By Nikki Ficken, AMRDEC Public AffairsSeptember 14, 2017
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Sept. 14, 2017) -- The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center's Quality Information Systems branch was appraised at Capability Maturity Model Integration level three Aug. 3. The appraisal was performed by Cepeda Systems & Software Analysis, Inc.
CMMI is a capability improvement framework that provides organizations with the essential elements of effective processes that ultimately improve their performance.
"We wanted to make sure we were doing the best job possible at controlling and managing our processes and having the configuration management systems in place that we needed to," said QIS Branch Chief, Trey Lawler.
The QIS branch develops data analysis solutions using applied statistics and advanced mathematical solutions. QIS products include engineering analysis applications, large data analysis, database mining, machine learning, and advanced statistical analysis. The QIS branch developed the Enhanced Digital Ground Station for the Army and Navy H-60. The EDGS is a field maintenance application that provides maintainers diagnostic and prognostic information.
QIS Project Manager, Julie Berry explained the group worked with a consultant to establish best practices and become leaner in their processes before they were appraised.
"We are excited to have achieved our goal of reaching CMMI level three," Berry said. "This appraisal was the culmination of nearly two years of hard work by the QIS branch. Our improved processes ensure consistency across our products and provide customers with increased confidence in the quality of our work. Having these processes in place allows us to complete projects more efficiently and on time."
An appraisal at maturity level three indicates the organization is performing at a "defined" level. At this level, processes are well characterized and understood, and are described in standards, procedures, tools, and methods. The organization's set of standard processes, which is the basis for maturity level three, is established and improved over time.
"We made several changes to our internal processes," said Lawler. "One of the biggest benefits has been tightening up our requirements growth, documentation, and traceability of requirements. By utilizing our CMMI processes we are better able to have traceability into changes our customers might have. If we have a schedule deviation, it can be explained because of the structure that's been set in place."
An organization reaching a maturity level three is a universally recognized standard indicating processes are used to establish consistency across the organization. The QIS branch decided to undertake this effort for self-improvement and to ensure its customers that the QIS branch is a mature, organized, controlled, and continuously improving organization.
The level three appraisal lasts for three years, but the QIS team plans to be level five certified by 2019. To obtain level five appraisal, the team would need to add quantitative improvement to their portfolio, which includes creating and monitoring metrics of performance as well as taking action on those metrics.
U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center is operationally aligned to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, and administratively aligned to the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. This joint alignment established a closely woven research, development, acquisition, and sustainment team to provide increased responsiveness to the nation's Warfighters. AMRDEC has the mission to deliver collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions.