CMMI Challenges Being Addressed: Process Is As Process Does

Author: · November 18, 2008 · Filed Under Project Management  - 1 Comment(s)

SEI people are battling the “Process for process sake” syndrome. CMMI is really trying to invoke a set of best practices. The level is not the goal.

When CMM (CMMI’s predecessor) was first developed the Government promised that the CMM level would not be used to judge organization in contract award. This was forgotten almost immediately.

DCMA released a study in 2007 that found for ACAT-1 (Really big programs) CMMI level was:

  • About 83% mostly adhere to CMMI processes
  • About 44% somewhat adhere to processes

Another study found that the 6 major reasons for program failure were:

  1. Business practices
  2. Culture
  3. External influences: I what it now
  4. Enabling Infrastructure
  5. Joint Integrated Processes
  6. Acquisition Reform (loss of system engineering capability within government)

NOTE engineering processes were not a root cause of program failure

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One Response to “CMMI Challenges Being Addressed: Process Is As Process Does”

  1. Lee Fischman on November 19th, 2008 3:52 pm

    As a blog somewhere said recently, more or less, “Manage to get results, not to adhere to process”

    The issue I have with CMMI is that it is a second-derivative standard. There are key practices with CMMI that are great – CM, reviews, statistical stuff, etc.

    Perhaps organizations should just be scored on how many practices they adhere to. And the weights applied to each practice would be based on best available knowledge of their efficacy.

    For example, let’s say that peer reviews are judged to be a very high return practice. Therefore, organizations adopting peer reviews would get a correspondingly high increment to their “Developer Capability Score”. An organization that has reviews, good CM, case management, static analysis tools, etc. would be scored on the cumulative weights of all these practices.

    Notice that I used “Developer Capability Score” rather than CMMI. That’s because it’s plain English and thus palatable to not only to the defense industry (and Indian software shops seeking to certify themselves for business reasons) but to small software houses and divisions everywhere.

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