Monday, May 27, 2013

How does our CMMI Level 3 compare against the competition?

Hey, CMMI Appraiser,

We’re a CMMI Level 3 IT strategies and software development company in western Ohio. The other night, at an industry awards ceremony, our biggest competitor bragged that he had data that showed how his company’s Maturity Level rating compared against ours. He acted like it was privileged information. Any idea what he was talking about? ~ Ray I.

Ray, it sounds like your competitor was trying to impress you (or himself) by acting mysterious about some pretty straight-forward data. The truth is, anyone curious about comparing their CMMI maturity levels to other companies can reference the following chart:

This data was recently released by the CMMI Institute, and is contained within their March 2013 Maturity Profile Report. The online version is available here.

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!

To me, the most interesting aspect of this graph is that – like your company and your competitor’s – so many organizations were at CMMI Maturity Levels 2 and 3. This is a trend that has been gaining momentum over the last few years.  The current Report shows that, out of the last 5500+ appraisals reported in North America, about 25% were CMMI Maturity Level 2, and 63% were CMMI Maturity Level 3.  Remember, this chart is for ALL reporting organizations.  Results vary by country - in fact, the US number is roughly 55% Maturity Level Three and 45% Maturity level Two.

But this is ALL it means. Your company and his are among the 63% of companies that were appraised last year and achieved an ML3 rating.

Mystery solved!

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.

Visit for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation , software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

To download eBooks about CMMI, visit Jeff’s Author Page on Amazon.

No comments: