CMMI® Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to our CMMI FAQs. We’ll continue to grow this section as questions come in on the blog (www.asktheCMMIAppraiser.com) and on Quora.
What are some of the changes with the new CMMI V2.0?
The changes are many, but I’ll cover a few of them here:
- There is no book. The new model is presented entirely online in the “Model Viewer.”
- Using the model is no longer free. There is an annual license fee for the viewer that costs about $250 per person (pricing subject to change).
- There have been a few nomenclature changes: Process Areas are now Practice Areas. Specific Practices are now just practices, Constellations are now called Views, Sub-Practices are now called Example Activities”
- There are no more Generic Practices, with two new PAs are replacing them (Implementation infrastructure and Governance).
- There are no more process categories. They are replaced, roughly, with Capabilities.
- SCAMPI A is gone – now it’s “Benchmarking Appraisal.”
- There is a large reduction in the number of practices, mostly due to the Generic Practices being eliminated.
- VAL/VER have been combined, as have RD and REQM (RDM)
- Peer Reviews and Estimation now have their own Practice Areas
- There are no more PAs just for high maturity. They are embedded within various PAs like MPM (Measurement and Performance Management).
- CAR is now included in ML3 (albeit without statistics)
- You and your Lead Appraisal can no longer pick the sample . It will be picked for you by the CMMI Institute.
These are just some of the more obvious changes. I’ll be writing more about the architecture and purpose of the model in the future.
How has training changed for CMMI V2.0?
For CMMI v1.3, the basic CMMI training course was required for Appraisal Team Members. This was a three day course that covered the basics of CMMI architecture and practices. The new class is actually TWO classes – a two day “Foundations of Capability Class,” which is the same class regardless of which “flavor” of CMMI (DEV, SVC, etc) and then a one-day class called “Building DEV Excellence” (or Service Excellence) that will round out the class for the version you are interested in. Also, there is now a REQUIRED exam, that must be passed for anyone to sit on an Appraisal team.
I hear there is a new version of CMMI, V2.0. When does it go live, and do we have to transition from CMMI v1.3 to CMMI V2.0 before we get “certified” in CMMI?
It’s true – there is now a new version of CMMI, and it’s much improved! We won’t get into all the improvements here, but the new version is now “live” – but so is CMMI v1.3!!
The CMMI Institute felt that a transition period was needed, especially for people who were currently rated under v1.3, and were planning on renewing after their 3-year validity period was up. The v1.3 sunset date is September 30, 2020. So that means you can still conduct a SCAMPI A appraisal using CMMI v1.3 up to, and including, September 30, 2020 – but not a day later!
What is “tailoring,” and how do we create and use it?
Tailoring is our favorite, and most misunderstood, topic. People really seem to struggle with it. Think of tailoring like an entertainment system that you have in your house. Depending on the music, movie, or game you’re playing, you probably like to fiddle with the knobs a little. Watching a war flick – crank up the bass and the volume! Listening to a little light jazz – turn down the volume and back off the mids. Watching “Love, Actually?” Turn down the volume and the bass (it’s a love story after all). You’re tailoring the sound to meet the goals of the movie or music.
It’s exactly the same thing with process and performance. Building the next manned space vehicle – crank of the Risk, Planning, and V&V practices…. A lot. That thing has humans in it! Building software to find cat videos on YouTube? Heck – turn every knob down to zero.
What level of rigor do you need based on the goals of the project, and how would that affect the processes you choose to use?
There could be a lot of inputs into that decision, but we often see risk, customer, and team experience as primary inputs into tailoring. Whatever you do, Tailoring’s last name is not OUT.
I hear CMMI V2.0 has no book. How do reference the CMMI model?
The new version of CMMI, V2.0, uses an online viewer which requires an annual license of about $250. Licenses can be purchased through the CMMI Institute at cmmiinstitute.com.
We need to be CMMI Level Three for a proposal. How long will it take us to get it?
Who knows? Maybe a week, maybe a year or more. The data (over 37k appraisals) tells that it takes about 11-30 months, with a mean of 20. But, included in that figure are lots of companies that a big, and more that have zero experience with process or quality. You may be in a different situation. Sometimes we meet a client who is just really good at what they do, and they require little, if any help to identify areas for improvement. Companies like that probably require 2-3 months to prepare for and successfully conduct a CMMI ML3 Appraisal. Our experience has been that the typical company takes between 9-12 months to go through the process.
What are the Training requirements for us to get a CMMI ML3 Rating?
A CMMI Appraisal requires an appraisal team of 3-4 people (minimum), and all of those team members must attend two classes – The Foundations of Capability Class, and either the Building Development Excellence or Building Service Excellence class. f your company is adopting the CMMI, then sending additional people (10+) to the introductory course is recommended.
Can we get CMMI ML3 in Development (DEV) and Services (SVC) at the same time.
Yes, you are permitted to conduct a multi-model appraisal, but why would you? An appraisal with a single View (Development or Services) is big enough – adding another one increases the scope and the number of people who will have to be involved. There are a few companies that do it, but the target audience of the two Views very different, so it can be tough to manage. But – if you want to do it, it’s allowed.
How much does a CMMI ML3 Appraisal cost?
Go ahead. Ask us an easy one! The honest answer is that it’s hard to say without knowing the detailed scenario. Size, scope, readiness, and the experience of the Lead Appraiser are typical inputs (with the last one being the most important). A Lead Appraiser with a great deal of experience and a long track record in your sector may appear to be more expensive, but in the end they are less costly because they know how to get it right the first time. There are many inexperienced LAs running around the country selling appraisals for $10,000, but their actual track record is poor. Delayed deadlines, costly filing mistakes, low value, and worse are routine with them. We hear from a lot of companies who use them after a failed appraisal and what they had to deal with is sometimes unforgivable. It happens so much that we called ourselves everyone’s favorite second choice! As Ben Franklin once said “the bitterness of low quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
I’ve heard that with CMMI V2.0 there is a new Practice Area that applies to leadership. Is that true?
Yes! And that’s a good thing. Leaders serve an important cultural and strategic function that has a direct impact on behavior and how work gets done. If we’re going to make the claim that CMMI ML3 has meaning as it pertains to high performance, it’s time to hold them accountable too!