Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is there any software for CMMI implementation?

Hey, CMMI Appraiser, is there any software for rapid CMMI implementation? Our clients are requiring that we win a CMMI certificate within 6 months, and we are concerned about the risk of a failed implementation. Thank you in advance. ~ Rupal M.

Rupal, sorry, you can’t buy a tool for CMMI implementation because the CMMI is not something you implement, regardless of your time frame. There are some CMMI consultants who continue to advise companies that the CMMI Appraisal is a race that can be won in six months or less. But the truth is, a plaque or certificates isn't that important.  That’s not how you win the game.

So what is CMMI? The CMMI is a framework, a set of guidelines for helping you transform the culture of your company. It’s about improving and changing the way your company behaves, so that you create an environment in which the organization can manage its uniqueness in a structured way.

Make sense? That’s why you can’t bolt on a tool or devise to help you. There is no software, template, or checklist that will implement culture change, behavioral change, and embracing of continuous improvement across a large group of people. Yes, there are tools for tracking projects, or tracking improvements, but these are simply project management and measurement tools applied to process improvement.

By the same token, there is no tool that you can buy that guarantees that you can achieve any level of CMMI within any particular time frame. Tools on the market can help you manage your work, manage software, or manage requirements, and you might choose to employ them while also using the CMMI. But the CMMI is the equivalent to those tools. It does not take the place of those tools.

Try to focus on the bigger picture here, Rupal. The CMMI was intended to make your company a great company. If you focus on that perspective, on being great, doing the best you can do and being the best company you can be, external recognition like certificates and ratings and plaques and high fives will follow inevitably. Whatever Maturity Level you are achieving is simply a byproduct of being a great company.

It doesn’t work the other way around. You can’t say, “I’m going to get a certificate, and that certificate will make me a great company, whether I am or not.”

Which brings me to my final point. There is no such thing as “CMMI certificate” or “CMMI certification.” Though clients may refer to these phantom awards, the CMMI Institute does not recognize them, and – as I said above – that’s not what you want to focus on, anyway.

So I encourage you to forget about software, certificates and awards, and remember three things about the CMMI:

  • The CMMI is a time-tested, industry-proven model for positive outcomes;
  • The CMMI is a framework and set of guidelines for changing behaviors and changing culture;
  • The CMMI allows you to do what you are already doing, better.

Employ the CMMI as a way to put your company on the path to greatness, Rupal. Success will surely follow.  And THAT's how you win the game!

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

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, ScrumMaster, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff pioneered agileCMMI, the leading methodology for incremental and iterative process improvement. He 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 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: