Organizations adopt CMMI using a variety of methods. There is no right or wrong way, only the one that works for your organization. Here are a few adoption approaches that have worked for others.
Accelerated Improvement Method (AIM)
One option is to work with the CMMI Institute Partners to Implement the Accelerated Improvement Method (AIM). AIM speeds CMMI adoption through the use of a tailored version of the Team Software Process (TSP) and Six Sigma measurement strategies.
The AIM approach first focuses on appropriate training and buy-in with senior management, then through the chain of command to middle and first-line management, and finally to the developers who staff self-directed teams on initial AIM pilot projects. After the initial AIM project pilots, the focus moves to the organizational level as the use of TSP+ (a tailored form of TSP that incorporates elements from CMMI) extends to the process group, which is responsible for CMMI implementation. AIM is then implemented project by project, instantiating the CMMI practices that apply to development projects.
The key to success using AIM is a skillful combination of the domain-specific capabilities from the organization and the knowledge and experience of the AIM Coach. The AIM Coach is a trained and certified professional who, among other responsibilities, guides the project through the proper adoption of the AIM methodologies.
Implementation Guidance for the Accelerated Improvement Method (AIM ), a report by Jim McHale, Tim Chick, and Gene Miluk, describes the method and provides guidance to AIM implementers but also provides background information for executives, line managers, and other affected parties.
Another option is using Agile to implement CMMI. You can find blogs, presentations, articles, and books about combining the use of CMMI and Agile. Some of them cover ways that Agile can be used to introduce CMMI throughout the organization. Below are links to more information about using multiple CMMI models for process improvement:
KISSS—Keep It Simple, Smart, and Sustainable: Agile Process Improvement, a presentation by Brian Hood of Terma North America and Heather Oppenheimer of Oppenheimer Partners, describes how Agile can be used to implement CMMI-based process improvement and the results of using this combination at Terma.
Implementing CMMI Using a Combination of Agile Methods, an article in the CLEI Electronic Journal by Julio Ariel Hurtado Alegria and Maria Cecilia Bastarrica, describes how the use of Agile methods in a small company can enable reaching CMMI maturity level 2.
Doing CMMI the Agile Way, a presentation by Peter Leeson of Q:PIT Ltd., describes how Agile can be a simple way to manage process improvement and deliver results working with CMMI.
Agile Process Improvement, a presentation by Malte Foegen, Mareike Solbach, and Claudia Raak of Wibas, describes how Agile can be used to improve processes.
Read more about the compatibility of CMMI and Agile.
Using the IDEAL Model to Implement CMMI is the way that many of the current CMMI users first adopted CMMI. Most CMMI Institute Partner organizations are familiar with using the IDEAL model to implement CMMI-based process improvement.
IDEAL-CAUTION Approach for CMMI-Based Process Improvement, a presentation by Samsutheen Riyas of TATA Consultancy Services, describes a blended approach that uses IDEAL (initiating, diagnosing, establishing, action, and learning) and CAUTION (contact, awareness, understanding, trial use, adoption, and institutionalization) to align process improvement with business objectives.