What is CMMI?
CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) is a training and appraisal program aimed at process improvement. It is a collection of very effective and reliable best practices which will help an organization improve its standard and quality.
The model assesses current set of practices implemented by a system or an organization and identifies the strengths and areas of improvements. Once the assessment is completed, a set of measures, improvement or changes are implemented to change the improvement areas to strengths.
Why is CMMI important?
For an organization to face global competition, it should be aligned with international standards. CMMI provides a framework to achieve that. The key benefits of CMMI are as listed below
- Cost Saving
- Market Demand
- Performance Demand
- Process Improvement
A maturity level is a well-defined evolutionary plateau toward achieving a mature software process. Each maturity level provides a layer in the foundation for continuous process improvement.
CMMI model has 5 maturity levels:
- Level 1- Initial: In this maturity level, the process is unpredictable, poorly controlled and highly reactive
- Level 2- Managed: At this maturity level, processes are characterized for a project and are often reactive.
- Level 3- Defined: In level 3 maturity, processes are characterized for an organization and are pro-active
- Level 4- Quantitatively Managed: Here, processes are measured and controlled
- Level 5- Optimizing: Emphasis is on continuous process improvement
Maturity Level 1 – Initial:
At this level, there are no defined processes and best practices. Organizations at this maturity level largely depend on employees’ competence and skills to achieve outcomes.
Since the processes are not well defined and adhoc, organizations at this maturity level delivers products/services that exceed schedule or budget or both.
An organization can be considered successful if it manages to deliver services on time and within budget consistently. With minimal or no processes, organizations fails to provide excellent results consistently.
Maturity Level 2 – Managed:
At this level, projects in an organization lay emphasis on processes. Highly skilled resources are employed to produce controlled output. Here, the project activities are monitored, controlled and reviewed. The project status is visible to the management at key defined points or milestones.
During stressful times, the practices laid will help in delivering a controlled output this adhering to the documented plan.
The work products and services satisfy their specified requirements, standards, and objectives.
Maturity Level 3 – Defined:
At maturity level 3, an organization has achieved all the specific and generic goals of the process areas assigned to maturity levels 2 and 3.
Here, the processes are detailed, well defined and understood. They are mentioned in the tools and methodologies.
A critical distinction between maturity level 2 and maturity level 3 is the scope of standards, process descriptions, and procedures. At maturity level 2, the standards, process descriptions, and procedures may be quite different in each specific instance of the process (for example, on a particular project). At maturity level 3, the standards, process descriptions, and procedures for a project are tailored from the organization’s set of standard processes to suit a particular project or organizational unit.
Maturity Level 4 – Quantitatively Managed:
At maturity level 4, an organization has achieved all the specific goals of the process areas assigned to maturity levels 2, 3, and 4 and the generic goals assigned to maturity levels 2 and 3.
At maturity level 4 Sub-processes are selected that significantly contribute to overall process performance. These selected Sub-processes are controlled using statistical and other quantitative techniques.
Quantitative objectives for quality and process performance are established and used as criteria in managing processes. Quantitative objectives are based on the needs of the customer, end users, organization, and process implementer. Quality and process performance are understood in statistical terms and are managed throughout the life of the processes.
Maturity Level 5 – Optimizing:
At maturity level 5, an organization has achieved all the specific goals of the process areas assigned to maturity levels 2, 3, 4, and 5 and the generic goals assigned to maturity levels 2 and 3.
Processes are continually improved based on a quantitative understanding of the common causes of variation inherent in processes.
Maturity level 5 focuses on continually improving process performance through both incremental and innovative technological improvements.