CMMI V1.3: Combining Acquisition, Development and Services

There are 3 CMMI V1.3 models released: CMMI for Acquisition (ACQ), CMMI for Services (SVC), and CMMI for Development (DEV). The CMMI V1.3 makes it easier to combine process areas from different models, thus supporting continuous improvement that delivers quicker business results.

In my opinion, on of the biggest benefit from the new CMMI V1.3 model architecture is that you can combine process areas of the different models into one roadmap of processes that would best serve the needs of an organization. So if your organization develops software and acquirers sub products, which are integrated and delivered as a solution, then you can use a roadmap with process areas from the CMMI Development and CMMI Acquisition model. For example, this could be a roadmap with the core process area “Requirements Management”, the process areas “Technical Solution” and “Validation” from CMMI Development, and the process areas “Acquisition Technical Management” and “Acquisition Validation” from CMMI Acquisition.

Another example: If you both develop and maintain products, and want to introduce Service Level Agreements in your IT organization, then a combination of the CMMI Services and CMMI Development model could be a good solution. E.g. a roadmap with the core process areas “Decision Analysis and Resolution” and “Process and Product Quality Assurance”, the process area “Project Planning” from the CMMI Development and the process area “Work Planning” from the CMMI Services and finally “Supplier Agreement Management” which is both in CMMI Development and CMMI Services.

The CMMI V1.3 models also support Agile and Lean software development. Agile often uses multidisciplinary teams, which can benefit from applying process areas from different CMMI models. Lean looks at optimizing the total delivery chain, which can include development of products, acquisition and outsourcing, and supporting services. Process areas from the 3 CMMI V1.3 models can help you to implement Agile and Lean practices, quickly and effectively. And, you can also do process improvement in an Agile way, using Scrum. There’s a set of “golden rules for Agile Process Improvement“, which help you to deploy the CMMI Continuous Model.

The so called CMMI framework is the underlying structure for these 3 models. There are 16 core process areas which appear in all 3 models. According to the CMMI Development description: “These process areas cover basic concepts that are fundamental to process improvement in any area of interest (i.e., acquisition, development, services). Some of the material in the core process areas is the same in all constellations. Other material may be adjusted to address a specific area of interest.” So if you combine process areas, be aware that the core areas can differ. You may have to combine things from different models to have a process area that best supports your needs. The process roadmap and the measurement roadmap (both existing CMMI roadmaps) consists of core process areas only, so from CMMI V1.3 onwards these roadmap can be used for CMMI models ACQ, SVC and DEV.

Whatever your combination of CMMI models, make sure that the selected process areas are clearly link to the main business issues that your organization is facing. This approach, based upon CMMI Roadmaps, assures that your investment will deliver business results, which is why you do (process) improvement in the first place.

(This blog was posted jan 8, 2011, and updated nov 30, 2011: Added new information on combining CMMI models, including Agile and Lean approaches).

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Ben Linders

I help organizations with effective software development and management practices. Active member of several networks on Agile, Lean and Quality, and a frequent speaker and writer.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. It is still a shame that v1.3 did not live up to expectations, leaving a number of annoying differences between the models. This includes the naming difference between “Integrated Project Management” and “Integrated Work Management”, or the change in numbering in the Project Planning PA to accommodate the strategy practice which would have been just as relevant in Development, or the fact that requirements are at different maturity levels in different models. These changes could have been so easily and rationally integrated, yet, the SEI decided to maintain small differences to make the integration of the models just that little be more difficult.

    1. Hi Peter,

      Reading your reaction it looks like there is still room for improvement.

      Using process areas from combined models is not easy, but it can bring bigger benefits then using just 1 model. I made an overview of the process areas in the diferent models, which is sortable and seachable; to support selecting process areas. See CMMI V1.3 Process Areas.

      Best regards,
      Ben Linders

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