CMM (Capability Maturity Model) is a taxonomy that was developed to help organisations understand where they are in terms of the evolution of process quality and efficiency. Historically, it has been related to the software development processes.
But the method is also useful when considering what sort of PSA system you need depending on how mature your processes are, or where the organisation wants to advance to in its process maturity.
CMM is similar to ISO9001 definitions of repeatable and assured delivery.
The standard CMM model has 5 levels described as:
- Initial: processes are disorganized, even chaotic. Success is dependent on individual efforts, and is not considered to be repeatable
- Repeatable; basic procedures are established, successes could be repeated because they have been established, defined, and documented
- Defined; an organization has developed its own standard process through greater attention to documentation, standardization, and integration
- Managed; an organization monitors and controls its own processes through data collection and analysis
- Optimizing; here processes are constantly being improved through monitoring feedback from current processes and introducing innovative processes to better serve the organization's particular needs
This five level model can be easily applied to service desk capability and the required PSA capability as shown in the table below.
Agile service delivery maps really well to the traditional definition of an optimizing CMM level as applied to software development. Here process maturity, repeatable processes, strong user-maintained institutional knowledge, and active process improvement allow accurate pricing models for all-you-can-eat recurring contract models.
As the industry moves towards further optimisation of contract-based preventative maintenance replacing historic break/fix based revenue, the companies embracing agile service methods at CMM level 5 will naturally emerge as the winners. Those companies will find they need greater sophistication in their PSA tooling.
About the Author: Harmony Business Systems Ltd (HBS) is the company behind HarmonyPSA, the most complete cloud PSA software on the market. Developed with functionality to cater for even the most complex needs of MSPs, VARs, ISVs and Professional Services organisations, HarmonyPSA truly is the next generation of PSA systems. HBS is an independent company based in the UK. Follow HarmonyPSA on Twitter, LinkedIn or Website