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Here are some frequently asked questions you may have:

Q1: Is this all about CMMI certification?

Q2: Doesn’t it take years to implement?

Q3: Why would I use another method, why not use the CMMI?

Q4: My management is very sceptical, is there another take on this?


Q1:  Is this all about CMMI certification?

A: no, certification should be of secondary consideration. First and foremost the CMMI informs you what to fix to measurably improve. In order to know what to fix you do need a CMMI assessment, but there are many ways to achieve that, and may not need a formal certified assessor. CMMI certification can be a by-product of having gone through an assessment. Of course it will be very useful to have an independent formal assessment, for example, to truly know the fine detail on what to address, to independently inform your exec management the state of play, or as a marketing advantage.


Q2:  Doesn’t it take years to implement?

A: The CMMI and CMM state that it takes about 18-24 months to reach each next level. Please note that this is to achieve the maturity across the entire project portfolio. However, it misses the point that you get the benefits for each project where you apply the CMMI KPA’s and practices.


One thing is for sure, with weak executive management buy-in, it will take 2-3 years to achieve level 2 (if ever!). If the CFO/CIO is truly interested in raising productivity, and gaining more value for the same effort, achieving CMMI level 3 from level 1 in 18-24 months is quite possible and many a time observed. This is where the CFO/CIO can make a real leadership difference.


Q3:  Why would I use another method, why not use the CMMI?

A: eh, misconception. The CMMI is a benchmark standard, to help you assess what is missing in your specific methodology / implementation. The CMMI is not a process or a methodology; it merely states what your software development project and organisational processes must exhibit in terms of key process areas and practices, in order to make a stepped-up time/cost improvement (see CMMI, the real story).


Q4:  My management is very sceptical, is there any other take on this?

A: maybe, try this: Why would it be cheaper to work in an unstructured chaotic way, rather than to follow a standardised process to produce your widgets? Consider this: a disorganised artisan’s workshop, versus a 1880’s factory, versus a modern production line – if the latter wouldn’t produce more cost effectively than the first two, why would those organizations spend the money to kit out these modern facilities? Can you compete if you are just winging it, and if so, for how long?


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