CMMI appraisal method is known as SCAMPI. Result of appraisal may include a rating as demanded by the appraisal sponsor.
- In a continuous representation
- Rating is a “capability level profile” (e.g. Requirements Development Process Area is at Capability level 3).
- In a staged representation
- Rating is a “maturity level rating” (e.g. maturity level 2).
Maturity level rating is an easier way for organizations to compare themselves with other organizations.
But with capability level rating, how is the comparison possible? If each organization selects the same process areas, Capability level profiles can be used for comparison. But still there are some limits for the same.
Is there a way to convert the generated capability level rating to maturity level rating?
Yes, There is. It is known as Equivalent staging. Equivalent staging enables an organization using the continuous representation to convert a capability level profile to the associated maturity level rating.
How is this translation possible?
Before knowing the translation, let’s see how a capability profile is maintained? It could be a graph of process areas and their associated capability level (achieved as well as targeted), as shown below. (The label ‘1, 2, 3 ‘ in the Y axis represents capability level1, capability level2, capability level 3 respectively).
Combined Target and Achievement Profile
In the graph all the Process Areas (PAs) are at Capability Level 1 (CL 1) except the PA, Configuration Management (CM).
There are two types of capability level profiles, as listed below
- An achievement profile represents the current achieved capability level in selected process areas
- A target profile represents the capability levels that an organization wishes to achieve.
Maintaining capability level profiles is advisable when using the continuous representation as it aids an organization to plan and track its progress for each selected process area.
Now back to the topic, how equivalent staging is done..?
The most effective way to represent equivalent staging is to provide a sequence of target profiles for each PA, which is equivalent to a maturity level rating (of the staged representation). The result is a target staging that is equivalent to the maturity levels of the staged representation. Below figure shows a summary of the target profiles that must be achieved when using the continuous representation to be equivalent to maturity levels 2 through 5. Each colored area in the capability level columns represents a target profile that is equivalent to a maturity level.
To achieve maturity level 2, all process areas assigned to maturity level 2 must achieve capability level 2 or 3.
To achieve maturity level 3, all process areas assigned to maturity levels 2 and 3 must achieve capability level 3.
To achieve maturity level 4, all process areas assigned to maturity levels 2, 3, and 4 must achieve capability level 3.
To achieve maturity level 5, all process areas must achieve capability level 3.
In short, Equivalent staging allows the unidirectional translation of assessment results from the continuous to the staged representation. Such staging permits benchmarking of progress among organizations.
To know more on equivalent staging in level 4 and 5, please read How can you achieve CMMI High Maturity in a continuous Representation..?