Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)
Around the world, companies have strived to use the most efficient methods to train and improve all human resources they have to ensure maximum work efficiency in their organizations. To do this, there are several commonly used standards to do these improvements, such as IEEE Standards (for energy and biomedical industries) and BABOK Guide (for business analysis.). Other than these two aforementioned examples, multiple institutes have developed other standards as well in order to properly fit their intended industries to ensure their productivity and efficiency rate.
Among these standards, one of the most commonly used standards of knowledge by development companies is the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) standard. First conceived in 2002, companies now use CMMI as a standard to integrate separate organizational functions, set process improvement goals and priorities and provide guidance for quality processes in their organizations. Moreover, since many software companies use the CMMI standard to organize their work efficiently nowadays, it is worthy for us to learn the machinations behind this particular set of standards.
Since the CMMI standard revolves around the concept of a company’s organizational structure maturation, we can assume that CMMI standard is a staged process. The company must perform every single stage of the process if it wishes to fulfill the standards of CMMI. In order to fulfill these standards, there are five stages that a company must take to optimize its organizational quality.
In stage 1 (initial), the company does not have a stable environment and is usually chaotic in nature. At this rate, the company can only earn success based on its employees’ competence and not from a defined work standard. To ensure that the company will keep on succeeding, the company must enter stage 2 (managed). Since the company now has defined generic and specific goals, the company can now plan and manage its goals more efficiently.
After entering stage 3 (defined), a company can now perform an organization-wide standardization to create an equal process standard for all the projects in its structure. A major difference from stage 2 is that stage 3 has the company being more proactive in managing its processes. At this point, the company uses an understanding of the relations between the process activities and detailed measures of the process.
Upon entering stage 4 (quantitatively managed), the company has accomplished all of its generic and specific goals from stage 2 and 3. Because of its recent successes, the company now can assess its projects both quantitatively and qualitatively. This is considered as important since the company now can create a production criteria based on its customers and users’ needs. Because of this, the company now can control its process performance by using quantitative means based on its clients’ needs.
Finally, a highly matured company now enters stage 5 (optimizing). At this point, the company is more adaptable to various changes and opportunities present to the company at a particular moment, which improves the learning process of its staffs. Furthermore, stage 5 also allows the company to define the common and special objectives in a better manner than stage 4. As the result, the company can improve its process performance while still maintaining statistical predictability, resulting in the company being more successful in achieving established objectives.
From all these stages, not even one of these stages should be missed if a company wants to improve its organizational quality. In addition, a company should consider its own internal conditions when it is assessing the steps that it should take based on the CMMI standard. These internal conditions will help the company to build criteria of steps that it should take when improving its organizational structure. Furthermore, the criteria can help the company to decide plans that it will take during the improving session to decrease the number of possible errors.
Setting up criteria based on the CMMI standard is also important for a company. This way, the company can decide what to improve within its organization based on its own needs and the criteria made from CMMI standards. To be more precise, the criteria might be different in each process area (PA) that a company is currently into now. For instance, in the Technical Solution (TS) PA, a software company will improve the technical aspects of a software product based on the software’s applicability. If the software is deemed not satisfying enough, the company should improve its overall design, such as the user interface and its overall practicality when used.
This example highlights an example where a company must assess its own internal factors before deciding what to do based on the CMMI standard. A similar process may happen in other process areas as well such as in the Validation (VAL) or Verification (VER) PA. In these process areas, a product should be reviewed, validated, and verified based on the peer-review method. This way, the product be fairly assessed based on the CMMI standard before the product is deemed ready for widespread use.
Overall, CMMI standard provides a detailed and meticulous set of steps that a company can use both to improve its organization and its productivity. The standard mentions a variety of steps and stages a company can use to perfect its organizational structure flaws. It also helps a company to deduce and assess its most urgent needs before moving on to reform its production activities. Even so, a company must perform the stages of CMMI standard with full discipline from start to finish if the company wishes to utilize the standard fully.