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What is CMMI?

The Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)® is a proven set of global best practices that drives business performance through building and benchmarking key capabilities.

Originally created for the U.S. Department of Defense to assess the quality and capability of their software contractors, CMMI models have expanded beyond software engineering to help any organization in any industry build, improve, and measure their capabilities and improve performance.

For over 25 years, high-performing organizations around the world have achieved demonstrable, sustainable business results with CMMI. CMMI best practices focus on what needs to be done to improve performance and align operations to business goals. Designed to be understandable, accessible, flexible, and integrate with other methodologies such as agile, CMMI models help organizations understand their current level of capability and performance and offer a guide to optimize business results.

What is the difference between a Capability and Maturity Level?

Unless your organization is trying to get to a certain level to qualify for a contract that specifies what they require, then the choice of measuring progress using maturity levels or capability levels is up to you. The difference in measuring progress is that capability levels measure process improvement in individual process areas, while maturity levels measure process improvement according to the scope of the organization that was appraised (e.g. a project, a department, a division).

CAPABILITY LEVELS

Capability levels apply to an organization’s performance and process improvement achievements in individual practice areas. Within practice areas, the practices are organized into practice groups labeled Level 0 to Level 5 which provide an evolutionary path to performance improvement. Each level builds on the previous levels by adding new functionality or rigor resulting in increased capability.

Capability Level 0: Incomplete

• Incomplete approach to meeting the intent of the Practice Area.
• May or may not be meeting the intent of any practice.
• Inconsistent performance.

Capability Level 1: Initial

• Initial approach to meeting the intent of the Practice Area.
• Not a complete set of practices to meeting the full intent of the Practice Area.
• Addresses performance issues.

Capability Level 2: Managed

• Subsumes level 1 practices.
• Simple, but complete set of practices that address the full intent of the Practice Area.
• Does not require the use of the organizational assets.
• Identifies and monitors progress towards project performance objectives.

Capability Level 3: Defined

• Builds on level 2 practices.
• Uses organizational standards and tailoring to address project and work characteristics.
• Projects use and contribute to organization assets.
• Focuses on achieving both project and organizational performance objectives.

MATURITY LEVELS

Maturity levels represent a staged path for an organization’s performance and process improvement efforts based on predefined sets of practice areas. Within each maturity level, the predefined set of PA’s also provide a path to performance improvement. Each maturity level builds on the previous maturity levels by adding new functionality or rigor.

Maturity Level 0: Incomplete

Ad hoc and unknown. Work may or may not get completed.

Maturity Level 1: Initial

Unpredictable and reactive. Work gets completed but is often delayed and over budget.

Maturity Level 2: Managed

Managed on the project level. Projects are planned, performed, measured, and controlled.

Maturity Level 3: Defined

Proactive, rather than reactive. Organization-wide standards provide guidance across projects, programs, and portfolios.

Maturity Level 4: Quantitatively Managed

Measured and controlled. Organization is data-driven with quantitative performance improvement objectives that are predictable and align to meet the needs of internal and external stakeholders.

Maturity Level 5: Optimizing

Stable and flexible. Organization is focused on continuous improvement and is built to pivot and respond to opportunity and change. The organization’s stability provides a platform for agility and innovation.

What is SCAMPI A, B, and C?

Before jumping into the world of CMMI, it is important to understand the difference between SCAMPI A, SCAMPI B, and SCAMPI C appraisals.

SCAMPI A – SCAMPI A appraisals are the only appraisal that result in a capability or maturity level rating; SCAMPI A appraisals are also distinguished as a team event, and are led by an external Lead Appraiser, who must be certified by the CMMI Institute.

SCAMPI B – SCAMPI B appraisals, while considered formal, serve more as a tool to help your organization understand if its current state would successfully pass a formal SCAMPI A. While the SCAMPI B is incredibly helpful in understanding if an organization is ready for a SCAMPI A, it does not result in a rating.

SCAMPI C – SCAMPI C appraisals serve as a tool in helping your organization understand how it stacks up against the CMMI model. It can also be a great opportunity for an appraiser or consultant to get to know your organization better.

What are the different CMMI V1.3 models?

The different CMMI models provide organizations with flexibility in choosing what type of processes they wish to get appraised. CMMI V1.3 includes CMMI for Development (DEV), CMMI for Services (SVC), and CMMI for Acquisition (ACQ). Each model is used to improve different areas. CMMI-DEV is used to improve engineering and development processes in an organization that develops products. CMMI-SVC is used to improve management and service delivery processes in an organization that develops, manages, and delivers services. CMMI-ACQ is used to improve supplier management processes in an organization that deals with multiple suppliers for its business.

Did you know that V 1.3 model is sunsetting in September 2020?

What is an Appraisal Team/ATM member?

An Appraisal Team, made up of Appraisal Team members (ATM), is the group of individuals that will participate and aid in the appraisal process during a SCAMPI A Appraisal. Every ATM must have completed a licensed Introduction to CMMI course based on version 1.3 or have taken an Intro course based on a prior CMMI version and upgraded to version 1.3. Additionally, if the appraisal is using a different CMMI model than that of the prospective ATM’s base Intro course, then the individual will also needs to take the respective Supplement courses.

Each appraisal team member must have previously completed a licensed offering of the most recent version of the designated introductory course or upgrade training relating to each and every reference model (e.g., CMMI constellation, or People CMM) that is included in the scope of the appraisal. The experience of the appraisal team is a decisive factor in the team member choices as well. Ultimately, it is at the discretion of the lead appraiser.

At Kreative, we know just how important it is to have certified audit team members that understand your organization, which is why we encourage our own employees to become ATM certified! We are proud to announce that our employees have years of experience as appraisal team members, contributing to our 100% success rate and high level of customer satisfaction. If you need experienced and certified ATM members, contact Kreative!

What is the PARS website?

The Published Appraisal Results (PARS) website is a website that provides a current list of Organizational Unite which have completed and reported SCAMPI Class A appraisals against the CMMI model. The sponsor of each appraisal authorizes the release of this information as a record, and your organization’s SCAMPI Lead Appraiser will gather the appropriate data and initiate the posting process.
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