CMMI V1.2: What’s Changing? (Part 4)



Mike Phillips

This library item is related to the following area(s) of work:

Process Improvement

This article was originally published in News at SEI on: February 1, 2006

In earlier columns, I described most of the intended improvements considered for V1.2. But now I can describe the major changes the CMMI Development Team has enacted to simplify and clarify what many are using today in V1.1.

Three Fewer Process Areas and a Simpler Model for V1.2

The team observed that more than 80% of the appraisals using V1.1 models did not choose Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD) or Supplier Sourcing (SS), but instead used models that addressed only the systems engineering and software engineering disciplines. This was the overall level of usage despite the widespread use of team-based development and complex multi-company developments, which suggest that these organizations would benefit from the practices in the IPPD and SS additions. Consolidating the material within IPPD and SS would improve the use of their associated practices while simplifying the models.

Many change requests from CMMI users suggested combining Integrated Supplier Management (ISM) with Supplier Agreement Management (SAM). ISM was designed to include more proactive practices and monitoring activities that would result in process understanding across organizations, unlike the practices in a SAM. However, the significant overlap between ISM and SAM, was troubling enough to users that they submitted change requests. After careful analysis of the overlap, we strengthened the informative material in SAM to include ideas from ISM and added the following two specific practices that address the proactive monitoring of supplier progress formerly contained in ISM:

  • Monitor selected supplier processes.
  • Evaluate selected supplier work products.

Since one specific practice in SAM, "Analyze COTS" was being refocused as informative material in both SAM and Technical Solution (TS), the end result of changes to SAM is that its number of specific practices has increased by one.

Since SAM is part of the base model and ISM was eliminated (its contents either incorporated into SAM or eliminated), the Supplier Sourcing addition no longer exists. Therefore, in V1.2 only IPPD can be optionally selected for the model used in a process improvement program.

When we considered consolidating and simplifying the IPPD material in CMMI, we first realized that some of the V1.1 IPPD material was not actually specific to the use of IPPD. Much of the material identified as being more general was distributed to other process areas as informative material. We then reviewed the IPPD-specific material to first simplify the text and to place it appropriately. In V1.1, the IPPD material consisted of two process areas, Integrated Teaming (IT) and Organizational Environment for Integration (OEI) as well as two goals in the Integrated Project Management (IPM) process area. All of this material was used only if the IPPD option was selected by the organization for its process improvement program.

For V1.2, we determined that the placement of IPPD material in the model could be simplified if we added a goal to Organizational Process Development (OPD) to address the organizational commitment to IPPD and consolidated the integrated team concepts in IT into IPM. This simpler approach has greatly reduced the number of IPPD-related practices-and process areas. IPPD will now be addressed by including one additional goal in OPD (for the organizational behaviors), and one additional goal in IPM (for the project behaviors). The two goals are

  • Enable IPPD management (in OPD).
  • Apply IPPD principles (in IPM).

Hardware Engineering and Work Environment Coverage

A hardware engineering team looked for ways to assure that V1.2 adequately addressed hardware aspects sometimes perceived to be missing from earlier CMMI versions. Much of this work is now reflected in new examples in a number of process areas, sometimes within hardware amplifications and sometimes in notes. This addition of hardware examples also resulted in a reduction in the number of discipline-specific amplifications; we considered it better to combine the examples into notes rather than separating them along discipline lines. The result is six specific hardware amplifications (there were none in V1.1), four systems engineering amplifications (the same as in V1.1), and eight software engineering amplifications (there were 11 in V1.1).

A potential Work Environment process area was proposed, but further investigation and analysis revealed that we could cover the basics as we had in the past for data management by creating two practices that address the work environment. These two practices are contained in the same process areas that we used to address IPPD concepts-OPD and IPM. A new practice in OPD will focus organizational attention on effective work-environment standards, and IPM will focus on tailoring these standards to individual projects. These two specific practices are

  • Establish work environment standards (in OPD).
  • Establish the project's work environment (in IPM).

"Not Applicable" Process Areas

With the release of V1.2, we will narrow the potential for maturity-level variability. In both V1.0 and V1.1, we took time to describe in Chapter 6 that process areas could be determined "not applicable" for organizational process improvement. One of the legacy models, the SW-CMM, had always allowed Software Subcontract Management (SSM) to be considered "not applicable." The CMMI equivalent, Supplier Agreement Management (SAM), was cited in the Chapter 6 discussion as an example in CMMI of a process area that could be declared "not applicable." However, the text did not limit consideration of declaring a process area to be "not applicable" only to SAM.

The V1.2 model will no longer discuss "not applicable" status. Instead, that issue will be discussed only as part of the SCAMPI Method Definition Document. For SAM to be successfully declared "not applicable," the lead appraiser must agree. We will rely on the lead appraiser, with help from the appraisal team, to determine, before the appraisal onsite, the relevancy of SAM practices to the organizational unit being appraised. The appraisal disclosure statement will include a statement about the absence of suppliers needing management if SAM is determined to be "not applicable."

Appraisal Validity Period

The CMMI Steering Group has determined that some sense of lifetime needed to be defined for CMMI appraisals. After extended discussions, the Steering Group determined that a three-year validity period, similar to that established for ISO 9000:2000, would be the most reasonable lifetime for CMMI appraisal results.

This new validity period for appraisal results will be phased in. First, after the release of V1.2, all appraisals, both V1.1 and V1.2, will be considered valid for three years from the date of their completion, as noted on the Appraisal Disclosure Statement. When two years have passed without new appraisals, the SEI will contact the sponsors to remind them that the appraisal results are valid for one more year.

There is a different approach for appraisals that have already been conducted. Here the planned availability of V1.2 causes a need for flexibility, to encourage a smooth transition to the improved version. Therefore, for existing appraisals older than three years, we will continue to recognize them for a full year after the planned summer release of V1.2. This approach is designed to allow time to plan and execute appraisals using the V1.2 product suite. Further, we will continue to recognize V1.1 appraisals through December 2007 in case the concerns about change are greater than what we currently expect.

Although we do not make SW-CMM appraisal results publicly available, we deemed it appropriate to establish a validity period for these as well. Since all recognized appraisals had to be completed by December 2005, we chose a single date-the same date on which V1.1 appraisals end, December 2007. This leaves CMM users with some flexibility as well, with more than a year and a half to make the transition to CMMI and to use either V1.1 or V1.2.


We are entering the piloting period for V1.2 now with the updates I described above. Some of them may change slightly as a result of the feedback we receive from piloting. We will keep you up to date on progress as we move closer to the publication of V1.2. We now expect that we will be offering a clarified version of the model this summer-with changes many of you have told us would aid your adoption of the CMMI Product Suite.

In the next column, I'll be able to provide more detail on the changes for V1.2, as well as our initial impressions from piloting feedback.

About the Author

As the director of special projects at the Software Engineering Institute, Mike Phillips leads the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) project for the SEI. He was previously responsible for transition-enabling activities at the SEI. Prior to his retirement as a colonel from the Air Force, he managed the $36B development program for the B-2 in the B-2 SPO and commanded the 4950th Test Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. In addition to his bachelor's degree in astronautical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Phillips has master's degrees in nuclear engineering from Georgia Tech, in systems management from the University of Southern California, and in international affairs from Salve Regina College and the Naval War College.

Please note that current and future CMMI research, training, and information has been transitioned to the CMMI Institute, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Carnegie Mellon University.

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