What is a CMMI for Services Appraisal?

For more information about CMMI for Services visit https://consulting.itgonline.com/cmmi-consulting/cmmi-for-services/

Improve Performance with CMMI for Services Appraisal

Organizations face enormous pressure to expand operations, increase profits, and reduce costs as new and existing competitors challenge their position in an ever-changing landscape. New technology, emerging economies, and increased threats from competition require that companies remain innovative, efficient, and lean. In order to drive effectiveness and maintain focus on delivering customer’s expectations, and staying in tune with what customers will demand in the future, organizations look for proven methods for managing process, product, and performance.

A common methodology that may be adopted for introducing process control and improvement is the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) framework. CMMI is a process approach that provides organizations with the appropriate processes to improve their performance. CMMI was developed by a group of experts from industry, government, and the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and is now supported and managed by the CMMI Institute. CMMI may be applied to a wide variety of organizations, from small to large, across multiple sectors. There are three CMMI constellations in which to fit any type of organization:

  1. CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV) provides a detailed, integrated framework for organizations that develop products and services.
  2. CMMI for Service (CMMI-SVC) provides a comprehensive set of processes for organizations that provides services.
  3. CMMI for Acquisition (CMMI-ACQ) provides best practices for organizations that acquire products or services.

Benefits of a SEI CMMI Appraisal

The CMMI frameworks provide guidance to help organizations provide decreased costs, improved on-time delivery, improved productivity, improved quality, improved customer satisfaction, and an impressive return on investment. In its research to help organizations improve the quality of their work, SEI established three core areas of importance: people, procedures and methods, and tools and equipment. It is the belief that processes are what hold all of these elements together. Since its inception in 1995, CMMI has focused on the importance of process effectiveness and efficiency and the support it provides people and technology.

Each CMMI constellation is built on a framework of process areas that are interrelated processes that should be addressed to instill best practices and improve performance. Each process area is composed of a collection of practices that when applied together, fulfill various goals within the process. All CMMI models contain sixteen core processes that contain key similarities in each framework, but also may be modified to fit a specific area of interest. Each Process Area consists of specific goals and specific practices, which are unique to an individual process area and generic goals and generic practices, which correspond to each process area. A process area is considered satisfied when both the specific goals and practices and generic goals and practices are successfully implemented.

CMMI Levels of Maturity

The CMMI framework consists of levels of maturity, each level dictates the Process Areas that need to be implemented.

1 InitialProcesses are unpredictable, poorly controlled and reactive
(not supported by the CMMI Framework)
2 ManagedProcesses characterized for projects – still somewhat reactive
3 DefinedProcesses characterized for the organization – more proactive than reactive
4 Quantitatively ManagedProcesses measured and controlled
5 OptimizingFocus on Process Improvement

SCAMPI A: Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement

Based on the level of implementation, an organization will seek an appraisal to assess their level of maturity. A Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) A verifies compliance of presented artifacts/evidence for each relevant practice, resulting in a rating. The SCAMPI A Appraisal may be Staged or Continuous. A Maturity Level is granted following a Staged appraisal and a Capability Level is granted following a Continuous appraisal.

CMMI-SVC: CMMI for Services

Virtually any service organization may benefit from the CMMI-SVC framework as the model contains activities needed to establish, deliver, and manage services. Services are defined as when a service organization provides an intangible, nonstorable product. Services may be those provided from an IT organization such as help desk, financial firms, health care, human resources, logistics, etc. The type of organization is extensive as approximately 80% of the world economy encompasses services. Additionally, a large percentage of government acquisitions involve purchasing some type of service.

A service provider would benefit from employing CMMI-SVC when the guidance is needed to define customer requirements, deliver services to meet agreements, manage the organization’s ability to continually provide services and retain revenue, establish service level and proactively address issues before they become a problem and result in a loss of business. Outside of operational support, this framework supports the need to address long term strategy for the organization and its customers.

CMMI for Services Process Areas

CMMI for Services constellation consists of concepts from the core CMMI practices, Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), ISO 20000, and various other technical standards. CMMI for Services includes process areas that encompass four categories: Service Establishment and Delivery (this category is unique to CMMI for Services), Process Management, Project and Work Management, and Support. These areas contain the specific practices expected to contribute to institutionalization. CMMI for Services Maturity Level 3 contains 18 Process Areas:

