Apr
25
2008

How industry accreditation and improvement programmes can benefit your business

There's more to being an accredited company than having a series of letters attached to your name. Whether it's the BCS (British Computer Society), the BPS (British Psychological Society) or the CIOBS (Chartered Institute of Bankers In Scotland), accreditation in fact signifies the competency, authority and credibility of an organisation within its sector or industry. Companies who are accredited or have gone through an industry training programme will have had to demonstrate a meticulous level of proficiency and reliability to its customers, whilst meeting a series of recognised standards.

In business, as well as accreditation being a vital tool in increasing productivity and company reputation, it can also assist a company in winning new orders or contracts. Capability Maturity Model Integration or CMMI is a process improvement programme acknowledged by companies in the IT industry in the UK - although it originates from the Software Engineering Institute and Carnegie Mellon University in the USA.

Software firms undertaking CMMI can use it to guide processes across departments, projects or the entire company and enhance the level of service provided to customers when carrying out IT projects.

Graeme Humphrey, Operations Director at Aberdeen based software company Codify, is currently working towards achieving CMMI Level 2 with Professor Ian Allison, head of computing at The Robert Gordon University. He says, "Achieving CMMI means we can increase our operational efficiency to create even happier customers, happier staff and improve overall company performance. We chose to work with Ian as he has 10 years experience in process enhancement and will support us through achieving CMMI."

The first phase of the CMMI programme will take around 18 months to complete and is a hugely important aspect of Codify's planned company growth. Going through an accreditation process or improvement programme may impact a company's bottom line in the short term as resources are used to work on the project, however in the long term the company will reap the benefits of improved performance.

Graeme continues, "We are already seeing many of the programme's benefits in relation to enhancing our business processes. As a company Codify has grown in the last 2 years and, though we have various procedures already in place, CMMI will enhance and tie them all together - providing the foundation for our future planned growth."

Accreditation or a stamp of approval from an independent authority in your industry or sector can often give you a competitive advantage over your rivals by offering your customers a specialised skill or expertise. This in turn conveys to them that you have the competence and integrity to show that your business will deliver accurate and reliable results.

Graeme concludes, "Undertaking CMMI has enabled me to focus on streamlining projects through the development of our existing processes. As a direct result of this, we can demonstrate a commitment to continuing our own professional development, enhance our business performance and strengthen the fabric of the company."

Building your company's reputation is extremely important and, within the IT industry, CMMI by association can not only improve performance but provide a level of prestige and status within the sector, essentially enhancing corporate credibility.

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