CMMI and Workflow: the Key to Capabilities Maturity Model IntegrationCMMI Workflow

Implementing Capabilities Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is a requirement to do business with the US Department of Defense and by many other US agencies.  Businesses that implement CMMI can show others that they understand their own processes, that they use them, that they can measure parameters associated with those processes, and then use those metrics to continuously improve their business.  Different levels of CMMI are associated with being able to do each of the things listed in the previous sentence.  Workflow tools help shorten and simplify implementing CMMI and climbing the CMMI ladder of levels.

In my opinion, when you are working to understand, automate, and improve your business, you are implementing CMMI.  These five defined CMMI levels apply to all organizations:

  1. Initial – unpredictable processes, poorly controlled, reactive management
  2. Managed – management processes defined per project, still reactive management
  3. Defined – company processes have defined standards (projects are run from these)
  4. Quantitatively Managed – processes are measured and controlled
  5. Optimizing – focus is on continuous improvement

Obviously, level 1 is really just the first step in a company’s CMMI self-help program: admit you have a problem before you can fix it.  And level 2 is basically the same level: project management usually puts together an approach they manage to in the absence of standards.  The last 3 levels are really the core of CMMI.

Implementing workflow tools will significantly shorten the schedule and lower the cost of implementing CMMI.  This is because the company’s efforts of defining SOPs results in having defined the workflows.   Applying those SOP definitions directly into workflow tools immediately creates the framework for:

  • automating and controlling processes, and
  • measuring time and other process variables

Once you have your process defined in a workflow tool, even if you don’t automate every steps (or any steps,) then you can choose to gradually automate and measure your processes.

And as your processes are automated and measured within the workflow tool, the organization gains in understanding of exactly how to optimize process flows and steps based on the metrics you are collecting.

Choose a workflow engine that has a designer and run-time environment with compliant version control and which generates graphical artifacts as proof of specific process executions.  Those companies implementing CMMI have to show the DoD and other agencies that they do, in fact, meet their CMMI requirements.  Implementing workflow tools will enable auditors to swiftly conclude in favor of those companies.

You may also be interested in reading a previous blog post on a similar subject of Building Regulatory Workflow Solutions

A small sampling of the Workflow Technology for BPM Solutions contained within our cDevWorkflow product offering can be found here: Workflow Technology That Works.

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