The benefits of scaling the Capability Maturity Model (CMM), a method of assessing development processes promoted by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, are usually associated with the higher quality of IT work. "The projects get done on time, within budget, according to specifications; and there's less rework," says Guillermo Kopp, TowerGroup (Needham, Mass.) analyst.
But CMM isn't just for outsourcers. "CMM covers the entire process," according to Fumiko Kondo, managing director, Intellilink Solutions (New York). "It includes IT governance processes, resource management, project management-the whole range."
Indeed, companies with low CMM ratings that outsource work to high-CMM environments often run into trouble with IT governance and management. "If you're at a low-level [CMM], those aren't really defined," Kondo adds.
"It works if the bank is at a higher level than the outsourcer," she continues. "The further along they are on their CMM, the more successful they've been."
So if a bank has, say, a CMM Level 3, both sides have an easier time of making development processes run smoothly. "Whenever you document system requirements, everyone uses the same method of doing it, so there's a consistency," says Kondo.
"This makes it easier for the outsourcer, because they're always getting it in the same way, instead of calls, notes and bullet points."