It details a structure for enhancing processes, gives an approach that makes it possible to merge ideas of improvement for a process, adds methods of improvement to pre-existing procedures that are already in place in an organization and provides a way to integrate the improvements from an introductory level.
CMMI is a preferred choice for improving processes because it can be used for all types of circumstances that are aiming for improvement. Because the improvements can be made in increments or as a whole, this tool helps to advance the entire organization and allows for a continuous cycle to self sustain itself. There are two basic types of CMMI, continuous and staged, both of which are created to bring about the same results.
Continuous CMMI allows organizations to choose the various improvements that they believe are the most beneficial to the goals of the company, whilst lowering the possibilities of risks as much as possible. This is a preferred method when organizations are looking to make comparisons between other projects or who are looking for a way to introduce other standards of quality to the organization.
Staged CMMI is the most commonly used method of CMMI and involves five stages: goal, commitment, ability, measurement and verification. The developers of CMMI have come up with a system of analyzing and evaluating the ways in which an organization can optimally reach the various goals in each stage. Staged CMMI makes it possible to compare processes of different organizations and provides a structured system that can be used to improve the organization.
Each CMMI model comes with both advantages and disadvantages, which CMMI are open to sharing. SCAMPI (The Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement) lists the various advantages and disadvantages of the different models that they provide. SCAMPI was created in order to aid businesses in enhancing their processes through focus on advancement and putting priorities that are best suited for the organizations goals.
CMMI is often compared to ISO 9001 and rightly so since they are similar in terms of improving systems. However CMMI aims to create a system that allows continuous improvement through measuring and defining the various stages that are to be used, whereas ISO 9001 quality levels are less specific and easier to obtain.
About the Author: Shruti Bhat PhD, MBA
Dr. Shruti Bhat is an award-winning Business Excellence Leader, Global Continuous Improvement Mastermind, Best-selling Author and Speaker. She is Continuous Improvement Advisor to several start-ups, mid-size and growing firms in Canada, USA, India, Africa and Emerging markets. She has authored eight business books and is an invited speaker at several national and international conferences, symposia and workshops.
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