Not just “no” … HECK no! Your strength as a small business is in your agility and your ability to quickly adjust and adapt to your customers’ needs. Don’t change that! The CMMI is a scalable model that was designed to be molded around your business goals and objectives. It works the way you work, regardless of the size of the organization. The only limitation you face is your own imagination.
In terms of company size, Doc, bigger is not necessarily better. There is nothing about large companies like Northrop Grumman that makes them inherently “better” at delivering the type of engineering solutions that you do. Likewise, there is nothing about the CMMI that requires the infrastructure that only a large company can afford. Those are myths that sprang up due to a lack of credible information available to small companies.
Not to say you are unaffected by the history that customers have with the big companies. Large buyers like the federal government have come to expect this type of framework from their suppliers. By adopting the CMMI, you won’t be doing what they do. You’ll be doing what YOU do! (Only better.)
One of the ways you’ll be better with the CMMI is you will be able to anticipate your clients’ needs in a predictable way. Large-scale buyers like the federal government or automotive companies anticipate their need for this. One of the ways they are able to differentiate among the most qualified suppliers is to use CMMI as a tool that, in its simplest form, provides a model for how great product and service companies perform – that’s why you see so many large companies adopting the CMMI.
But that doesn’t mean every small company needs to act like Northrop Grumman. No, my friend, that's not advisable or even possible. Instead, adopt the CMMI with a goal of becoming a better version of you!
For more information about how the CMMI works for companies with fewer than 20 people, feel free to visit www.cmmixs.com, and download our white paper, “Shattering the Myths about CMMI and Extra Small Companies." You'll see why it's better to act like the company you are than one you'll never be.
Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!
Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI trainings and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.