April 8, 2008 — The Systems and Software Engineering Organization and the Embedded Systems and High Reliability Software Section at Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) have earned the highest possible rating for systems and software process improvement as defined by the nationally recognized Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
In February, the two technical organizations at SwRI completed a Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI A), the most rigorous of three appraisal methods, and were appraised at the Capability Maturity Model Integration® (CMMI®) Level 5 for systems and software process improvement, the highest level of the CMMI rating system.
CMMI is a process improvement approach that helps integrate traditionally separate organizational functions, sets process improvement goals and priorities, provides guidance for quality processes, and provides a point of reference for appraising current processes. About 200 level 5 ratings have been issued worldwide since 2005.
Achieving a level 5 rating "puts us in the realm of world-class engineering programs," said Susan Crumrine, assistant vice president of SwRI's Automation and Data Systems Division. "By adhering to these types of standards and procedures, our clients will be assured that we have a disciplined process in place to meet their needs," she said, adding that achieving this rating was a team effort. "I am especially proud of our team who spent many months preparing for the appraisal. Their extra effort goes to the core of what this rating signifies, a team approach through systematic dedication to quality and efficiency," she said.
Previously, the SwRI groups were rated at Level 3, in which standard procedures are defined and used at the organizational level. To achieve a Level 5 rating requires the use of standard processes, which are quantitatively managed for continuous process improvement, across the organization for both the management and engineering aspects of projects. Those standard processes are tailored to suit the needs of a particular project.
The appraisal was conducted by an outside SEI-licensed appraiser and encompassed eight projects and 43 staff members in nine functional area representative groups.
For more information visit softwareengineering.swri.org.