Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute Releases Groundbreaking Best-Practices Model for Acquiring IT & Technical Products and Services

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Collaboration with General Motors, IT Industry and Government;
Potentially Far-Reaching Global Application


SEI Media Contact:
Kelly Kimberland, APR
Tel: 412-268-4793
E-mail: public-relations@sei.cmu.edu


GM Media Contacts:
Marc Brailov
Tel: 313-667-4558
E-mail: marc.brailov@gm.com


Phillip Tree
Tel: 313-667-4861
E-mail: phillip.tree@gm.com


Listen to the news conference.


DETROIT, Michigan, November 7, 2007 – Acquisitions of information technology (IT) and technical products and services help drive the worldwide economy but - until now - no comprehensive best-practices model existed to specifically ensure quality outcomes between acquirers and suppliers. Today, the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) - along with General Motors’ Information Systems and Services (GM IS&S) department and top officials from HP, Capgemini and the U.S. government - formally unveiled a comprehensive new model, called CMMI for Acquisition (CMMI-ACQ), that it believes will revolutionize the way governments and businesses worldwide acquire or outsource their software-intensive systems and services.


Global purchases of IT goods and services, according to Forrester Research, will reach $1.55 trillion in 2007. Total global spending on technology goods, services, and staff - the global IT operating budget — will reach $2.13 trillion in 2007. ("Global IT Spending and Investment Forecast, 2006 to 2007", November 2006).


Addressing Growing Demand for Acquisition Standards By Government & Industry


The SEI collaborated with GM IS&S, the CMMI Steering Group, HP, and others to author the new CMMI-ACQ model, which provides an opportunity for acquisition and outsourcing organizations:

  • to avoid or eliminate barriers and problems in the acquisition process through improved operational efficiencies;

  • to initiate and manage a process for acquiring of products and services including solicitations, supplier sourcing, supplier agreement development and award, and supplier capability management; and

  • to utilize a common language for both acquirers and suppliers so that quality solutions are delivered more quickly and at a lower cost with the most appropriate technology.

SEI Director and Chief Executive Officer Paul Nielsen states that the inclusion of CMMI-ACQ into the SEI's already robust CMMI Product Suite addresses an ever-growing demand for a much-needed standard in government and commercial acquisition practices.

"In this fast-evolving global business environment, government and businesses are increasingly becoming acquirers of software-intensive systems and essential capabilities from third-party suppliers," Nielsen said. "General Motors IS&S' experiences working in an acquisition environment and input into the development of the model were extremely valuable to us. This new model fills the need for an acquisition standard by building on the best practices identified and codified in CMMI for Development, which is already the de facto standard for software development organizations worldwide."

Nielsen added that another benefit is that industries outside of the automotive arena, such as aerospace, banking, telecommunications, and government organizations, can now leverage their existing investments in CMMI-based process improvement to improve their acquisition practices.

Industry and Government Leaders Praise New Acquisition Model

GM's IS&S department has long viewed CMMI as the preferred framework for deploying common IT process improvements globally. It learned through its own experiences that the process maturity of the acquirer can materially affect the effectiveness of a supplier.

"This new model provides GM with a roadmap to help focus our resources on continuously improving our management of our uniquely complex integrated global environment," said Ralph Szygenda, Group Vice President and CIO, General Motors. "With IT now so essential to virtually all aspects of world commerce, this landmark new model can engender broad benefits for businesses across the spectrum. By taking full advantage of the model, businesses can enhance their IT operations and better serve their customers."

In support of implementing CMMI for Development at GM, HP helped to adapt the model to make it more amenable to the acquisition context, which served as the genesis behind the work on the new CMMI-ACQ model.

"CMMI-ACQ focuses on effective acquisition management processes and emphasizes the touch points between the acquirer and suppliers to ensure the quality delivery of products and services," said John McCain, senior vice president and general manager of HP Services. "As a leading outsourcing management service provider with the author-level, hands-on experience in the CMMI-ACQ, HP will continue to support upgrades and improvements of the model at GM."

Other industry leaders are praising the release of a new best-practices model for their acquisition and outsourcing needs. Often times, suppliers and acquirers are operating on different levels of understanding, capability, and maturity causing problems with scheduling and delivery that ultimately add more costs. CMMI-ACQ will provide the opportunity for organizations, nationally and internationally, to conduct business in a disciplined, yet flexible manner.

"Because of Capgemini's global footprint, including our tremendous strength in the European market, we will be promoting this new acquisition model across all sectors and industries," said Paul Spence, CEO, Global Outsourcing Services for Capgemini. "As a supplier, Capgemini understands acquisition from the other side of the fence. We know first-hand how important it is to have comprehensive requirements because they lead to better results and lower risk for the client and the supplier. We view CMMI for Acquisition as a best-practices model that is already enabling suppliers like Capgemini to better fulfill client needs and expectations in the global market."

CMMI-ACQ also provides benefits to government acquisition programs like the U.S. Government Accountability Office (US GAO). Keith Rhodes, Chief Technologist of the GAO reaffirms the importance of having a best-practices model for acquisition activities.

"Anyone who is interested in process improvement especially in the acquisition world should adopt CMMI-ACQ," says Rhodes. "If applied properly, CMMI-ACQ will bring operational efficiencies to an organization by leveraging a supplier's capabilities. With responsibility being shared by acquirers and suppliers, this new best practices model will enable an acquirer to properly prepare for, engage with, and manage a supplier."

Gartner Research Vice President for Sourcing and IT Services Lorrie Scardino stated, "Customers are continually dealing with problems in this area. Sourcing governance and best practices can only be effective if organizations engage business users and service providers early in the process."

For more information about CMMI-ACQ, the full CMMI Product Suite, and supporting course information, please visit the SEI Web site at: http://www.sei.cmu.edu.

About CMMI Product Suite
The CMMI® Product Suite was developed by teams of government, industry and SEI experts. It is a collection of best practices that enables organizations to improve their processes. The CMMI Product Suite is widely recognized as the de facto standard used to guide process improvement across a project, a division, or an entire organization. The CMMI Product Suite consists of the well-established CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV), its accompanying appraisal program, the Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI), and supporting training and education courses. The full product suite helps to integrate traditionally separate organizational functions, sets process improvement goals and priorities, provides guidance for quality processes, and serves as a point of reference for appraising current processes.


About  the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) is a U.S. Department of Defense federally funded research and development center operated by Carnegie Mellon University. The SEI helps organizations make measured improvements in their software engineering capabilities by providing technical leadership to advance the practice of software engineering. For more information, visit the SEI Web site at http://www.sei.cmu.edu.


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