Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We're hearing about changes with CMMI at the SEI - what gives?

Dear Appraiser,

We're hearing rumblings about reorganization at the SEI, and that the CMMI may be moving to another organization at CMU.  What's the story?  ~Joseph P.


It is true.  The SEI announced this morning that the CMMI constellations (as well as other "mature technologies"), no longer considered "research" projects, will be moved to a new business unit within Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).  The Department of Defense, long a sponsor of the SEI, was very involved (along with CMU) in this decision.

To put this all in perspective, remember that the SEI is an "FFRDC" (Federally Funded Research and Development Center).  That means their charter is to conducted Research and Development activities - something they do very well.  So, this move makes total sense in that context.

I interpret this as a good . . . no, a great thing.  The SEI operates under the constraints of its sponsor (the DOD).  A new business unit, unencumbered by this constraint, will take the CMMI in new,  more flexible directions, and to new markets.

Here is the text of the SEI's announcement:

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) have mutually decided to move the CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) and the PCMM (People Capability Maturity Model ) out of the SEI and into an independent business unit of CMU. We believe this new unit may also be a natural transition path for other SEI developed technologies, methods and practices as they mature.

The SEI is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) established in 1984 to provide technical leadership and innovation through research and development to advance the practice of software engineering and technology in support of DoD needs. DoD acknowledges the significant contributions that CMMI has made to Defense programs and the software engineering community, in general. Recognizing the maturity of CMMI and PCMM, SEI and DoD have agreed that the maturity of these technologies make this an appropriate time for the SEI, as a science and technology based FFRDC, to concentrate on newer research.

Carnegie Mellon University is excited about establishing this new business unit to serve the global software engineering community even better--to make adoption, evolution and maintenance of the models more flexible for government and commercial organizations, to be more creative with our partners and other organizations in creating business relationships, and to face the market more proactively.

Join me in wishing the greatest success to this new organization!

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead AppraiserCertified 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.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about running a successful CMMI program.

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