Process AreaGoals
Maturity Level 2 Process Areas
Measurement and AnalysisAlign Measurement and Analysis Activities Provide Measurement Results
Process and Product Quality AssuranceObjectively Evaluate Processes and Work Products Provide objective Insight
Requirements ManagementManage Requirements
Service DeliveryEstablish Supplier Agreements Prepare for Service Delivery Deliver Services
Supplier Agreement ManagementEstablish Supplier Agreements Satisfy Supplier Agreements
Work Monitoring and ControlMonitor the Work Against the Plan Manage Corrective Action to Closure
Work PlanningEstablish Estimates Develop a Work Plan Obtain Commitment to the Plan
Maturity Level 3 Additional Process Areas
Capacity and Availability ManagementPrepare for Capacity and Availability Management Monitor and Analyze Capacity and Availability
Decision Analysis and ResolutionEvaluate Alternatives
Incident Resolution and PreventionPrepare for Incident Resolution and Prevention Identify, Control and Address Individual Incidents Analyze, Address Causes & Impacts of Selected Incidents
Integrated Work ManagementUse the Defined Process for the Work Coordinate and Collaborate with Relevant Stakeholders
Organizational Process DefinitionEstablish Organizational Process Assets
Organizational Process FocusDetermine Process Improvement Opportunities Plan and Implement Process Actions Deploy Organizational Process Assets and Incorporate Experiences
Organizational TrainingEstablish an Organizational Training Capability Provide Training
Risk ManagementPrepare for Risk Management Identify and Analyze Risks Mitigate Risks
Service ContinuityIdentify Essential Service Dependencies Prepare for Service Continuity Verify and Validate Service Continuity Plan
Service System Development (optional)Develop and Analyze Stakeholder Requirements Develop Service Systems Verify and Validate Service Systems
Service System TransitionPrepare for Service System Transition Deploy the Service System
Strategic Service ManagementEstablish Strategic Needs and Plans for Standard Services Establish Standard Services

Generic goals and practices are as equally important as specific practices during implementation and considered to be “generic” as they apply to all process areas. The generic practices are actions necessary to fully instantiate a process area. The Generic Goals and Practices applied to each process area include:

Level 2 – Institutionalize a Managed Process

  1. Establish an Organizational Policy
  2. Plan the Process
  3. Provide Resources
  4. Assign Responsibility
  5. Train People
  6. Control Work Products
  7. Identify and Involve Relevant Stakeholders
  8. Monitor and Control the Process
  9. Objectively Evaluate Adherence
  10. Review Status with Higher Level Management

In addition to the Level 2 Generic Goals and Practices, at Level 3 and above, organizations must implement the following generic goal and practices across each process area:

Level 3 – Institutionalize a Defined Process

  1. Establish a Defined Process
  2. Collect Process Related Experiences

CMMI Implementation

Each process area and corresponding goal entails specific practices to be performed. It is common that organizations have already invested time and resources for fulfilling specific processes and procedures or tools may cover multiple process areas. Since many organizations have implemented partial processes to meet customer requirements, the most practical way to implement CMMI is to evaluate your current processes against each of the required process areas, practices, and goals. After instituting the CMMI framework guidance, the appraisal is a method in which a company can prove that they have successfully implemented the requirements. After documenting processes and performing reviews, a company can then look to a lead appraiser to work with internal appraisers to review its processes and ensure that the company is adhering to the both the specific and generic goals and practices. At the end of the appraisal, the company is presented a report validated by SEI that it can provide to existing and potential customers.

Challenges of a CMMI Appraisal

The challenge that many organizations experience when employing the CMMI framework is the expertise, timeline, and the level of depth that needs to be implemented to meet the principles of the framework and gather artifacts for conformance. When an organization begins to apply the model to their organization, determining the appropriate model for implementation, the scope of the project, and applying redundant or overly documented solutions for common areas and issues can cause the timeline to increase or circumvent user buy-in. By over-engineering processes, creating process without employee involvement, or not providing sufficient explanation to the reason behind the implementation, organizations may expend precious resources and time, and have a less favorable opinion of the benefits of the CMMI methodology.

Collectively, these process areas are practices integrated into an organization that want to achieve a certain level of process maturity and appraisal rating. An organization must implement all of the required components (the goals) of the applicable framework. Additionally, an organization must implemented the expected component which are the practices typically needed to accomplish a goal. An organization may demonstrate that they meet a goal without implementing all practices if they can demonstrate a goal is fully satisfied by another path of implementation. However, it is atypical that an organization would not implement all of the required and expected components of each process area within their level of maturity. An organization must demonstrate that each process is implemented through evidence in the forms of artifacts (records) and affirmations (interviews) during the appraisal.

CMMI has multiple frameworks and levels of maturity which can be complicated to understand how to implement at your organization. Organizations need to decide what area(s) of their business should implement the framework, which constellation to select, the maturity of the model to apply for an appraisal, the types of tools and methods to use for an effective and maintainable system, employee participation, and how to navigate through an appraisal to demonstrate conformance. Based on the level of effort and perceived complexity, many organizations are looking for consultants to:

  1. Reduce the timeframe for implementation to meet customer and bid requirements;
  2. Understand how to implement best practice methodology and establish metrics to monitor and improve performance;
  3. Understand the best approach to integrate the CMMI framework with existing processes;
  4. Implement guidance to ensure that process improvement facilitates efficiencies instead of adding unnecessary documentation
  5. Select the lead appraiser that provides the most value to the organization and ensure successful achievement of appraisal rating.

For more information about CMMI for Services visit https://consulting.itgonline.com/cmmi-consulting/cmmi-for-services/