Thursday, October 25, 2018

Why Is CMMI V2.0 a Game-Changer?

Jeff, Why do you consider CMMIV2.0 a game-changer? ~ Tom Cagley, SPaMCast

[Editor's Note: This CMMI Appraiser has had the pleasure of being interviewed many times by Tom Cagley on the Software Process and Measurement Cast (SPaMCast) about CMMI, Agile, and Performance Improvement. On the most recent episode, we're talking CMMI V2.0, and how to begin transitioning to and using the new Model upgrade. Listen to the full interview at SPaMCast 512.]


The CMMI Institute is very serious about turning CMMI from a process model into a performance model -- though they haven't quite mastered it yet.

Even so, there has been a lot of progress in CMMI V2.0. In the old Model, CMMI v1.3, we had a bunch of vertical practices like Project Planning, Project Monitoring, and Technical Solutions -- and we still have some of those. But the way the practices are framed now, in V2.0, is much more organized around "threads." 

Previously, instead of threads, we had what you could almost consider “requirements.” These were aspects of the Model that seemed to be saying, “You must do this, you must do this, and you must do this.” It was up to you figure out how to instantiate these requirements at your company level in order to create threads from it so that each one actually manifested as a behavioral outcome, and you could say, "This is how our teams behave."

In CMMI V2.0, they really did a much better job than CMMI v1.3 in representing the "Practice Areas," as they call them now, and the practices within them, in more of a thread-based fashion. Now it's easier to look at it and at least make sense of what they were trying to do. To get to this point, the CMMI Institute re-architected the CMMI around four major areas for CMMI2.0: “Doing, Managing, Enabling, and Improving.”

I always tell my students that another word for process is “work.” Process isn't overhead. Process is actually how work is supposed to happen. Well, in the new Model upgrade, I think the CMMI Institute really took that to heart. Not only did they create the four large categories or areas, but they mapped threads to each area, resulting in 12 different threads. They're calling those “capabilities.” Capabilities are things like ensuring quality, for instance, or engineering and developing products. In CMMI V2.0, the practice areas are grouped together in a manner that the Institute best believed met the intent of that thread. 

This is a complete departure from v1.3. I think the architectural changes alone are a game-changer for those people who either need to implement CMMI for contractual purposes, or for just improvement purposes as they grow and get larger as companies.

If folks are interested getting training on all of the changes in the new model, we are hosting another CMMI 2.0 class this Spring. Feel free to learn more about “CMMI V2.0 Training! – Plus Optional Agile/CMMI Integration Workshop” on April 1-5, 2019.

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I hope my readers have enjoyed this segment of my interview with Tom Cagley on SPaMCast #512. We'll be talking more about the changes in the new upgrade, CMMI V2.0, in the next segment. Please check back soon.

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 training classes 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.

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