How To Get CMMI Level Certification: The 5 Maturity Levels and the Amazing Road to Process Improvement

How To Get CMMI Level Certification: The 5 Maturity Levels and the Amazing Road to Process Improvement

Finding how to get CMMI level certification is one of the ways that companies can improve their development processes. As CIO explains, CMMI encourages behaviors that decrease potential risks in service and product development. The CMMI system rates a business’s capability in managing its development processes in Maturity Levels. Thus, a company with a Maturity Level of 0 is a business that knows nothing about its procedures, whereas a company with a Maturity Level of 5 has defined and analyzed its processes and is working on optimizing them through constant iteration. This article will explore how to get CMMI level certification and how a company should approach climbing through the levels of CMMI certification.

Understanding CMMI’s Background

CMMI evolved from an older system known as Software CMM. Although it was initially designed specifically for software-related applications, other industries quickly realized how useful the system could be in structuring a business’s development. The CMMI Institute notes that their new CMMI V2.0 offers several benefits to companies deciding to take on CMMI certification. Some of these include:

  • Improved business performance
  • Accelerated adoption of new technologies and practices
  • Aid in instituting industry best-practices within the company’s internal processes
  • A decrease in the time taken for benchmarking and an increase in the consistency and reliability of those metrics
  • The building of agile resiliency and scale

The Road to Learning How to get CMMI Level Certification

In a previous post, we covered the three areas that industrial CMMI certification can be pursued:

  • CMMI – DEV deals primarily with software products and services
  • CMMI – ACQ is the certification that companies that deal with acquisitions should be looking at
  • CMMI – SVC helps companies within the delivery services industry, helping with the establishment and management of those companies

To learn how to get CMMI certification, an organization needs to do three things in order:

The Business Must Understand its Current Situation

Companies that are only now setting off on their journey to CMMI certification are likely to be uncertain about their processes and systems. Businesses at Level 1, the initial level, must accept that their operations are primarily unpredictable, heavily reactive, and are only marginally controlled by operators. As businesses move up the maturity level scale, they become more aware of their internal processes and how they can affect them to be more proactive.

From levels 2 to 5 of the CMMI Level scale, businesses can consistently perform “gap analyses” to figure out where “holes” exist within processes, giving companies a starting point for their improvement suggestions.

The Business Must Adapt the CMMI System For Their Industry

The CMMI is a great tool, but should be used as a guideline instead of a hard-and-fast manual of processes. What we mean by this is that the CMMI will only fit specific businesses or industries perfectly. In most cases, it will need to be adapted to a particular company. Luckily, companies can break down their adoption into two specific categories:

Define Specific Goals:

Here, companies can address what they intend to achieve as they understand how to get CMMI level certification. The CMMI already defines specific goals for each process area, but businesses will need to refine these to fit the context of their organization.

Define Generic Goals:

Here is where the CMMI system’s real power comes out as it helps businesses understand how they can rise through the maturity levels on their goal to become CMMI certified. Generic goals provide the organization with objective assessments of if a company is ready to shift gears from one maturity level to another.

  • At Maturity Level 2, the business has consistency within teams, but those teams are largely independent within the organization
  • At Maturity Level 3, both the individual units and the entire organization as a whole operate on the same constant principles
  • At Maturity Level 4, the company utilizes process performance data to develop predictive methodologies for performance outcomes using quantitative measures
  • At Maturity Level 5, the organization can determine process defects proactively, and seek to repair them before they even arise

The Business Must Understand the Role of Constant Appraisal

CMMI certification isn’t over once a business gets certified. Certification is valid for three years. The organization must then submit to an appraisal to ensure that it has managed to retain the standards set up in its initial certification application.

To ensure that a company maintains this standard, it’s crucial to have a series of periodic internal assessments to ensure that the company keeps up with its certification obligations. Most third-party appraisal contractors offer clients an Appraisal Disclosure Statement (ADS) that can be passed on to clients who request it. This statement outlines what parts of the business were appraised for the client’s peace of mind.

