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Here are some observations on the CMMI, which set it apart from others:


       The CMM research (note the absence of the “i”) is based not so much on opinion, but on what measurably makes a difference;


       This is very different from say ITIL / itSMF or OPM3 which also have capability maturity levels. However, those levels are based on collective opinion by a group of standards practitioners, rather than on measurable correlation of time/cost performance in view of adopted processes;

       Cobit has adopted the CMMI levels but its span of control is of course much wider (from strategy, governance, down to IT operations, i.e. ITIL).

       The CMM and CMMI time/cost observations have been confirmed by many others, such as the Standish Chaos report, project Spice, etc;


       PRINCE2 and PMBOK are collective opinion standards; the CMMI key processes and specific practices will tell you the gaps to address in these bodies of work, in order to achieve that measurable time/cost performance difference.

       The CMMI integrated model integrates four separate capability models. However, by merging the models, it appears some opinion has crept in. For example, Requirements Development has been separated from Requirements Management, but it is questionable that anyone makes that distinction when they do requirements management. Similarly, regarding the “new” (CMMI) level 3 integrated process areas, one can not help but wonder if they all have a clear time/cost correlation.

       The CMMI has improved matters by moving measurement and analysis from level 4 to level 2; however, this is most likely a lesson learnt (and a very important one!), not an observation of the intrinsic capabilities exhibited by level 2 projects!


       The US Department of Defence has stopped further funding of the CMMI research. This is probably because no major changes in key processes have been found since the original CMM of 1992, except for the integrated processes. This is good news, as it clearly shows that 17+ years on, we can be truly assured of what makes the real difference in project performance!


On that last positive note …since it is known what makes the difference, why not make a start. Or if you’d like to see what a full CMMI level 3 compliant process looks like, please contact us to arrange access to the SmartMethod.



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