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Process Improvement Essentials by James R. Persse PhD

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Implementing CMMI

As we have seen so far, CMMI is a collection of Process Areas (PAs)—all in all, 22 of them—and under each is a series of recommended practices. Each PA is supported by one or more specific goals, which can be reached using the recommended specific practices. To support the implementation of each PA, CMMI also uses generic goals. The generic goals help institutionalize the activities of a Process Area into a project. There are five generic goals, each with its own generic practices.

That's a lot of best-practice data. And if you were to look at the CMMI components as a single model, the way that ISO 9001 and Six Sigma are, you might reach the conclusion that there's more than enough there, maybe too much. But CMMI was designed with scalability in mind. In fact, you can implement CMMI within your organization one of three ways. In each way, you select only certain portions of the model to use: portions that best suit your own process improvement needs, portions that address your chief management concerns, portions that get you to your process goals.

One way is called the Continuous Representation. Another is called the Staged Representation. The third way—and this is my term—is called the "any way you want" way. Let's take a look at each.

The Continuous Representation

The Continuous Representation is designed to address specific areas of need within an organization. Here, you select those Process Areas that you want to focus on, maybe those that need shoring up, and ...

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