BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Researchers at the University at Buffalo School
of Management have proposed a better way of measuring the
capabilities of IT service providers in a study recently published
in IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.
The study was conducted by Rajiv Kishore, associate professor,
and H. Raghav Rao, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, in the
school's Management Science and Systems Department, and Matthew E.
Swinarski, associate professor, and Eric Jackson, assistant
professor, in the Sam and Irene Black School of Business at Penn
State Erie, The Behrend College.
For many years, IT service providers have been judged using the
Capability Maturity Model IntegrationSM (CMMI) framework developed
at Carnegie Mellon University.
Kishore and his fellow researchers have proposed a variation in
the CMMI framework for thinking about and measuring capabilities of
IT service provider firms. They call it the Quality Distinction
(QD) Capability Model, as quality is its main theme.
Building upon the CMMI framework, the QD model also acknowledges
the high importance of regularly evaluating and adapting the
development and delivery processes of an IT firm. This gives
managers a better tool to measure the effectiveness of their firm's
information technology capabilities.
"Our model can be used by managers in conjunction with CMMI to
gain a more reliable understanding of their IT capabilities,"
Kishore says. "The high focus on quality in the QD model makes it
easier for an IT provider to measure and validate the quality of
its products and services."
Kishore says it's also an important signal to employees and
customers that the firm values a culture of quality, and
incorporates quality into their products and services at the
Carnegie Mellon's CMMI framework is based on practical
experience gained over the last two decades in actual software and
IT project development work in a number of industries. But
independent academic research has yielded inconsistent results
across different studies with this model.
Because the new QD model is based in theory and also tested with
survey data from IT services providers, the researchers believe
that the results will be more consistent and, therefore, more
beneficial to the companies who use this model to measure their
"One reason India has become so popular for outsourcing IT work
is that many companies there are consistently certified as CMM
Level 5, the highest CMM certification level," Kishore adds.
"Companies that use the new QD model in conjunction with CMM should
feel even more confident in the quality of their IT providers.