It is often seen that companies fly by the seat of their pants. They perform projects in an ad hoc, reactive manner. This approach which is all too common, is seen as very immature from a business process point of view. There are several maturity models available for companies to judge their own level of sophistication or maturity.
Designed to optimize business performance in an ever-changing global landscape, the maturity model is normally governed by a proven set of global best practices that enables organizations to build and benchmark the key capabilities that address the most common business challenges, including:
- Ensuring Quality
- Engineering & Developing Products
- Delivering & Managing Services
- Selecting & Managing Suppliers
- Planning & Managing Work
- Managing Business Resilience
- Managing the Workforce
- Supporting Implementation
- Sustaining Habit & Persistence
- Improving Performance
Business goals are tied directly to operations in order to drive measurable, improved performance against time, quality, budget, customer satisfaction and other key drivers.
The most popular maturity model is the CMMI V2.0, which is a trusted source of proven best practices that will be continuously updated to reflect changing business needs on the new online platform. It offers direct guidance on how to strengthen agile with Scrum project processes with a focus on performance.
New performance-oriented appraisal method improves reliability and consistency of benchmarks while reducing preparation time and lifecycle costs. With online access and adoption guidance make the benefits of CMMI more accessible than ever.
The Five Stages of the CMMI Model
The five distinct stages of project maturity, as well as on stage of zero maturity, and they are as follows:
Maturity Level 0: Incomplete
Ad hoc and unknown. Work may or may not get completed.
Maturity Level 1: Initial
Unpredictable and reactive. Work gets completed but is often delayed and over budget.
Maturity Level 2: Managed
Managed on the project level. Projects are planned, performed, measured, and controlled.
Maturity Level 3: Defined
Proactive, rather than reactive. Organization-wide standards provide guidance across projects, programs, and portfolios.
Maturity Level 4: Quantitatively Managed
Measured and controlled. Organization is data-driven with quantitative performance improvement objectives that are predictable and align to meet the needs of internal and external stakeholders.
Maturity Level 5: Optimizing
Stable and flexible. Organization is focused on continuous improvement and is built to pivot and respond to opportunity and change. The organization’s stability provides a platform for agility and innovation.
Benefits of Using the CMMI Model
Having originated in the US defense sector, CMMI is now being adopted increasingly widely to drive Business Improvement in diverse organizations.
1 – Consistency
CMMI provides a proven approach that has enabled diverse organizations to drive out real benefits in terms of dramatically improved project predictability and consistency. Whilst any or all of the above factors may drive an organization’s initial interest in CMMI, the key benefit from implementing the model that executives focus on is consistency in delivery.
2 – Cost Saving
CMMI driven process improvement also delivers real cost savings such as earlier and more effective error detection, and hence reduced cost of remediation, more effective management of change so you spend less on re-work, reductions in schedule variability and increased cost predictability.
3 – Self Improvement
There is also the aspect of self improvement. Companies will be able to use CMMI as a way of differentiating themselves locally and by achieving a level of CMMI will have naturally improved their processes which will make them more competitive. The heat of competition is now driving significant interest in CMMI. Development, Service Provider and Acquisition/Outsourcing organizations are all adopting CMMI both as a differentiator and as an enabler to enhanced performance.
4 – Market demand
Competing companies are utilizing CMMI for industry best practices and reaping the benefit of it. Companies have adopted this approach to best meet the customer demands and competition. Growing popularity of CMMI in the market is also a big reason of adoption of this practice by companies.
Subcontractors providing custom software to companies creating solutions for the federal government must either themselves be following CMMI, or be covered by their client. All the parts of the software product delivered to the government must be following CMMI somewhere in the supply chain.
5 – Performance demand
The purpose of CMMI is to improve upon the performance of the existing organizational standards, processes and procedures and NOT to redefine or them. CMMI is meant to help organizations improve on their “capability” to consistently and predictably deliver the products, services, and sourced goods their customers want, when they want them and at a price they’re willing to pay.
CMMI can be applied to create a process improvement solution appropriate to the context of each unique organization and can provide a path for an organization to achieve its performance goals.
6 – Process improvement
A CMMI driven improvement project will deliver a framework to standardize your processes, ensuring that your business’s best practices are captured, shared and adopted so that you can move staff around your organization and leavers won’t take business critical information away with them.
The Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) helps organizations streamline process improvement, encouraging a productive, efficient culture that decreases risks in software, product and service development.
Once organizations hit Levels 4 and 5, they are considered high maturity, where they are “continuously evolving, adapting and growing to meet the needs of stakeholders and customers.” That is the goal of the CMMI: To create reliable environments, where products, services and departments are proactive, efficient and productive.
About the Author:
Michael Martin has more than 35 years of experience in systems design for broadband networks, optical fibre, wireless and digital communications technologies.
He is a Senior Executive with IBM Canada’s Office of the CTO, Global Services. Over the past 14 years with IBM, he has worked in the GBS Global Center of Competency for Energy and Utilities and the GTS Global Center of Excellence for Energy and Utilities. He was previously a founding partner and President of MICAN Communications and before that was President of Comlink Systems Limited and Ensat Broadcast Services, Inc., both divisions of Cygnal Technologies Corporation (CYN: TSX).
Martin currently serves on the Board of Directors for TeraGo Inc (TGO: TSX) and previously served on the Board of Directors for Avante Logixx Inc. (XX: TSX.V).
He serves as a Member, SCC ISO-IEC JTC 1/SC-41 – Internet of Things and related technologies, ISO – International Organization for Standardization, and as a member of the NIST SP 500-325 Fog Computing Conceptual Model, National Institute of Standards and Technology.
He served on the Board of Governors of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and on the Board of Advisers of five different Colleges in Ontario. For 16 years he served on the Board of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), Toronto Section.
He holds three master’s degrees, in business (MBA), communication (MA), and education (MEd). As well, he has diplomas and certifications in business, computer programming, internetworking, project management, media, photography, and communication technology.