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  • Question

    In the latest version of DoD Directive 5000, is there a mandate that a contractor must be CMMI level 3 certified or achieve CMMI level 3 certification in 18 months after contract award? I see that the same question was submitted in 2008, and the reponse was "In the new 5000 due to come out soon, it is going to be strongly recommended that contract language be used to promote the "continuous" improvement model for CMMI-DEV". Was the language included?


    Answer

    In 2005 the recommendation of requiring the Developer to be a CMM or CMMI level 3 or higher was removed from the DAG and replaced with the recommendation of looking for developers who have demonstrated “Successful Past Performance”.
       
    Here is why:  At level 3 along the CMM path, organizations generally demonstrated that they had their processes down to a science and could successfully develop SW for a program.  At the time, most developers hired by the government were at best a level 2 on the CMM.  Because the government required a level 3 on a contract we essentially had to foot the bill in dollars and time to get the developer up to a level 3.  Basically, you put it on the contract and you are going to be charged for it.
       
    Here was the fix:  Since it cost the developer lots of money and time to get to a level 3 and they have already proven successful past performance the government made the decision to change the level 3 requirement to “Demonstrate Successful Past Performance”.  By putting that quote on a contract we are not liable for the funding to get them to a level 3 since we simply look to see if they have the skills and past successful projects. 
       
    If your program still wants to put the requirement for a developer to be CMMI level 3 or level 3 within 18 months on your contract there is no policy which forbids that.  Just understand that if you select a developer who is not at least a level 3 you may have to pony up the time and money to get them up to your stated contract requirement of level 3.  Again, it would be best to just state that they must prove Successful Past Performance.
       
    If you look in the current DAG, chapter 4, para 4.1.3.1 and under this para go to the 2nd para and 2nd sentence you will see the recommendation of “Successful Past Performace”.
     
     

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