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This page provides an abstract of a CMU/SEI case study, tracking a real life CMM implementation, showing that increased capability reduces time/cost.


This study is about Advanced Information Services Inc. (AIS), who measurably improved their time/cost by adopting and applying CMMI level 2 and 3 capabilities. AIS Inc. were early adopters; their executive decided to adopt the CMM, because they realised the clear time/cost benefits and improved client relationships it brings.

AIS is now a CMMI level 5 company, and 17 years after they started their CMM/CMMI journey, are still very much in business. You can find them at .


The abstract presented in italics below, is taken verbatim from the CMM study report, and the copyright of this report resides of course fully with the CMU/SEI. This report [CMU/SEI-99-TR-027, Nov 1999] shows the improvements at AIS Inc over the period 1992-1999. For the full report please click


In the early years of Advanced Information Services Inc. (AIS), we were not profitable because our projects were not predictable. Most of our projects were on fixed cost contracts and experienced schedule and budget overruns. Although quality was not measurable, indications of our quality problems were the significant amount of rework necessary at the end of a project and the attendant customer dissatisfaction. People worked long hours, and heroic efforts were needed to complete projects.


In 1992, our Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Girish Seshagiri, attended a conference on continuous process improvement based on Watts Humphrey’s Managing the Software Process [Humphrey 89]. Girish returned from the conference convinced that process improvement would solve our problems, and he communicated his vision to everyone in the organization. The onset of the initiative was for us to base our software process improvement effort on the Capability Maturity Model (CMM®). In 1995, that initiative evolved into using the Personal Software ProcessSM (PSPSM) along with the CMM.


Over the lifetime of the initiative, the AIS Development Group has transformed its ad hoc development into practices that are process oriented and disciplined. Our average project schedule overrun has been reduced from 112% to 5%, and our average budget overrun from 87% to –4%. We now average one defect per 20,000 lines of code in delivered products. One half of the products delivered in the past three years have been defect free. The rewards of these schedule, budget, and quality successes are satisfied customers and company profitability.


The AIS Development Group was recognized for these results by the software professional community with the 1999 IEEE Computer Society Software Process Achievement Award. In addition, AIS was recognized by the business community with a 1999 Blue Chip Enterprise Initiative award by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Mass Mutual.


The AIS culture has changed. Process improvement is no longer something that people need to be convinced to do; it is part of the day-to-day work effort at AIS. Good planning and tracking and significant reduction in rework has resulted in people working reasonable hours with higher productivity rates.



In this report you’ll find the diagram showing the data supporting these findings, as shown below:

Note how the project data points converge down to a very narrow deviation band around the forecasted mean.


The benefits are clear, all it needs is …

AIS is but one of many success stories, reaping the benefits of the CMM approach. Another well known example is the Indian company Infosys, whose founding fathers adopted the CMM to rapidly build their company into one of the worlds leading and successful software services companies. Now they are billionaires, and rival EDS and the like. EDS had to follow, and adopted the CMMI in order to be able to compete with the best.


The time/cost benefits speak for themselves.


Over to you …



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