Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is a process improvement training and appraisal program and service that can be used to guide process improvement across a project, division, or an entire organization. Under the CMMI methodology, processes are rated according to their maturity levels, which are defined as: Initial, Repeatable, Defined, Quantitatively Managed, and Optimizing. The model has been developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University and is considered one of the most robust process improvement models available.
Depending on the type of appraisal, the organization can be awarded a maturity level rating or a capability level achievement profile. Most organizations find value in measuring their progress by conducting an appraisal which are typically conducted for one or more of the following reasons:
- To determine how well the organization’s processes compare to CMMI best practices, and to identify areas where improvement can be made
- To inform external customers and suppliers of how well the organization’s processes compare to CMMI best practices
- To meet the contractual requirements of one or more customers
The Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) is the official method to provide benchmark-quality ratings relative to CMMI models. SCAMPI appraisals are used to identify strengths and weaknesses of current processes, reveal development/acquisition risks, and determine capability and maturity level ratings. They are mostly used either as part of a process improvement program or for rating prospective suppliers. The method defines the appraisal process as consisting of preparation; on-site activities; preliminary observations, findings, and ratings; final reporting; and follow-on activities.
The CCMI Appraisal will provide a detailed understanding of the current state of practices within the organization. This is provided in a variety of formats to assist with understanding where the organization falls within industry best practices, and gives detailed insight into both leadership’s and the stakeholder community’s self-perceptions about its performance, as well as a detailed accountability against the reality of the organization’s actual practices.
At a minimum, a set of detailed findings and recommendations for improvement with an explanatory background are provided for reference; optionally, a report outlining the entire assessment approach, insights, and background — inclusive of observations surrounding best practice considerations — can be provided. The findings will also speak to the results of an assessment of the culture, technology, human resources, and other foundational factors that support the organization’s CMMI activities.
CMMI provides guidance for efficient, effective improvement across multiple process disciplines in an organization. It benefits the organization by providing a common, integrated vision of improvement. The ultimate benefit is improved performance that means decreased costs, improved on-time delivery, improved productivity, improved quality, and improved customer satisfaction.
Another benefit is return on investment. Such a program more than pays for the monetary investment required. These are all reasons why CMMI is the choice for process improvement in multiple industries.
There are a number of CMMI models. When people refer to CMMI, they could be talking about any of the three CMMI models: CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV), CMMI for Services (CMMI-SVC), or CMMI for Acquisition (CMMI-ACQ). CMMI-DEV is used to improve engineering and development processes in an organization that develops products. CMMI-SVC is used to improve management and service delivery processes in an organization that develops, manages, and delivers services. CMMI-ACQ is used to improve supplier management processes in an organization that deals with multiple suppliers for its business. The People CMM is used to improve workforce management in any organization. SGMM, also known as Smart Grid, is used by utility companies to help them manage and deliver utilities effectively and efficiently. CERT-RMM, also known as the CERT Resilience Management Model, is used in organizations to improve their operational resilience management. At present, the Project Strategy Consulting Group can provide appraisal services for all except the CERT-RMM.