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Process Standards to Help Businesses, Article Review Example

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Article Review

Process standards to help businesses make intelligent decisions about outsourcing

Economic realities in the 21st century business environment will lead companies toward a standardization of processes.  This is the only way to gather objective criteria in order to evaluate whether they can save money or get better process performance by outsourcing.  At present, outsourcing is a decision companies must make based on cost or faith alone.  In the absence of process standards, which serve to provide a baseline of data, it’s impossible to make truly intelligent and cost-effective decisions.  Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute developed a Capability Maturity Model (CMM) to allow such data to be gathered.This is the kind of substantive tool that will help companies determine what processes should be spun off by knowing if a capability can be provided more effectively by a third party vendor.

The CMM standard has had a measurable effect on the software industry, one of the most difficult to control in terms of quality.  Of the 500 software organizations that have adopted  CMM standards, performance reappraisals indicate that 85 percent have improved and moved up at least one level of standard.  Twenty-five percent have moved up more than one level.

This kind of information shows that if CMM is capable of improving performance in a chaotic and notoriously problematic industry, it holds tremendous potential across a broad range of business sectors.  Of course, any standard is only effective if it is widely adopted.  CMM is a likely candidate for widespread use because it is relatively simple to understand and follow.  It’s easy for technically and non-technically oriented individuals and managers to determine if progress has been made or not.As well, the adoption of CMM assessment practices by U.S. government and defense agencies lends valuable “third-party” credibility.

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