How to get CMMI Level Certification for Your Company

A business that demonstrates its dedication to improving would be well served by getting CMMI certification. At Sync Resource, we’ve helped numerous organizations acquire and maintain the high standards of CMMI certification over the years. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help your business achieve and keep this critical certification.

5 Remarkable CMMI Strategies to Hack Your Way Up On CMMI Levels

5 Remarkable CMMI Strategies to Hack Your Way Up On CMMI Levels

By now, most are aware of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) and what a business can use CMMI strategies for. For those who aren’t mindful, CMMI a methodology for refining processes within a system, as the Project Management Institute informs us.

In a previous post, we covered the maturity levels of CMMI and what they entailed. Generally, maturity levels should progress naturally. Trying to hustle the process by skipping levels could cause the entire CMMI system to become undone.

However, there is a way around the tedious processes that are required to achieve each CMMI maturity level. It’s important to note that these methods don’t require you to skip levels. Instead, they put things in place so that the business can start preparing to undertake the next level while still at this one. It’s not pre-empting the system, but instead operating intelligently to accomplish more in a shorter space of time. As we mentioned previously, the levels that exist in a CMMI system are:

  • Level 1: Initial: The business is mostly unaware of its process inefficiencies and cannot improve them
  • Level 2: Managed: The systems are in place to understand how the company can improve its processes
  • Level 3: Defined: the industry starts using proactive methods to determine where problems may occur and pre-empting them
  • Level 4: Quantitatively Managed: The company has an overview of all of its processes along with measurable metrics to determine their level of efficiency
  • Level 5: Optimization: The organization is in an iterative state where it can develop new improvements backed by data from its quantitative methods

How To Hack the System

Hacking maturity levels is not nearly as complicated as it initially sounds. Hacking each level can be done as follows:

Hack Level 1

Level 1 teams depend heavily on people and opinions to get things done. While this might be useful for a company that doesn’t maintain standards, any business that wants to implement CMMI strategies to improve itself can’t depend on these subjective analyses. The alternative is to shift focus away from a person-centric model and put more faith in proven standards. These standards need to be rigorously outlined to ensure that there is no mistake in their implementation.

Hack Level 2

At Leve 2, a company is working to ensure that its processes are adequately controlled and managed. In this step, the way to create a foundation for speeding up level 3 is to think proactively about how to improve these processes. Level 2’s self-contained methodology seeks to get the company aware of its own capabilities. This hack requires the personnel within the business to understand that they should be thinking about how to make processes more efficient.

Hack Level 3

This point is where proactive changes start happening. However, these changes are mostly just thrown out without regard to how the company can judge its effectiveness. By determining the metrics necessary to judge the success or failure of these changes, a company starts moving towards a quantitative analysis methodology and away from a qualitative analysis paradigm.

Hack Level 4

This stage uses data, infrastructure, and feedback mechanisms to determine how and where the business can improve based on data. If you put things in place at Level 3 as suggested through the hack, you can potentially spend very little time in Level 4 before graduating to Level 5. The framework for using data to make decisions is already in place from Level 3, so it’s just a matter of changing how the company uses it.

Hack Level 5

The lessons learned in Levels 1 to 4 offers a lot of insight into how the business functions, allowing the company always to be aware of how it can further optimize its processes.

Constant Improvement For CMMI Strategies

Level 5 deals solely with optimizing how the business collects, processes, and utilizes data to be better. At this stage, the company has successfully achieved the CMMI strategies to Level 5, but this stage is continuous and ongoing. If you’re in a hurry to get to Level 5, there’s no way you can skip the other four steps. They are crucial to overall development. Let us guide you to achieving a Level 5 rating in short a time as possible.

What is CMMI?

What is CMMI?

