« mimacom has achieved something amazing by beeing the first and yet only CMMI Level 5 company in Switzerland. »
The story behind mimacom and CMMI starts in 2008 when the company started to steadily shift its processes towards the CMMI standard. Why would a Swiss based enterprise adopt a US standard, mostly known in Asia? The answer lies in the company's culture and vision. Continuous improvement and the desire to find a new daily challenge, are core values of the company engrained into every employee.
In addition, mimacom focuses on international development and business strategies. An international company needs to adopt international standards. The decision to go for a CMMI certification just seemed like the logical next step. Back then, CMMI Level 5 seemed as a very ambitious, not to say naive, goal.
Things seemed very challenging in the beginning: Can CMMI be implemented alongside our agile methods? Is CMMI compatible with our standardized product mimacom path?
Both questions can now be answered with a “yes”. It makes mimacom especially proud to be the first and only company so far, to have reached Maturity Level 5 with agile methods!
Although standards like CMMI mainly have an impact on the internal processes of a company, it still has some direct benefits for mimacom's customers:
In CMMI terms, a company can't actually be certified but appraised. This is done following a process called Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI). The preparations for the appraisal are very extensive and involve the whole company. At mimacom it boiled down to an intensive week in June 2012, when appraisers from every corner of the world came to visit mimacom in Berne. The composition of the team reflects the international orientation: a professor at Kasetsart University Bangkok, Thailand; a noted consulting company from Thailand; a team leader from South Africa and a consultant from Poland.
We’d like to briefly introduce the most important member of our appraisal team:
Dr. Pieter van Zyl is an SEI Certified SCAMPI High Maturity Lead Appraiser and a director at Demix Business Development, a multi-national consulting firm. He has led some of the largest CMMI multi model appraisals in the world and was also the lead appraiser for the mimacom ag high maturity appraisal.
"I was impressed with the simple, but effective, mimacom process performance models employed within the Scrum Agile projects, as well as by the continuous improvement spirit demonstrated by the mimacom staff."
Dr. Pieter van Zyl, SEI Certified SCAMPI High Maturity Lead Appraiser
Tachanun Kangwantrakool is the CEO of ISEM Thailand, an official SEI CMMI partner. The company offers consulting services and trainings in relation to CMMI and worked together with mimacom on the CMMI appraisal.
"Congratulations on reaching CMMI ML5. It was challenging and interesting journey. I'm convinced CMMI will be used for continuous improvement and steady business growth."
Tachanun Kangwantrakool, CEO of Institute of Software Engineering improvement and quality Management ISEM
Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) currently includes three reference models, which address processes areas in software development, software acquisition and software services.
CMMI was originally developed by experts at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) of the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh PA, mainly sponsored through the Department of Defense, in 1986. Currently the SEI is the owner of CMMI and is responsible for the further development, as well as the certification processes (www.sei.cmu.edu/cmmi).
As a classic “what”- model CMMI defines goals and practices, divided into catergories and process areas. These goals and practices must be covered by specific processes of the company. With the degree coverage the process areas and the organization as a whole are then rated and classified in five maturity levels.
With the highest maturity levels being four and five, CMMI requires improvements based on collected data for process key performance indicators (KPI’s) and statistical as well as quantitative methods.
Currently, there are about 4,000 companies certified officially, most of them (2,700) on the Maturity Level 3.
In Switzerland, there are 7 companies certified by CMMI standards. mimacom being the only Switzerland based company certified on maturity level 5.