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Thread: Why CMM?

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    Why CMM?

    Hi,

    Why do companies go in for CMM level cerifications?
    In what way is CMM level certifications beneficial to companies.
    What kind of Companies require this certifications the most-Product based or project based?
    Does it mean that when a company is CMM certified , it produces the highest quality products?

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    Re: Why CMM?

    Search the SEI site at SEI.
    Michael L. Hovan
    mrschovan@verizon.net

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    Re: Why CMM?

    JN, No being CMM or CMMI certified even at step 5 does not mean a company is producing the best possible quality product. If you have a CSTE does that mean you are the best tester of all? No, not quite. It means roughly the same for bot you and your CSTE and your company and its certification. It means that processes are followed and are self sustaining. It means that upper management has acknowledged the need for process, and have undergone extensive training to achieve a higher standard. It means that it along with other companies wit a similar certification perform tasks in a well documented process and march in step. It has been proven that CMM & especially CMMI companies can, and I stress the "CAN" reduce defects in their products drastically if the follow the process. But in most companies, even the government there are work-a-rounds for process. Shortcuts to bypass the processes. I've seen it happen in level 5 shops. There's always a rush order, a customer who demands a new functionality ASAP, and other reasons to circumvent the process. This aside, CMM & CMMI is good for a company, but it must be mature enough to understand the implications and reasons of certification.
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    Re: Why CMM?

    When we were having a telecon with a client, they asked us if we were into CMM. So it seems that, if you want to get business you have to be CMM certified.
    A company can have their own well documented process and follow that and develop a quality product. I have seen some companies taking pride in saying they are CMM level 5, interviewees saying that they have worked for CMM level companies and tool vendors harping about CMM and how their products would help with their efforts to attain CMM(The tool vendors themselves may not be CMM certified).

    Please correct me if I'm wrong here. I guess because CMM is a recognized standard, the Market tends to 'believe' that when a company says its CMM level something, it develops good quality software.

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    Re: Why CMM?

    CMM itself is not a standard. It is only a way of measuring where your company stands regarding maturity according to a set of rules and principals.

    Of course, you can have your own process and be somewhere between level 1-5 in CMM.

    My experience is, that the most of companies that claims that they are a level 5 company are not telling the truth. If that is the case, they should be able to show proof from an assesment.

    Best regards Björn

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    Re: Why CMM?

    When a company claims to be level x, it is important to investigate a little deeper:
    - was the whole company assessed, or only a very specific department? Will you work with the assessed department?
    - who did the assessment? Was it someone that was a certified assessor?
    - what appraisal did they go for: SCAMPI A, B, or C, with C being the heaviest and the only type giving a formal maturity level
    - when did they got the certificate? A certificate is only a picture, a moment in time, a lot might have changed since then!
    - etc.

    Then you might have an impression that the company has some processes that fit their context, that they can handle the project types they were assessed for.
    Does your project fits this context? Are the processes useful for your process? Will they follow the processes for your project?

    CMM(I) is a great way to do process improvement. But one must take care that a company hasn't done the minimal for reaching a certain level, get the certificate, and then drops all practices. An assessor does the best he/she can to evaluate the situation when he/she performs the assessment. But what happens afterwards is a big question. A change in management often has a big impact on the processes.
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    Steven Deneir
    www.geocities.com/belgiansqa

    Flowing water never goes bad; our door hubs never gather termites.

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    Re: Why CMM?

    That is very good points, Steven!

    Departments that want to stay on a certain level, should at least do light assesments periodically.

    In a company, that I worked for earlier we had a big assesment many years ago - and we where (no surprise) at level 1.
    But our software department made an light assesment the year after and we had level 3, so I think it is very important, as you said, to see in what scope it is measured.

    Best regards Björn

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    Re: Why CMM?

    Which brings up another point: With the advent of Sarbanes-Oxley, many processes and security measures are required to be in place. This supercedes CMM because it is the law! Thus it is a really great thing for QA's across the nation because [processes are being created which were not in effect previously. This, in a small way, eliminates the need for CMM. But mot totally. Many companies do not accept CMM but still maintain high standards, now how do you suppose they do it???
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    Re: Why CMM?

    Rich W.
    I agree with it that meny companies do not "accept" CMM but still maintain high standards. I wonder though at what level they would be assessed if they had to be assessed. I think that for a good number of process areas they would have a pretty good score. CMM is just a model that might help to guide you during the improvement journey. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Kind regards,
    Steven Deneir
    www.geocities.com/belgiansqa

    Flowing water never goes bad; our door hubs never gather termites.

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    Re: Why CMM?

    I do agree, CMM(I) is a Model and not the requirement for any company.

    But As DJ conveyed, now most of the clients are looking for CMM assessed company beacuse of the competition. It is just like recruiting/selecting a candidate out of two who is having same years of experience and knowledge but one has passed higher qualification and the other is not so. Ultimately the offer goes to the person who got higher qualification.

    Because of this kind of business(Competition) most of the south asian companies are going for CMM assessment within a short span of time. If u really see those companies, they wont be capable of clearing the assessment if they undergo the re-assessment even after few months. SO Ultimately the focus is on getting business using the name of CMM and really not intended to follow the process.

    But still there are companies they dont go for any CMM assessment but they have their own processes and models which they follow. IF you ask them ,they simply tell us they are very much happy with the existing process and they dont want to write the process for the sake of CMM or CMMI. This kind of approach will really help the customer to get the quality product.

    (This is my perception out of my experience)
    TRV

 

 
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