Our company was appraised at CMMI Maturity Level Two last year, and next year we plan improvements that should have us performing at ML3. What are the biggest things we have to concern ourselves with CMMI v1.3?
Great question! A lot of people have been asking that lately on "Ask The CMMI Appraiser" so let's tackle it now.
By far the biggest changes for CMMI v1.3 have been with the so-called "high maturity" (ML4/ML5) process areas. *** RANT BEGINS*** I say "so-called" because I don't like that term. There is nothing about "statistical management" or "statistical techniques" that guarantees that the software being written, or products being built, are of higher quality. This is a myth. They COULD be, but the notion that if you apply statistics to problems they will improve was created and perpetuated by people who do not actually do it for a living. Engineering is system that is about behavior, and no measures, charts, control charts, graphs, or Pareto charts will help you if you don't change behavior! The same goes for Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraisers, some of whom specialize in so-called "high-maturity." It doesn't make them better appraisers, consultants, or teachers. It only proves that they can pass a statistics test. Big whoop. *** Rant over****.
But if your company is targeting ML3 behavior, you're in luck! The biggest change is that some of the concepts that used to be contained in "Integrated Process and Product Development" (IPPD) are now practices ("expected") in IPM and OPD. This is a good thing. Anything that focuses on making teams better, on making things less confusing, and on defining team norms, is a good thing.
This will be particularly useful for Scrum teams, who already have some pretty good things going for them, assuming they are not of the Scrum-butt variety!
I was very pleased when the SEI came out with this - a change that makes the most important part of IPPD part of the mainstream. A good change that is most welcomed!
Another interesting change is the elimination of Generic Goals Four and Five. This means that you can no longer take just Project Planning (for instance) to Capability Level Five. This seems like a rip, until you realize the ML4 was never REALLY Maturity Level 4, but CL4 with a couple of PA's. That masquerade is over, with any luck.
Finally, although SCAMPI v1.3 is not quite yet released, there are a few key nuggets worth talking about. We're told that the distinction between "Direct" and "Indirect" evidence is now eliminated, with just "artifact" left in its wake. There are probably a lot of appraisal teams who have slaved over this cursing the SEI right now, wishing it had happened earlier, but it's better late than never and is a good thing. The other SCAMPI change is in the sampling method. No more "minimum of 3 projects allowed" (sorry offshore systems integrators, you're going to have to really be ML3 now). You're going to actually have to provide data so the Lead Appraiser can make an informed decision.
By the way, if you're one of those companies that tried to hand 3 projects to the Lead Appraiser and hide the rest, shame on you. I love it when an RFP tells us we only get to look at 3 projects, and we can't ask questions about the rest! A sure reason to run the other way - as fast as we can!
All of this, and more, will be a good topic of discussion for any Certified CMMI Instructor or Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser in the coming months. You can also tune into one of our free Webinars - the next one will cover this subject - at www.broadswordsolution.com.