levels:

  • Project Management: Planning of Project, Monitoring and control of project, Risk control and Risk management, IPPD (Integrated Teaming), SS (Integrated Supplier Management).
  • Support: Management of Configuration, Decision Analysis, Process, Product and service quality control and assurance.
  • Engineering: Management of the requirements, development of the requirements, Verification and Validation, Integration of the product.
  • Process Management: Process Training, Process Definition, Process Focus, Process Performance measures, innovation and deployment.

Appraisal Categories in CMMI

There are three model components categories in CMMI modelling:

  • Required – Based on specific and generic goals
  • Expected – Based on specific and generic practices
  • Informative – Based on sub practices and work products that are typical in nature

What does Appraisal Team Leader Do?

Appraisal team leader is a person who generally takes the lead the appraisal activity and is responsible for the satisfaction for the criteria of qualification in which experience, education, basic knowledge, practical skills come into consideration.

Typical Cycle through Which Organizations Goes Under

  • SCAMPI C (Gap Analysis)
  • Basic Trainings about CMMI and Process Design
  • Tweaking and Tunning up of Existing processes
  • SCAMPI B (Gap Analysis)
  • SCAMPI A appraisal

Differentiation between Goals and Generic Goals

In CMMI modelling, the word “Goal” always refers to model components that can be generic or specific whereas Generic goals are known as generic ones because the similar statement of goals will appear in multiple process areas.

About Sunita Verma

Sunita Verma, Founder and President of Sync Resource started the company in 2009 with a vision to provide management consulting to small & medium size businesses around the country. Sunita holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cleveland State University. Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering, India with prestigious gold medal awarded by renowned Scientist Dr Abdul Kalam Azad. As an active philanthropist she believes in pay it forward and is a contributing member of charitable organizations like St. Jude’s Foundation and North Fulton Charities.

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