When looking at what is CMMI – Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) – we realize this model was designed to aid businesses to improve in a variety of areas. But what is CMMI really? At the heart, the model focuses on streamlining process improvements and encouraging efficient, productive behaviors. These behaviors are critical in decreasing risks in product, service, and software development. The development of the CMMI comes from the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University. Initially, they designed the model as a development tool for organizations, projects, or divisions. Eventually, the US Department of Defense adopted the model, and this forms a significant factor in attaining software contracts from the DoD today.

What is CMMI And Who Benefits from It?

So when you have answered the question, what is CMMI, the next question you probably have is, “how can my organization benefit from this?”
In its first iteration, software development firms formed the model’s primary audience. Its latest releases are more abstract. This innovation lends it to be employed in a variety of industries, not just for software development.

How Does a Business Become CMMI Compliant?

The CMMI process contains five different maturity levels. These are:

  • Initial: At this stage, no processes within the business are predictable. They usually occur in reaction to some other stimulus. The guiding principle of business within this stage of development is that work does get done, but it’s typically delivered late/over budget. This position is untenable and is by far the worst situation a business can find itself in.
  • Managed: This stage offers a certain level of project management. Several issues still exist, but the basic framework for a company’s project management is already in place.
  • Defined: Instead of reacting to situations, the business has planned how it intends to implement specific projects in great detail. The company implements organization-wide guidelines that can help the business establish the basic requirements for projects, portfolios, and programs. At this stage, the company becomes aware of its shortcomings and how to address them.
  • Quantitatively Managed: This stage uses data to improve the organization’s efficiency and ability to deal with issues before they arise. The use of data enables quantitative prediction that aligns with the needs of each stakeholder in the process. The predictive methodology keeps the business ahead of the potential pitfalls and allows it to react in a more agile fashion.
  • Optimizing: A business at this level demonstrates stable and flexible processes. The company that attains this stage doesn’t come to the end of its development process. Instead, they will optimize their operations to adapt to change and any opportunities that may present themselves. The predictable environment is ripe for innovation.

Where Can a Business Access CMMI Tools?

But what is CMMI and how can a business access its tools? CMMI itself isn’t a certification, but it is a way for businesses to improve their efficiency. At the managed or defined maturity levels, the company will understand its needs and identify the tools that it needs to achieve its development. As CMMI consultants, we help clients along their journey by helping them to grasp the needs of their businesses as far as tools and utilities. Among the tools our clients regularly need at this stage are:

  • Integration applications
  • Tools to define and measure metrics
  • Analytics and decision-making software
  • Design management tools
  • Estimation
  • Improvement and Issue Tracking
  • Project and Document Management
  • The utilities a business needs to guide them depends on the needs of a particular company.

    Why Should a Business Look at CMMI?

    Businesses stand to gain a lot from implementing CMMI. Firstly, CMMI helps a business be more efficient with its resources. Overtime, the cost benefits to the company can add up. Additionally, CMMI implementation improves productivity for the business by maintaining a predictable environment. This predictable environment also ensures that the company’s products maintain their level of quality.

    When Should a Business Consider CMMI?

    The critical need for CMMI occurs with companies that have never considered project management but need it to compete. CMMI can help a business move from a state of constant chaos to a controlled, predictable environment. Continuous iteration and improvement help the business respond to changes in the market as they occur. Regardless of the level at which a company finds itself in, they should look at CMMI as a possible way of improving their processes and being more efficient.

3 Reliable Benefits of Implementing CMMI for Your Business

3 Reliable Benefits of Implementing CMMI for Your Business

You probably know that one of the benefits of implementing CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) is that getting US Government contracts is easier once you’re appraised.

The creation of CMMI (derived from CMM) was sponsored by the US Department of Defense to measure the quality and skill of software engineers.

But since the creation of the standard, CMMI has grown beyond software engineering and the DoD. Implementing CMMI means adopting a set standard of global best practices. You improve your performance by focusing on your process.

You build. You benchmark. You improve.

Looking to implement CMMI in your business?

