CMMI in Small Organizations

MikeIf you haven’t already, I encourage you to read the recent IEEE Software article, “Achieving and Maintaining CMMI Maturity Level 5 in a Small Organization.”

As a provider of CMMI consulting and appraisals, the article resonated with what we’ve experienced at DCG.

To start, the article notes that many small organizations are hesitant to tackle a CMMI maturity rating because – aside from the time and cost investment that is required – it’s perceived as a difficult task. However, after years of status quo, there seems to be a growing demand for higher CMMI maturity, particularly with organizations in, or driven by, the federal  government.

The authors, employees of a small organization, describe their eight-year journey achieving – and one-year experience maintaining – CMMI Maturity Level 5. Before starting the process they knew that CMMI would be beneficial, but the results included:

  • A doubling of profit per employee
  • An increase in the size and quality of projects
  • The ability to more effectively deploy functionality
  • A 10x decrease in the number of bugs per requirements

Though they note that the process was difficult, the authors share what they believe were the keys to their success:

  • Working with local CMMI and process improvement experts
  • Creating an internal, dedicated resource to CMMI best practices
  • Having the support of key  leaders (who did not leave the organization during the process)
  • Having an internal culture that promotes vision, openness, flexibility and creativity
  • Carefully selecting a Lead Appraiser aligned with their interpretation of the CMMI
  • Utilizing iterations of around three months
  • Maintaining deep knowledge of the model and statistical concepts
  • Implementing workshops for training, evidence collection and process implementation
  • Making continuous integration a priority
  • Utilizing automatic mechanisms for collecting data and reporting results

As the authors note, it was a long – but worthwhile – journey, and we’re here to help you achieve similar results. We understand the challenges that face small organizations; we are small ourselves, but we’ve also worked with a number of small organizations on CMMI engagements. Results similar to the ones experienced by this organization are possible.

We can serve as your local expert as you navigate the model, customizing it for your organization, and we can provide independent Lead Appraisers.

Don’t miss out on the benefits that CMMI can provide just because of the challenges it presents – it can more than pay off in the end.

Read the article here.


Mike Harris
DCG President

Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:00
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"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
- Mike Harris, DCG Owner

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