Monday, September 1, 2014

Would achieving a CMMI Maturity Level help or hurt our competitive difference?

Dear CMMI Appraiser – we are an award-winning federal contractor, providing IT services to NASA, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Interior. We pride ourselves on being very different from our competitors, but lately our developers have been asking us to consider adopting CMMI for its structured framework. My concern is this: if we were to adopt the CMMI, wouldn’t it hurt our competitive difference and make us same as everyone else with a Maturity Level 2 or Maturity Level 3? ~ Sam C.

Dear Sam,

Great question. The purpose of the CMMI is to help any executive, engineer and/or business professional who is trying to create an environment in which your organization can manage its uniqueness in a structured way. You don’t have to “go for a level” – in fact, unless you need to, don't! The competitive advantages of adopting the CMMI are far more important the mere designation of ML2 or ML3. With a proper adoption of the CMMI, you’ll leave the competition in the dust.

It’s counterintuitive, but true. Rather than making you seem the same as everyone else, you can use the CMMI for guidance on emphasizing and leveraging your difference. The Model helps you establish an environment for allowing you to easily operate like the great company you know you can be – for the long term.

So I wouldn’t worry too much about what other people think, Sam. It’s not about changing your business to suit them. The CMMI is about the transformation of the culture of your company. It’s about improving and changing the way your company behaves, so that you build better products, win new business and retain the customers you have.

For more information on using the CMMI as a competitive differentiator, we are hosting a Webinar that shows you everything you NEED to know about CMMI. Sign up today for: “CMMI - Everything You Need to Know” on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 1PM EST.

Don't miss this great learning opportunity! Register today.

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.

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