As many organizations, specially the software industry are now days aiming their sight towards CMMI® (Capability Maturity Model) CMMI-DEV, many are still reluctant to grasp what it is? Do we really need it? Will it increase our ROI? Or how far will it help in making our business better with greater project management and performance measures, Who will do it, What will be the cost for it? Are the typical questions that come in their mind in the beginning.
When organizations want to reposition their strategies to gain exposure in the newly formed market opportunities, they usually move along a process centric approach. Here comes the role of CMMI® (Capability Maturity Model Integration).
The CMMI journey starts with developing the business processes which means that each and every individual in the organization must appreciate this model, involve the team that will really do the real work, plan the project, deploy the project as it has been planned during project planning stage and hire a right appraiser that has a business oriented mindset and technical aura to work on its implementation. Typical issue at this stage is that companies start to follow practices defined in the CMMI model, instead of looking at their own systems, resources and infrastructure and don’t try to use the model rather try to install it like a plug and play option.
CMMI is not to be think of as a rule book about compliance with hundreds of document templates and pages, think of it as a set of questions you need to ask yourself for how you can gauge your company towards process and performance improvement. If you really want to justify yourself that you must go for CMMI then blast yourself with a set of essential questions: are your organizations activities linked to your business objectives? Are you in line with your company vision? Are you lagging your process measure somewhere behind in looking more for substantial growth? What’s not working with your current development measures?
So, here comes the debate, how can one decide what is the right time and way to approach for CMMI®?
Unfortunately many organizations are unable to focus on the CMMI® model especially smaller organizations. Some are really too small to tackle the upfront cost CMMI implementation poses, some have difficulty documenting processes and process assets, some bears lack of planning, lack of management commitment, unrealistic expectations from the appraisal, some misunderstand measurement and analysis phase, and some have limited to no training provided on the model.
The above are the definite obstacles that someone might experience to go for CMMI® Process activity. There are some cases in which organization cognition patterns works differently. They do not want to accomplish a model or a standard but they want to acquire CMMI® to win a contract just because customers prefer to buy products from vendors who have CMMI® process configured or those who have CMMI certified team.
I believe it truly depends on the outcome you are expecting to get from it? How much ROI you are expecting to gain. An organization should work out their strategy for implementing CMMI® only if they have a stable architecture, they treat process improvement like a project that needs to be planned with realistic goals and objectives, they have attained certain position in the economy and their management is truly involved with the process improvement activities. CMMI® process handling also becomes easier when the management takes help of an experienced CMMI® consultant to document processes and process assets and train them through each and every process of the CMMI® model to ensure alignment.
One should not hook into that attitude that many companies are moving to the CMMI®, we must also go for it, but one should only do so if their invest to a CMMI® process is justified
Of course it depends on a lot of other factors if you have the investment, you are that big facing a lot of competition and you have resources to take an action. In such cutting-edge cases, an ROI presentation is a very effective approach. The one presenting the CMMI® proposal must administer, the scope of the project, time required for its analysis , all the related cost and the financial benefits going to gain form it. The return must be in line to the financial benefits an organization will get.