Version 1.3 of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) has been released by the SEI. The main changes mentioned in the SEI News are clarifications of the high maturity process areas, alignment of the representations (staged and continuous) and the addition of modern engineering practices like agile.
Deploying the high maturity process areas (level 4 and 5) has been very difficult. Interpreting the high maturity process areas posed problems for many organizations. Many organizations have difficulties using measurements and implementing continuous improvement. When implementing measurement programs in organizations, the biggest hurdle that I saw was to come to a usable set of measurements. Most organizations measure the wrong things. There are solutions for this problem, like the Balanced Scorecard and the Goal Question Metric (GQM). I also collaborated with SEI initiative to come to a set of measurements for project performance. My advice on measurements is to start with a small set of measurements, and have at least a monthly cycle to collect data, analyse, discuss and take action. A rule of the thumb is that it takes roughly 6 months to define and deploy a measurement, so you need to have some patience.
Another change for CMMI version 1.3 is that the generic goals for maturity level 4 and 5 have been removed. The decision of the CMMI Product team to remove them clearly shows courage. Most models only grow bigger over time, my compliments to the CMMI product team for making version 1.3 smaller and less complex, without lowering the maturity bar!
I’m going to dive deeper into the high level maturity areas, but my first impression is that version 1.3 is a big step forward. The new process area Organizational Performance Management (OPM) links business objectives and organizational improvement; thereby setting the stage for and creating a business case in process improvement. I also like the improved process area Quantitative Process Management (QPM), which helps projects to select, deploy and use measurements. This process area includes Root Cause Analysis, which is crucial for project and teams to learn from mistakes and prevent similar mistakes to happen in the future.
So far for a first impression of the new CMMI version 1.3. Next postings will cover the alignment of the representations (staged and continuous) and the addition of agile. Stay tuned!