CMMI Maturity Levels 2 – 5

“If you don’t know where you are, a map won’t help.”

Watts Humphrey, “Managing the Software Process” (1989).

BTI has a GPS to determine where you are and the CMMI roadmap to get to the next place!

Whether you are interested in working with the CMMI for Development or CMMI for Services, CMMI version 1.3 or CMMI version 2.0, or in systems, software, hardware engineering or any combination, BTI has the experience and knowledge to help you succeed with excellent return-on-investment.

BTI is authorized by the CMMI Institute to assist organizations at any CMMI Maturity Level.  Less than 25% of CMMI Institute partners have this authorization.

BTI is one of only a handful of CMMI Institute partners who is able to work at any Maturity Level with full access rights on US government-sponsored projects with sensitive data.

There are three key steps in getting CMMI certification:

  1. Understanding where your organization is currently at with respect to your process goals.
  2. Adapting the CMMI to work in the context of your organization.
  3. Appraise the organization to achieve the certification.

Step 1:  Understanding

How do your organization’s processes compare to the CMMI?  Without understanding where you are starting, getting to your goal is just a random walk.

The main idea is to obtain this understanding (1) without disrupting the organization and (2) as quickly and inexpensively as can be achieved.

The standard way to get this understanding is through a “gap analysis”—and informal, quick look at the organization’s processes.  But that is the standard way . . . BTI has pioneered using process data mining to automatically extract process performance data from an organization’s tools and databases.  Although this does not entirely replace the standard gap analysis, it does make the gap analysis more thorough than could otherwise be achieved for the same effort.

Step 2:  Adapting

CMMI provides a unique approach to improving an organization.  It has two principal components:

  • Specific goals and practices:

The “specifics” contain adaptable requirements that address what your organization’s processes should achieve for each CMMI process area.  For example, one of the specific practices in the Configuration Management process area describes establishing system/software/hardware baselines to deploy or release a product.

Each of the CMMI process areas contains a unique list of specific goals and practices that is particular to that process area.

The emphasis here is on “adaptable requirement”!  The CMMI itself is written at the maximum possible level—as if you were building a spaceship.  If you are building a spaceship, then that is fine. But if you are not, the CMMI gets adapted to your organization’s needs.  That is where the effort is.

  • Generic goals and practices

The “generics” provide the ladder for climbing through the CMMI Maturity Levels.  Each level builds on the previous one. Each goal and practice influences how well the specific goals and practices are performed.

Maturity Level 2 organizations are consistent within a project or team, but may act differently across projects or teams.

Maturity Level 3 organizations act consistently across projects and teams and treat their processes as organizational assets.

Maturity Level 4 organizations leverage the abundance of process performance data to model processes and predictively manage performance outcomes using quantitative measures.

Maturity Level 5 organizations are able to diagnose and repair process defects with a predictive understanding of benefits versus costs.

BTI has helped organizations to implement the CMMI that are small (12 people) and large (40,000 people), that are doing Agile or traditional life cycles, and that are working in systems, software, or hardware engineering.

Step 3: Appraising

What types of organizations does BTI appraise?  We have worked in small, single-location organizations to organizations doing technology development across multiple locations from Europe, North America, to Asia, to organizations that process payments accounting for 2.5% of the US government’s annual budget.

How do we appraise?  Thoroughly, flexibly, and efficiently.  BTI pioneered using the statistical sampling technique Design of Experiments (DoE) to identify exactly what needed to be looked at in an organization to maximize information gained per appraisal cost.  Most other CMMI appraisers do not even know how to spell DoE. To learn more about CMMI maturity levels, contact us today!

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