Friday, August 26, 2011

How do we compare to other companies that adopt the CMMI?

Appraiser, Is there an online resource where we can compare our CMMI maturity level to other companies?  ~E.I.

E.I., Here’s something you might find interesting.  Anyone curious about comparing their CMMI maturity levels to other companies can reference the following chart:

At a glance, the chart reveals three interesting pieces of information:

  1. The vast majority of companies are at CMMI Maturity Level 2 and Level 3 (“Managed” and “Defined”).
  2. A smaller amount of companies are at CMMI Maturity Level 4 and 5 (“Quantitatively Managed” and “Optimizing”). 
  3. A fairly significant amount of companies did not get a CMMI Maturity Level rating (“Not Given”).  "Not Given" could be the result of a company not caring about what "level" they get, or it could be because they DO care, but just don't make it!
When I displayed these results at a recent CMMI training, several people were curious about that category, “Not Given.”  They wanted to know the reasons for a company not to achieve a CMMI Maturity Level.  I explained that one reason is that their appraisal was not successful – but that’s not the only reason.  Sometimes, companies choose to not be rated.  That’s OK.  But it does affect the size of the “Not Given” category.  You should not assume, however, that this indicates a high failure rate.

To me, the most interesting aspect of this graph is that so many companies were at CMMI Maturity Levels 2 and 3.  In fact, out of the last 1287 appraisals reported in North America, just under half were CMMI Maturity Level 2, and just under half were CMMI Maturity Level 3. 

So how does your organization compare?  Leave a comment below and let us know!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, Candidate SCAMPI Appraiser Observer, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations.  Jeff has taught thousands of students and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Learn more about CMMI maturity levels at

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