Standardization of Pakistani IT Industry

Overview of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)

Repeated studies have confirmed that less than 25% of software development projects ever meet their objectives. Extensive research has shown that these time and cost overruns are largely avoidable, because the processes that produce high quality software on time, and on budget, are well-known.

Designed to minimize the high frequency of failures in outsourced software development projects, Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute (SEI) has developed the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) to assess a vendor's ability to complete developmental projects within a specified budget and timeframe. The CMM is a collection of best practices grouped into five levels of maturity, specifically developed " help others make measured improvements in their Software Engineering/System Engineering and Project Management capabilities."

Like the ISO 9000 standard, the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is also a model-based software process improvement approach. PSEB recommends that, for the growing number of Pakistani software and service companies that are already ISO 9000-certified - and are now hoping to achieve a higher level of process maturity - should consider qualifying for a CMM certification as well.

This model addresses certain fundamental business decisions not supported by the ISO 9000 or other systems of product quality. The CMM enables companies to better serve their customers' interests by providing answers to the customers' decision problems, such as: Is the supplier able to sustain the reliability of its production? It also effectively answers internally-focused questions, such as: How can we improve the reliability of our production? How can we measure the effectiveness of our project management processes? The primary aim of CMMI is continuous process improvement, from the individual task level to the corporate level.

Phase II

The project has the following objectives:

  1. To provide CMMI Level 3 consultancy and appraisal assistance to  Pakistani IT companies.
  2. To provide CMMI Level 5 consultancy and appraisal assistance to Pakistani IT companies.
  3. To conduct SEI - registered workshops on an "Introduction to CMMI".
  4. To conduct  workshops on "Software Development and Project Delivery".
  5. To ascertain international trends and requirements by enhancing the quality of the process and products at participating IT companies using CMMI.

This project is directly linked with PSEB's "Company Capability Development" area of expertise.

The following main activities will be carried out during the execution of the project:

1 Requirement of Workshops

The workshops mentioned in the objectives are common deficiencies found in Pakistan's IT industry that need to be removed for achievement of CMMI.

2: Workshop

Three SEI-registered workshops on an "Introduction to CMMI" will be conducted mainly in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. These workshops are a SEI requirement for becoming an Appraiser Team Member (ATM).

PSEB will also conduct workshops on "Software Development and Project Delivery".

3: Status of CMMI in Pakistan

PSEB has successfully completed two different projects on CMMI so far. The first project, "Standardization of Pakistani IT industry (CMM Pakistan 2003)" with a cost of Rs. 39.9M was aimed at bringing the top five Pakistani IT companies to CMMI Level 3 or above. The second project, "Standardization of Pakistani IT industry on CMMI" with a cost of Rs. 39.3 M, was aimed at bringing at least 20 companies to CMMI Level 2. The objective of running these two projects was to initiate CMMI activities in Pakistan, and create a base for CMMI implementation at the mass level.

The results of these two projects are as follows:

  1. One company achieved CMMI Level 5.
  2. Four companies achieved CMMI Level 3.
  3. Eighteen companies have achieved CMMI Level 2.

4: Registration Procedure

IT companies will be asked to submit an EOI through press advertisement once the project is approved by GoP.

5: Selection Criteria for IT Companies

The selection criteria for the IT companies is as follows

For CMMI Level 3

  1. The company must have more than 30 employees: 20 Points.
  2. Company must have CMMI Level 2: Y/N.
  3. Company must have an annual income of Rs. 4,000,000 (domestic and/or export): 20 Points

For CMMI Level 5

  1. The company must have more than 50 employees: 20 Points.
  2. Company must have CMMI Level 3: Y/N.
  3. Company must have an annual income of Rs. 5,000,000 (domestic and/or export): 20 Points.
  1. The estimated costs for achieving various CMMI Levels are as follows:
    From scratch to CMMI Level 2: $23,000 per company.
    CMMI Level 2 to CMMI Level 3: $35,000 per company.
    CMMI Level 3 to CMMI Level 5: $75,000 per company

Note: These costs are only an estimate, and can change during the tendering process.


Mr. Saif-ur-Rehman Korai
Director Projects
Pakistan Software Export Board (G) Limited
2nd Floor, Evacuee Trust Complex (ETC)
Sector F-5, Aga Khan Road
Islamabad – 44000
Telephone: 92-51-920407492-51-9204074 Extension 128
Telephone: 92-51-921109492-51-9211094
Fax: 92-51-9204075
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