All CMMI-Acquisition model practices focus on the activities of the acquirer. Those activities include supplier sourcing; developing and awarding supplier agreements; and managing the acquisition of capabilities, including the acquisition of both products and services. Supplier activities are not addressed in this document. Suppliers and acquirers who also develop products and services should consider using the CMMI-DEV model.
CMMI® for Acquisition (CMMI-ACQ) enables organizations to avoid or eliminate barriers in the acquisition process through practices and terminology that transcend the interests of individual departments or groups.
Now more than ever, organizations are increasingly becoming acquirers of needed capabilities by obtaining products and services from suppliers and developing less and less of these capabilities in-house. This widely adopted business strategy is designed to improve an organization’s operational efficiencies by leveraging suppliers’ capabilities to deliver quality solutions rapidly, at lower cost, and with the most appropriate technology.
Acquisition of needed capabilities is challenging because acquirers are accountable for satisfying the end user while allowing the supplier to perform the tasks necessary to develop and provide the solution.
Mismanagement, inability to articulate customer needs, poor requirements definition, inadequate supplier selection, contracting processes, insufficient technology selection procedures, and uncontrolled requirements changes contribute to project failure. Responsibility is shared by both the supplier and the acquirer. Most project failures could be avoided if the acquirer learned how to prepare for, engage with, and manage suppliers properly.
In addition to these challenges, communication is an overall key to a successful acquirer-supplier relationship.
Unfortunately, many organizations have not invested in the capabilities necessary to manage projects in an acquisition environment effectively. Too often, acquirers disengage from the project once the supplier is hired. Too late, they discover that the project is not on schedule, deadlines will not be met, the technology selected is not viable, and the project has failed.
The acquirer has a focused set of major objectives. These objectives include maintaining a relationship with end users to comprehend their needs fully. The acquirer owns the project, executes overall project management, and is accountable for delivering the product or service to the end users. Thus, these acquirer responsibilities can extend beyond ensuring the product or service is delivered by chosen suppliers to include activities such as integrating the overall product or service, ensuring it makes the transition into operation, and obtaining insight into its appropriateness and adequacy to continue to meet customer needs.
CMMI-ACQ contains 22 process areas. Of those process areas, 16 are core process areas that cover Process Management, Project Management, and Support process areas.
Six process areas focus on practices specific to acquisition, addressing agreement management, acquisition requirements development, acquisition technical management, acquisition validation, acquisition verification, and solicitation and supplier agreement development.
The movement to CMMI-based improvement has been accompanied by credible quantitative results for all six performance categories. Many organizations have achieved improvements in product quality and customer satisfaction at the same time that they have achieved higher productivity, cost performance, and schedule performance. Better quality may not always be free, but it can occur with better project performance as a result of disciplined process improvement.