Wednesday, Jul 16, 2003
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By Shanthi Kannan
CMM-I is now becoming a global practice. Many of the Indian companies have not graduated to this level. With many American companies seeking alliance only with CMM-I level firms, the Indian software companies will have to upgrade to new global standards to get new businesses.
CMM-I is an advanced version of Capability Maturity Models (CMM). It has four components. They are: software engineering, software, integrated product process development and software acquisition. After practising CMM for nearly a decade, the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) has initiated an exercise to integrate software, system and product development of CMM into a single model. This model allows flexibility of usage, facilitates decision on components that go into any type of business and provides improved source models. CMM-Integration has begun to be adopted worldwide. The SEI is of the view that the source model CMM will become history by the end of the current calendar year.
Almost 40 CMM-I Assessments have been carried out across the globe as on date. Only 12 companies worldwide have obtained CMM-I Level 5. In India, only Larsen & Toubro and Embedded Systems and Software of Mysore have obtained CMM-I Level 5. In the next two to three years, more companies are expected to adopt CMM-I.
There is a significant difference between CMM and CMM-I. Two major factors risk identification and decision analysis are not given emphasis in the ordinary model, says A. Chandrasekaran, Senior Vice-President (operations), Cognizant Technology Solutions.
CMM-I calls for lots of analysis. Risk identification and cost identification are the new factors, which have to be analysed. Most of the U.S. clients would prefer to have a CMM-I certified Indian partner for their businesses.
According to Krishnan Puthucode, Director, Software Quality Center, CMM-I will definitely increase the productivity of an engineer by 39 per cent per annum, reduce defects and decrease cycle time by half. The intangible benefits are increase in the employee's morale and customer satisfaction. Most of the technology companies are demanding the highest level in CMM-I. They are going through a transition phase of converting CMM into CMM-Integration practices.
CMM is a tried and tested model for improving process and product quality in software. At present, CMM is being used in over 5,000 organisations worldwide. Majority of them are commercial software houses with less than 200 people engineering strength. Only 120 organisations worldwide are at CMM Level 5 and most of them are located in India. Most of these companies have realised the tangible benefits between process improvement and product quality.
V. Muralidharan, Head of Quality Control for Chennai, TCS, says the basic CMM level will not fade away. In his reckoning, however, those companies, which have obtained CMM, will continue to be recognised in the industry.
However, he feels that the shift to CMM-I will have to happen. If a company needs to perform on a par with international standards, it will have to be a CMM-I certified unit, he avers.
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