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" Can the SEI CMMI Level Ratings of

Indian software companies be trusted ? "

Brief Overview Analysis and Critique of

SEI (Software Engineering Institute's)

CMMI Appraisal Method - SCAMPI

Benefit From Gray Arrow Kaytek IT-Software Consulting Insights

Carnegie Melon University's SEI - Software Engineering Institute has created Capability Maturity Models - CMMI ( A Registered Trademark of SEI) to help process improvements of organizations.

Gray Arrow What is CMMI ? - SEI's Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is a process improvement approach that provides organizations with the essential elements of effective processes.

It can be used to guide process improvement across a project, a division or an entire organization.

CMMI helps integrate traditionally separate organizational functions, set process improvement goals, priorities, provide guidance for quality processes, and provide a point of reference for appraising current processes.

It is important to note that the CMMI model is not a process but it describes the characteristics of effective processes.

SEI has defined a constellation is a collection of CMMI components that includes a model, its training materials, and appraisal-related documents for an area of interest.

3 constellations have been currently defined within the CMMI Framework for construction of approved models.

These constellations are as follows :

Gray Arrow CMMI for Development, Version 1.2 - CMMI-DEV V 1.2 - This is applicable for Organizations with Software, Systems, Hardware Design Engineering Activities.

It provides guidance for managing, measuring & monitoring software, systems & hardware development processes.

CMMI-DEV constellation consists of two models:

CMMI for Development + IPPD (Integrated Product and Process Development) and

CMMI for Development (without IPPD).

Both models share much of their material and are identical in these shared areas.

However, CMMI for Development +IPPD contains additional goals and practices that cover IPPD.

CMMI-DEV is for organizations interested in evaluating / improving their processes to develop & maintain complex systems for delivery of services.

The CMMI-DEV Level Ratings quantify the software development process maturity in an organization.

Gray Arrow CMMI for Services, Version 1.2 - CMMI-SVC V 1.2 - This is a new model introduced in February 2009 and is applicable for the service industry and it includes services best practices from government and industry.

It provides guidance for the application of CMMI best practices for delivering services internally & to external customers by integrating bodies of knowledge essential to service provider organizations.

As compared to the CMMI-DEV , CMMI-SVC is an alternative, more streamlined approach to evaluating & improving development of service systems that may be more relevant for service providers.

Gray Arrow CMMI for Acquisition, Version 1.2 - CMMI-ACQ V 1.2 - This is a model for use by acquirers who obtain needed capabilities (products & services) from suppliers.

It provides guidance to enable informed and decisive acquisition leadership.

The current SEI CMMI Methodology is SCAMPI ( A Registered Trademark of SEI) - An acronym for Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement - Version 1.1.

The Indian software industry has the largest number of SEI CMM Maturity Level 4 & Level 5 Rating companies in the world. On a global software electronic forums, Kaytek received a query as regards the Validity of SEI CMMI Level Ratings being claimed by Indian Software Companies.

To answer the same, we analysed SCAMPI's Version 1.1 - Official Method Definition Document (01hb001.PDF) available on their website. We identified those portions of the document that are relevant to the issues raised. The same is reproduced here.

Gray Arrow Question-1 : Who verifies that the SEI CMM claims made by companies as regards quality are accurate and true ?

Gray Arrow Question-2 : Can an organization claim to have a high SEI CMMI Rating Level at all it's locations ?

Gray Arrow Question-3 : Whether the advertisements made by Indian software companies claiming high SEI CMMI Level Ratings can be fully trusted ?

Gray Arrow Question-4 : What is the final take-away ?

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Updated on 16th April 2009.
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