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To provide an alternative view on how increased capability significantly improves actual time/cost performance, we’ve rotated the CMM bell-curves (from CMMI, the real story).


As you’ll read below, an ROI of 4 to 20 times is quite achievable.

Why it pays for itself …

Time/cost variations have a big impact on bottom-line performance, be it financial or reputation, for example:

       Slipping time by 20%, would mean the marketing folk are waiting, the service is not available as promised, revenue starts flowing later, etc.

       The associated time / cost slippage, impacts other projects. Thus there is less money to do other projects, which stalls business strategic and tactical progress.

       In a commercial setting, if the organisation has a 10% profitability, an over-run of, say, $100,000 means someone has to make up $1,000,000 in sales and production, to break even!  Hence average overrun has a direct impact on your organization’s financial bottom-line and thereby on shareholder value!

       In a Government setting, if you perform at level 3, you can achieve so much more to deliver / support public services with ICT. Furthermore, the perception of the ICT organization unit improves and the demand side will no longer be under stress as it can be planned and controlled.

And in hard figures ?

For the investment of acquiring a defined CMMI level 3 software development process and training to make the process second nature, the diagrams show on average you can save up to 50% time / cost per unit of output across your project portfolio. Even if one is conservative and sceptical, say you can achieve between 10%-30% improvement, wouldn’t that be worth it? 


As for hard figures, at a conservative 10% improvement, an ROI of 4 to 20 times is quite possible. The benefit is 4x time the investment if you develop it all yourself, about 13x if you buy a process like IBM Rational’s MethodComposer, or 20x for our fully level 3 compliant SmartMethod (in all cases, this includes training). Based on our program office experience, that 10% improvement is achieved in no time by the 20% early adopters in the roll-out.


For more information on the return on investment (ROI), get our sample business case.

Bottom line

If you want to reduce variations to forecasts (estimates), reduce overall actual time and cost, while delivering as promised and better quality, the CMMI tells you which capabilities to address.


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