Businesses that are on the lookout for implementing process improvement models of any kind usually shell out a significant investment of money and time. One such model that has proven results in improving business processes is the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) certification. CMMI is the improved or updated version of its predecessor Capability Maturity Model (CMM). CMMI is usually confused as a set of guidelines or a set of procedures to follow or a framework that prescribes a particular way of doing work. So what exactly is CMMI? CMMI can be defined as a reference model or a structured description of proven practices in product engineering and engineering management. It is developed over a quarter-century of painstaking work by thousands of professionals building software and systems.
CMMI can address a variety of challenges and ongoing processes within an organization, right from the inception of a product to its maintenance. CMMI framework includes five maturity levels and three capability levels carefully curated to describe the maturity of organizations such as CMMI SVC for service management, CMMI ACQ for product acquisition, and CMMI DEV for development related to products and services. It was inspired by Watts Humphrey, an IBM Vice President who went to the software engineering institute in Pittsburgh to help programming grow from an ad hoc artform to a professional engineering discipline. This involves improving product quality and efficiency for both hardware and software. (We will talk about the software part in this post) CMMI was initially developed and practiced in the United States defense sector in cooperation with Carnegie Mellon University. CMMI is now popular among a variety of businesses as a way to improve their business process. However, it is mainly adopted by software development companies. This is because Quality plays a significant role and is a critical success indicator for any company that develops and maintains software products.
Software development companies that work with CMMI standards will have more quality in their deliverables and product development life cycle and exhibit more performance to fulfill their internal requirements. India’s ability to acquire more offshore software development projects is a result of their adoption of CMMI DEV. This is one of the key reasons why more businesses around the world partner up with a software development company in India for their product requirements. They are a leading country when considering the number of CMMI DEV certified software development companies. In this blog post, we will dive into the main reasons why you should partner up with a CMMI DEV certified company for your software development project. So, let’s jump in!
Level 1 (Initial): In the case of a CMMI level 1 company, the processes involved within their organization are unpredictable, poorly controlled, and reactive in nature.
The common behaviors that separate these companies from other maturity levels are the instability in their business process, refraining from implementing proven processes, and an affinity to abandon processes in the time of a crisis. Their projects would often exceed budget as the decisions that they take may not be pre planned and are often done in an ad hoc manner.
Level 2 (Managed): Organizations that run on a managed process maturity level execute their processes in a well defined and well planned manner by maintaining accurate documentation, and precise monitoring. Level 2 companies always pre plan their processes before implementing it or arriving at a final decision. When these processes are implemented, they always manage these processes by strictly adhering to their documented plans. Level 2 covers key process areas such as Project Planning, Requirements Management, Measurement & Analysis, Project Monitoring & Control, Process & Product Quality Assurance, and Configuration Management.
Level 3 (Defined): CMMI DEV Level 3 companies characterize and understand their processes in a well defined and organized manner. Their standards, procedures, tools, are also well defined at the organizational level. When compared to Level 2 companies, Level 3 companies define processes in a more detailed manner. Level 3 covers key process areas such as Verification, Validation, Product Integration, Decision Analysis and Resolution (DAR), Risk Management, Technical Solution, Organizational Process Focus & Definition, Requirements Development, Organizational Training, Integrated Teaming, and Organizational Process Focus.
Level 4(Quantitatively Managed): Here processes are controlled using other quantitative and statistical techniques that contribute positively to overall process performance. Process predictability is the main factor that separates Level 4 companies from all previous levels. Level 4 companies increasingly rely on quantitative and statistical modeling tools to evaluate and analyze customer requirements, roadblocks, performance indicators, and milestones. Level 4 covers two key process areas such as Organizational Process Performance and Quantitative Project Management.
Level 5(Optimizing): Process performance is continually improved via innovative and progressive technological improvements. Level 5 covers two key process areas such as Causal Analysis & Resolution and Organizational Innovation & Deployment. In this maturity level companies can achieve high quality with lower risk.
Inorder to achieve a specific CMMI maturity level, companies have to but you’ll have to match certain requirements specified by the CMMI. Normally, there are three methods involved in the Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI). Let’s have a closer look on those below:
Class A: Class A appraisals are done only after a company recognizes the need to benchmark their business process using the CMMI framework.
Class B: appraisals are conducted when a company is in a greater need to evaluate how fast they are approaching their targeted Maturity Level.
Class C: When compared to class A and class B appraisals, Class C appraisals deliver companies more insight into how they can improve processes by complying to the guidelines prescribed by CMMI.
1. Cost Saving
Software development companies that practice CMMI have minimal efforts spent on time consuming reworks. Lesser the reworks, more profitable will be the project.They also have more predictability in their ongoing projects as well as internal processes. All these factors can help them to significantly mitigate risks that are commonly associated with a project. These risks have the potential to negatively impact cost savings. Companies that practice CMMI processes can easily evade this issue and deliver solutions without spending more money on risk mitigation tasks and quality improvement initiatives. The ability of CMMI DEV certified companies to accurately point out or predict project completion timelines, detect project risks, milestones and costs are some of the other factors that facilitate significant cost savings.
Software development is all about quality and like any other industry, software development companies strive to build quality software solutions, rapidly, at a minimal cost, and lower turnaround time. Software development companies that follow CMMI DEV best practices will naturally improve their processes by reducing defects over time in the areas of the software development life cycle (SDLC) that involve requirement analysis, design, architecture, and testing.
Quality improvements in these key areas will make them more competitive and agile. Apart from the substantially improved quality of ongoing projects, the rate of new project acquisition will also project upwards exponentially. This is because CMMI DEV certified software development companies exhibit well defined approaches in planning, measuring, estimating, and documenting changes.
3. Customer Satisfaction
Software development companies that follow CMMI DEV best practices will naturally have more satisfied clients than others. Their ability to predict & resolve errors, achieve project milestones and consistently deliver within clients expected timeline are some of the positive factors that draw customers to CMMI DEV certified software development companies. An increase in customer satisfaction can trigger more positive customer reviews that can foster their customer base that ultimately leads to more conversions.
The fundamental factor that drives most organizations to adopt CMMI process improvement is to improve the performance of their underlying organizational processes, standards, and procedures. It is evident from various studies that software development companies that adopt CMMI practice can achieve their performance goals ten times faster than their competitors who don’t follow these practices. Achieving development milestones within an estimated delivery timeline is another key point indicator that increases performance. Practicing CMMI allows them to set up a battle plan for tackling problems that are common in their business landscape.
5. Development Time
There is are credible evidence about the impact of CMMI models on minimizing project delivery time. CMMI DEV certified companies have Improved predictability in meeting schedules and better capabilities to standardize processes by complying with the best practices in product development.
Partnering up or hiring software developers from a software development company appraised with CMMI level 2 or higher can help businesses to reap more benefits. Software development vendors that are CMMI certified can deliver better quality products, partnering up with such a vendor can help businesses get better software that has high quality within their expected timeline. However, there is a lot of ground CMMI doesn’t cover such as disaster recovery, marketing, organizational structure, and change. However, its ultimate goal is to find new roads to work more efficiently.
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