Book Review: CMMI for Services

Could your service firm be better? Are there processes that need some help? Here's a review of new book on CMMI for Services.
Written by Brian Sommer, Contributor on

If you’re serious about your service business and you’ve got most of your functions under control, then you’re ready to implement a quality program. One of the best known programs for service firms is the CMMI. And, if you’re serious about changing your processes for the better, you’ll need a guide.

(CMMI stands for Capability Maturity Model Integration)

The book, CMMI for Services, is a 600+ page treatise on the subject (Addison Wesley ISBN-13: 978-0-321-63589-1). It’s a solid reference and design tool and should be used by those intent on changing their service firm.

The book is organized in three main parts:

- the first contains a lot of helpful information for those not as familiar with CMM or CMMI for Services - the second contains a number of essays on CMMI in different service industries - The third, and by far the largest section, is devoted to discussions on each of 25 services process areas

This book is for process designers, quality improvement specialists and those who are serious about transforming their service firms into something much better.

Some service firms have some outstanding processes. McKinsey does an outstanding job on alumni relations. Accenture, my old firm, does an amazing job with campus recruiting. I can go on and on. But, rarely can one find a service firm that has excellent, first quartile (or best in class) processes in all process areas.

Sub-performing processes are costing service firms new sales, low client satisfaction scores, higher than necessary fee adjustments/writeoffs, high attrition, and other costly hits to the top line and bottom line. The truly exceptional service firm will endeavor to improve itself. The mediocre will not and they will eventually die a slow, painful and unnecessary death.

If your firm needs to fix some of its process areas, get the materials to do so. This book is probably one of those.

(Disclosure - Addison-Wesley provided me an advance copy of this book)

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