CMMI Practices Improve Business Process

Patrick Avery

CMMI, or Capability Maturity Model Integration, is a well-known and standardized model for assessing and improving software and systems development processes. It can be used to guide process improvement across a project, a division, or an entire organization. Dr. Ralf Kneuper, whose book "CMMI: Improving Software and Systems Development Processes Using Capability Maturity Model Integration," is excerpted in the Knowledge Network, is a CMMI expert and recently interviewed with IT Business Edge editor Lora Bentley.


In this discussion, Kneuper talks about the history of CMMI and its variants. He also describes how companies can use CMMI.

"The main issue here is to remember that CMMI is about improvement, not certification. Some companies, especially if they implement CMMI because their customer tells them to do so, only look for a way to satisfy the CMMI requirement rather than using this requirement as a trigger to check how to improve the relevant working process. Admittedly, this approach will lead to additional bureaucracy and little improvement.

"CMMI does not tell you how to do things, but it tells you what to do, and this is for a good reason. You have both the freedom and the responsibility to implement the CMMI practices and perform the work in a way that really helps you. So always look for a way to integrate the CMMI practices into your normal working processes rather than adding them on top."

Don't forget to check out the excerpt from his book.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jun 24, 2009 12:19 PM Miichael Harris Miichael Harris  says:

I agree with the comment that some companies try to just "check the box" of CMMI compliance to win more business but this is actually quite hard to do and ends up costing more than doing it properly.

I'd suggest a further point in this context: CMMI can deliver a lot of value for money in specific areas where an organization is experiencing most pain.  The tendency to associate CMMI with certification leads to a view that you have to do all of it at once.  On the contrary, it may be that you can easily build a business case for implementing CMMI best practices in the one or two areas where you really have problems now.

Jun 26, 2009 5:18 PM Gowri Gowri  says: in response to Miichael Harris

In my experience with CMMI (& other models) for about 10+ years now, there are typically 2 types of adoption:

1. Certification focused. This is typically where most companies begin because it qualifies them to compete or get a foot in the door for opportunities. But the same companies, with a few years experience of using the framework, begin to extend its usage and align it tigher for real business value - thats the value of maturity gained with CMMI as a framework

2. Use the model to solve immediate pain areas. Again, in my experience as they begin to see real value in one area, these companies also broaden the adoption to other areas with maturity gained over time

so even if one starts with a narrow/short term focus, it typically broadens and companies derive increased value and achieve better adoption with time

Feb 15, 2013 6:11 AM cmmiconsultant cmmiconsultant  says:
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