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CMMI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can the CMMI be applied only for software developments companies, or can systems integration companies also derive benefit from it ?

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Q:- Can the CMMI be applied only for software developments companies, or can systems integration companies also derive benefit from it ? What I mean by “systems integration companies” are organizations who engage in selling IT solutions including software and hardware as a solution.


The CMMI is not a software only model. By the end of this year, the SEI will have released three CMMI constellations: CMMI for Development, CMMI for Acquisition, and CMMI for Services. The Development and Acquisition constellations are currently available, the Services constellation is due to be released this Fall. The CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV) covers hardware, software, and systems engineering and so it will apply to systems integration companies as you have defined the term.



What is the proper Understanding of Process Performance Models?

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To better understand the concept of a Process Performance Model (PPM), it helps to have a little background about both Process Performance Baselines (PPBs) and PPMs. Both are based on the historical process data that the organization has been collected and analyzing. The CMMI definition of a PPB is a documented characterization of the actual results achieved by following a process, which is used as a benchmark for comparing actual process performance against expected process performance. In other words, the historical process data, when analyzed, will indicate how the process has behaved in the past and the expected range of the process performance. We can able the predict the productivity, defects etc.


What is the cost of a CMMI v1.2 ML3 certification?

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Q:- Our company is interested to go for CMMI v1.2 ML3 certification. Can you answer the following questions?

What are the costs involved (Internal & External)?
Are there any SEI cerfication bodies in India?


First of all let me make one clarification to your query. There is no such thing as a CMMI certification. What an organization receives are the results of a SCAMPI A appraisal that indicate the Maturity Level of the organization on the day the appraisal concludes. The organization is not certified. And there is no such thing as an SEI certification body anywhere in the world. What do exist are authorized SEI partners that are allowed to provide CMMI consulting, training, and appraisal services. Visit this web site http://partner-directory.sei.cmu.edu/ and you will be able to find the SEI-authorized partners in India.

The answers to your questions are highly variable depending on the size and scope of your organization and your geographical location. The best place to obtain realistic estimates is to ask several local SEI-authorized CMMI consulting and appraisal providers for their cost proposals, then you will have to handle the external costs. Internal costs really cannot be determined until you figure out how much work you have to do in order to implement the CMMI and prepare for an appraisal. Suffice it to say, your internal costs will most likely be greater than your external costs.


We are planning to go to CMMI 3 level certification. I recently joined in my company. Please tell me the necessary processes and steps.

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First of all, just to be clear, there is no such thing as “CMMI 3 level certification.” An organization is appraised to the CMMI using the SCAMPI A appraisal method to determine either the organization’s Maturity Level or the Capability Level of the organization’s processes. The result of the SCAMPI A is not a certification, but simply a rating of the current Maturity Level or Capability Level.

Has your company already achieved Maturity Level 2? Has your company hired a CMMI consultant? Has your company hired an SEI-authorized SCAMPI Lead Appraiser? Has an SEI-authorized instructor provided the SEI Introduction to CMMI class to your company?
If the answer to all of these questions is NO, then hire a CMMI consultant and a Lead Appraiser. The Lead Appraiser cannot provide the CMMI consulting. Most Lead Appraisers are also authorized CMMI instructors, so the next step is to train your process group and any people who might be an appraisal team member on the CMMI.

Perform a Class C appraisal (gap analysis) to identify where you need to focus your CMMI implementation efforts. Use the findings from the Class C to write a process improvement plan, and use the plan to monitor and control your CMMI implementation efforts.

Implement CMMI Maturity Level 2 FIRST. Once you have established the firm project management foundation of Maturity Level 2, and then consider implementing Maturity Level 3. If you try to implement both Maturity Level 2 and Maturity Level 3 at the same time, you will encounter difficulties. There is a huge difference between managing projects at Maturity Level 2 and managing projects at Maturity Level 3.

Once you feel comfortable that you have addressed all of the findings from the Class C and you have had several project cycles to institutionalize the documented processes, then consult with your Lead Appraiser to determine if your organization is ready to conduct benchmarking SCAMPI A appraisal.

There will be more training (appraisal team and PIIDs) and activities leading up to the SCAMPI A, but your Lead Appraiser will tell you exactly what you will need to do to prepare for the appraisal.


What are Capability Levels in CMMI?

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  • Capability levels of the continuous representation focus on maturing the organization’s ability to perform, control, and improve its performance in a process area
  • Capability levels provide a recommended order for approaching process improvement within each process area
  • A capability level consists of related specific and generic practices for a process area that, when performed, increase the capability of the organization in that process area and enhance the organization’s overall process capability

What is the impact when the organization not doing proper Configuration Management?

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What you’ll see…

  • Baseline system can’t be produced when needed
  • Rework during test because components are not what was expected
  • Complete inventory of system components unavailable when needed – Causes wasted time to find parts and specs and interfaces
  • Uncontrolled changes that lead to uncontrolled rework

Why Should You Care? Because…

  • Not knowing what is in the product leads to embarrassing discussions with customers
  • Inability to rebuild/revisit a previous baseline wastes money and resources during maintenance
  • Not being able to verify that the product tested is the product delivered costs you time, effort, and customer confidence
  • If you don’t know what’s in or out of the product, you don’t know what you don’t know!

What is the impact when the organization not doing proper Requirement Management?

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What you’ll see…

  • High levels of re-work throughout the project
  • Requirements accepted by staff from any source they deem to be authoritative
  • “Galloping” requirements creep
  • Inability to “prove” that the product meets the approved requirements

Why Should You Care? Because…

  • Lack of agreement among stakeholders as to what are the “real” requirements increases time and cost to complete the project
  • You’re highly likely to deliver an incorrect or incomplete product
  • Revisiting requirements changes over and over is a waste of resource highly visible to the customer

What is the impact when the organization not doing proper Project Monitoring?

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What you’ll see

  • Crisis management
  • High rework levels throughout the project
  • Lots of time spent in meetings trying to “discover” project status rather than reporting on it
  • Data needed for management decisions is unavailable when needed
  • Actions that should have been taken early on aren’t discovered
  • Until it’s too late

Why Should You Care? Because…

  • If you don’t know what’s going on, corrective action can’t be taken early when it’s least expensive
  • Lack of management insight/oversight makes project results highly unpredictable, even later in the project
  • If your confidence in the status you give to your customer is low, they probably perceive that!

Why is Institutionalization Important?

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Ans: – Without institutionalization

  • Process improvement may not relate to business goals
  • Processes will not be executed or managed consistently
  • The processes will not survive staff or leadership changes
  • The organization will find itself continuously “reinventing the wheel”
  • Commitment to provide resources or infrastructure to support or improve the processes will be missing or insufficient
  • Historical data will not be useful to support future projects

Where to start CMMI implementation?

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We can start CMMI Implementation depending on the organizational need. Once an organization starts growing in size, it starts feeling the need for effective processes and the use of processes by the people. This is the point of introspection – and the organization starts looking for some model. The question is Which Model. CMMI is one of the best suited and well researched model to be used for institutionalizing the best practices for software engineering body of knowledge – which means requirements management, project management, design, coding, testing, delivery and maintenance etc.

You can start CMMI Implementation from today. However, it would be a good idea to plan the roadmap for the CMMI Journey from launch to successful implementation to successful assessment to successful sustenance of the system post assessment.

It also good to find out what are our organizational goals that we would like to achieve while implementing CMMI Process Areas.

My sugggestion would be to develop a detailed roadmap, explain what is expected from each stakeholder – management, coordinators, practitioners, project managers, project leaders, programmers, etc – and then begin the process. Good luck.


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