Case Study #1

Reducing CMMI Re-certification Costs and Program Impact While Ensuring High Maturity Consistency

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems has reduced its CMMI SCAMPI Class A appraisal costs by over 43% and diminished program disruption while ensuring consistency of high maturity implementation.  This presentation describes how Raytheon SAS, using an approach pioneered by Business Transformation Institute (BTI), achieved these results with no loss of appraisal fidelity and increased high maturity consistency.  The presentation contrasts the traditional appraisal approach with integrating many small, near-real-time, incremental appraisals into the organization.

“Traditional” SCAMPI Class A appraisals, while valuable, are expensive, time-consuming, and disrupt participating programs.   The hidden and greatest impact is in the programs as they gather artifacts and prepare for interviews.

Raytheon SAS’ and BTI’s new appraisal approach emphasizes small appraisals across all programs (not a select few) with minimal pre-appraisal artifact collection, replacing travel with web-based and telecom interactions, limited-duration interviews covering both artifact review and affirmations, and planning to promote high information re-use across process areas during appraisals.

The engine driving each appraisal is the “shoulder-to-shoulder” interview.  During this interview, the appraisers ask questions and require program personnel to display artifacts in real-time. The team captures a record of artifacts shown and responses made.  Implementing this approach requires deep CMMI knowledge, good communications skills, and excellent time management.

The result of the incremental appraisal approach was a 43% reduction in costs for Raytheon SAS’ 2014 versus its 2011 appraisal, an even greater reduction in program impact, a more timely, consistent, and constant information flow to leadership, and better process understanding maturity integration into programs.

Key statistics about the organization

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems (Raytheon SAS) is a 14,500+ person organization with multiple facilities located in Southern and Northern California, North Texas, Salt Lake City, Utah, Forest, Mississippi, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Southern Florida, Maryland, and Massachusetts.  Raytheon SAS is headquartered in McKinney, Texas and builds radars and other sensors for aircraft, spacecraft, and ships. The business also provides communications and electronic warfare solutions and performs research in areas ranging from linguistics to quantum computing. Raytheon SAS serves the defense, space, and civilian sectors of the United States of America and a wide variety of international customers.

The Challenge*

Raytheon SAS produces and supports systems that must perform as required in demanding, life-critical missions across the world, which places a premium on innovation, performance, and consistency.  The challenge is how to maximize innovation, performance, and consistency in a marketplace that has been increasingly cost-constrained. These marketplace cost constraints and the vision to be the most admired defense and aerospace systems company has driven the business to:

  •         Improve SAS competitiveness through process and quality maturity leading to cost efficiencies
  •         Achieve cost reduction via process streamlining and other methods, and
  •         Improve effectiveness and efficiency of all work products and processes

The Goals*

Raytheon SAS uses CMMI as one of many tools to help drive process maturity, process streamlining, and process effectiveness and efficiency to help achieve cost efficiencies, innovation and performance excellence.  Raytheon SAS’ goal is not a particular Maturity Level, but to understand and improve the integration, consistency, and capability of its processes for competitive advantage and ever-increasing customer satisfaction.  With that, Raytheon SAS:

  •         Seeks ways to increase the information flow with respect to process fidelity and effectiveness to leadership personnel,
  •         Minimize the opportunity costs of CMMI implementation on programs,
  •         Create greater process understanding and maturity integration into programs, and
  •         Reduce CMMI appraisal costs.

The Plan*

Raytheon SAS’ appraisal approach for 2011 and prior years emphasized minimizing the risk of an unsuccessful appraisal.  In this traditional appraisal approach, the organization would conduct one (or more) Class B appraisals as a dress rehearsal for the “big event”.   The activities culminated in an on-the-official record “big bang” Class A appraisal. As expensive as the appraisal event is, the hidden and greatest impact is on the programs as they gather artifacts and prepare for interviews.

In 2012, Raytheon SAS decided to radically change its appraisal approach in order to reduce program impact and appraisal costs while focusing on increasing high maturity consistency.  Raytheon SAS teamed with BTI to achieve these goals and, in August 2014, Raytheon SAS successfully renewed its CMMI-DEV version 1.3 Maturity Level 5 credential for Raytheon SAS Engineering systems, hardware, and software product development programs that include new development using this new approach.  An approach which cut previous appraisal costs by 43%.

Raytheon SAS’ and BTI’s new appraisal approach emphasizes small appraisals across all programs (not a select few) with minimal pre-appraisal artifact collection, replacing travel with web-based and telecom interactions, limited-duration interviews covering both artifact review and affirmations, planning to promote high information re-use across process areas during appraisals, and efficient data transfer from appraisal workbooks into preliminary and final findings presentations.

The Appraisal

Raytheon SAS began conducting frequent, very small Class B appraisals in 2012.  This sequence of low-cost and low-impact appraisals culminated in a SCAMPI Class A appraisal in August 2014 conducted by Business Transformation Institute, Inc.  This appraisal results in Raytheon SAS continuing as a Maturity Level 5 organization for systems, software, and hardware engineering.

The Results*

Raytheon SAS’ performance improvement initiatives, of which the CMMI has been an integral part, have produced a significant reduction in schedule (SPI) variability, a significant improvement in defect containment, increased cost performance (CPI) and schedule performance (SPI) across the organization,  increased software and hardware productivity, and a significant reduction in engineering rework. Because of the improvements seen in these areas CMMI will continue to be a part of SAS’ improvement initiatives.

With respect to the appraisal itself, the new approach resulted in:

  •         A 43% reduction in appraisal costs over 3 years
  •         100% inclusion of the active development programs in the incremental class Bs that met the minimum thresholds of the scope (which increases high maturity consistency across Raytheon SAS)
  •         A 98%+ reduction in total data collection compared to the previous approach
  •         A 83%+ reduction in program personnel impact time

The Lessons Learned and Next Steps*

Raytheon SAS depends on the engineering innovation, efficiency, and fidelity of its processes to provide effective and affordable solutions to its customers.  Improving processes is one of the key ways that Raytheon SAS integrates new ideas, better return-on-investment, and diminished rework across the organization and into programs.

Given the ever more cost-constrained marketplace in which Raytheon SAS operates and the cost of conducting a traditional SCAMPI Class A appraisal, Raytheon SAS is always sensitive to the cost of an appraisal versus the benefits derived from that appraisal.  Raytheon SAS’ new incremental appraisal approach has helped adapt a process improvement and measurement tool (CMMI and SCAMPI appraisals) that Raytheon SAS has found valuable in the past in this cost-constrained environment. As a result, Raytheon SAS leadership is propagating Raytheon SAS’ CMMI approach into its future CMMI roadmap, across more of the organization and into other recently acquired organizations, while at the same time.

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