How Important is CMMI for Your Supply Chain?

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is a framework for process improvement originally developed by Carnegie Mellon University. The CMMI Institute, a function of Carnegie Mellon University’s technology commercialization enterprise, boasts that “CMMI is a proven approach to performance management with decades of results showing it works.”

Your organization may not be striving for CMMI, however, a basic knowledge of CMMI may be necessary for outsourced products or services. How do you know if you need to source CMMI compliant vendors? And if so, which CMMI model and maturity level is necessary? The following CMMI overview can get you started. The CMMI Institute describes three models, each serving a different purpose: CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV), CMMI for Services (CMMI-SVC), and CMMI for Acquisition (CMMI-ACQ). “CMMI-DEV is used to improve engineering and development processes in an organization that develops products. CMMI-SVC is used to improve management and service delivery processes in an organization that develops, manages, and delivers services. CMMI-ACQ is used to improve supplier management processes in an organization that deals with multiple suppliers for its business.”

Each CMMI Model prescribes differing levels of “maturity,” within prescribed process areas. Maturity levels range from 1 to 5. At maturity level 1, organizations are typically ad hoc and unpredictable, with little or no process control. At higher maturity levels, multiple processes and organizational performance becomes more managed and controlled. The CMMI Institute provides quick reference guides with detailed maturity level requirements such as this CMMI-DEV Quick Reference Guide.

The table below shows the significant differences between Maturity Level 2 and Maturity Level 3 for CMMI-DEV.

In the end, the decision you need to make will depend upon your organizational mission and objectives. Procuring services from vendors with CMMI process capabilities and maturity levels that are aligned with your goals can help you to select the best provider available.

To continue the conversation on leveraging CMMI or other requirements for service or product providers, contact us.

By Contributing Writer – Christina Mann, Associate, Changeis, Inc.   


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