Austin-SPIN - Archives - Jan 11

CMMI:  How Relevant is it for Today’s Software Organizations?

January 13, 2011

Dr. Bill Curtis, Chief Scientist at CAST Software; co-author of a variety of maturity models

Viviana Rubinstein, President and CEO of Liveware; CMMI Instructor and High Maturity Lead Appraiser

Jorge Boria, Senior VP of Liveware; CMMI Instructor, High Maturity Lead Appraiser, SEI Visiting Scientist – Observer of Candidate Lead Appraisers and Instructors

In November of 2010 SEI provided V 1.3 (its third release) of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), updating all constellations of the model (Development, Acquisition, and Services).  This is the latest evolution of guidance first released as the Capability Maturity Model for Software (CMM) in 1991.  In the two decades since 1991, many changes have occurred in the SEI’s model, but the maturity model concepts have been accepted as a  natural way to describe progressive growth in organizational capability.  A broad array of groups have built their own maturity models for almost any structured endeavor.

So, after 20 years of experience with software practice models like CMM and CMMI, one might guess that the software industry has embraced them and increased its overall capability to built high-quality software, on time and on budget.  And what do we observe?  What have we gained?

How many organizations have benefited?  How many organizations are paying attention to the best practices?  Just how relevant is this set of maturity models?   And why is that?
Are the changes in CMI V1.3 sufficient to keep it current with changes in the software industry?  Is CMMI-SVC sufficient and relevant for services outside of the software industry?  Which architecture should be the guide for future maturity models, the Staged or Continuous Model?
Is CMMI adoption growing, staying level, or shrinking?
Is CMMI-DEV the right model for IT application development, or should an IT version be developed under the control of IT organizations rather than the DoD-laden CMMI Steering Committee?
Should the CMMI Core Process Areas be the foundation for other maturity models?  Is there any theory behind the Process Maturity Framework that can be used to apply it to other disciplines or areas of industry?  If CMMI is so good, why doesn’t Microsoft use it?
And why is it that a focus on any process improvement initiative is a waste of money, while improving process is one of the best things you can do?

Come join us to hear some probing questions, some well-founded opinions, and perhaps some enlightenment about what we can (and cannot) expect from this new version 1.3 of the SEI models.

About the Speakers: 

Bill Curtis is well-known to the software process improvement community around the world for his knowledge about software process improvement, and as an author of the original maturity model that spawned a wide range of followers, the Capability Maturity Model for Software (CMM).  His work on maturity models covers models of practices related to People, Business Processes, and several tailored versions for individual companies.

Long an ardent fan of carefully managed organization change, Dr. Curtis has observed the rise and fall of many best-practices reference models.  He brings to the session a perspective of more than 30 years in the IT industry, observing decisions that executi ves need to make for business reasons, the continual pressure on managers and project teams to produce increasingly complex products more and more quickly, and the optimistic view of the process professional that the current packet of best practices will enable teams to generate quality results.  Dr. Curtis is unable to answer questions about the maturity and performance of the Texas football team during 2010.

Jorge Boria and Viviana Rubinstein have earned a reputation as leaders in helping organizations establish effective software practices.  With very strong backgrounds in s
oftware engineering, they incorporate the methods of many industry masters along with their deep experience in doing software development and management when advising  their clients.  Integrating this background and the SEI maturity models, they have built a thriving business in teaching, coaching, and monitoring the improvement efforts of companies around the globe.  Many of their clients count on their guidance in how to best use the practices of CMMI, whether using agile development or planned waterfall methods or some blend of other methods.  With decades of experience to reflect upon, they know what works and what does not, and they are very open about sharing that knowledge!