Top Benefits of Implementing CMMI

According to the CMMI Institute, over 10,000 companies have adopted the models in over 100 countries. Those numbers indicate the benefits of implementing CMMI outweigh the costs.

So, what are those benefits?

Here are the Top 3 Benefits of Implementing CMMI.

Save Money

Maybe you’ve found your why in life. You’re in a field of work that feels meaningful to you.

Finding your purpose is great. Making money from pursuing your dreams is even better. Making even more money is the best. That’s where CMMI comes in.

The Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Melon University published a report in 2006 studying large, medium, and small organizations. They found one of the most obvious benefits of implementing CMMI is that the models reduced the cost of doing business. Here are a few systems that allow organizations to see a return on investment in under a year:

  • Earlier detection of errors
  • Improved productivity
  • Less Reworking
  • Fewer Redundancies

Lower costs to you mean savings you can pass onto the consumer, undercutting the competition. These decreased costs coupled with new service delivery strategies and project management practices will also allow you to acquire new customer cheaper.

What questions do you have and how can we help?

Implementing CMMI Makes Projects More Predictable

We all know that project plans are more like guesses. You try to account for as many factors as you can, but your projections are always off.

While implementing CMMI won’t make your plans perfect, projects will become more predictable. After implementing CMMI, General Motors saw an increase in on-time milestone from 50% to 95%. Northrup Grumman Defense Enterprise System had 25 milestones in a row on time after implementation.

Imagine never having to tell another customer or executive that projects are delayed.

Improved Quality

You need to get the best product you can to your customer. Implementing CMMI allows you to improve the quality of your product, allowing you to retain clients and easily gain new ones.

Having a well-defined process reduces the opportunity for error. Thoughtful supervision of your supplier ensures high quality. Clear and strategic management helps teams reach their full potential. All of these strategies together give you a clear path to continual improvement.

Implementing CMMI Improves Productivity

What usually stops your organization from reaching milestones on time?

  • One half or your staff seems to speak a completely different language than the other half.
  • The miscommunication leads three people to do the same job, none of them well.
  • Your staff has gaps in skills that no one is able to identify because oversight is limited.

Implementing CMMI will help teams collaborate more efficiently. Having a standardized way to manage projects will reduce redundancies.

Siemens Information Systems Inc. saw a 25% improvement in productivity over a 3-year period. They learned how to eliminate these routine problems by implementing CMMI.

All the problems you have are common and solvable.

10 Huge CMMI V2.0 Changes

10 Huge CMMI V2.0 Changes

CMMI V2.0 Changes – An Overview

The newest CMMI V2.0 has been released. This release provides the optimum solutions to boost the performance of the organization. Changes also increase competency levels that can positively impact business results, products’ and services quality along with cost effective strategies.

“CMMI V2.0 is worldwide known for having a definite set of practices that empowers an organization to improve competency levels, performance and typical business processes.”

Why Were CMMI V2.0 Changes Necessary? 

CMMI V2.0 changes were made to keep up with rapid modernization in today’s market. The CMMI model also needs to be updated. It gives just the right solutions that are easy to adapt and apply and result in enhancement of overall organizational performance levels.

When was CMMI V2.0 Released?

Yes! On March, 28th 2018.

How do CMMI V2.0 Changes Make it Different from CMMI V1.3?

The following is a detailed account of the CMMI V2.0 changes and improvements:

  • Easy to Understand and Conveniently Accessible

Being written in non-technical business language, CMMI V2.0 changes can easily be understood by non-native and non-technical people. Another plus point is easy translation in other languages. Generic Goals and Generic practices got substituted by sustaining practices. Evolutionary path for improvement has been designed in such a way that the practices at one level become the foundation of practices on the next level. Instead of flipping through a thick book, licensed users can access CMMI V2.0 online anytime and anywhere.

  • More User-Friendly

Scalable architecture that ensures seamless integration and guidance to meet every business demand. CMMI V2.0 changes include has set of predefined agile methodologies to strengthen the procedures along with system security and safety. Online format further makes it easier to understand before implementation.

  • Single Sign-On Interface

A single sign-on interface with an easy reach to CMMI V2.0 appraisal system, detailed content of the redesigned model reduces a potential chance of redundancy boosting your CMMI V2.0 journey in full gear.

  • More Focused on Performance

In order to get faster ROI (Rate of Investment), performance levels need to be made better because only with the help of performance levels one can be able to jump from one maturity level to another one. The level 1 addresses Basic Performance which is built on practices, but these practices need to be improved in order to get ahead in the Maturity levels. The performances made in each maturity level are compiled in a report format and that performance report is attached to each appraisal of the benchmark.

  • Better Adaptability Guidance

Step-wise guidance on ways how to get started with the new CMMI version. The concrete guidelines will provide a great help in identifying false starts and ways to avoid them. Further to aid the guidance process, resources are always available and easily accessible so that continuous improvement can be ensured.

  • New Appraisal Class

Sustainable class which is a new appraisal class has substantially reduced to ensure maturity over time. After the first sustainment appraisal, benchmark maturity level can get additional 2 years rating.

  • Replacement of SCAMPI Appraisal

Benchmark appraisals have substituted SCAMPI A appraisals that can lead to maturity level rating that will be valid for next three years. Moreover, appraisal methods are being statistically validated so that better results can be accomplished.

  • Evaluation Appraisal

SCAMPI B and SCAMPI C are being replaced by Evaluation Appraisal which can be conveniently used by any type of organization be it a small or giant multinational company. CMMI V2.0 is far more flexible to meet various business needs around the world as compared to the previous version of CMMI.

  • Differences in Maturity Levels

The CMMI V2.0 changes haven’t had much of an effect on Maturity Levels. These levels remain somewhat similar to the Maturity Levels that were mentioned in CMMI V1.3.

How the Implementation of CMMI V2.0 Changes Can Result in High-Performance Outcomes

  • Drives Innovation and Competitive Edge

The CMMI V2.0 changes will definitely show you a way to deliver your services faster and flawlessly – and guess what? Your cost will be reduced, increasing your profit margins.

  • Persistent Processes

Generic Practices being transformed into sustainable practices is another virtue of making organizational processes persistent to growth and improvement.

  • Timely Appraisals

Frequent appraisals will provide an insight to involved stakeholders which will boost their confidence on the current Maturity level of the organization and the ways to improve it.

  • Performance at All Levels

Performance at all Maturity levels will be ensured as you will be having timely appraisals and have a clear vision for the high maturity pathway.

How Can CMMI V2.0 Changes Increase Business Value?

  • Embeds Continuous Improvement in Business Model

CMMI V2.0 changes deliver a culture of continuous improvement with the use of best-in-class procedures so that performances can be optimized.

  • Identifies Key Capabilities

Recognize key capabilities that are closely tied to business results contributing to cost reduction and better ROI (Rate of Investment).

  • Organizational Performance is Benchmarked

With CMMI V2.0, one can get the best solution to skyrocket organizational performance exhibiting solid realistic outcomes.

  • Able to Attain High Maturity Levels

Being CMMI V2.0, one can reach heights of High Maturity levels with sustainable benefits and profitable outcomes.

CMMI V2.0 Changes in Terminology

  • Generic Goals and Generic practices have been replaced with Governance and Implementation Infrastructure.
  • Process Areas being replaced by Practice Areas
  • Specific Context has been made in which each practice area is being broken up.
  • Sustainable Appraisal is now New Appraisal Class.
  • SCAMPI A is being replaced by Benchmark Appraisal.
  • SCAMPI B and SCAMPI C appraisals are now being replaced by Evaluation Appraisals.
  • Acquisition is being replaced by Supplier Management.
  • For achieving an appraisal to a high maturity level, content is required to get required information.

Looking to implement CMMI V2.0 changes in your business?

What questions do you have and how can we help?