Affin Bank aspires for CMM software recognition


  • Business
  • Saturday, 05 Apr 2003

BY YVONNE CHONG

AFFIN Bank Bhd in its continuous efforts to deliver high quality and reliable services has embarked on the software capability maturity model (CMM) certification journey. 

“Affin Bank aspires to be the first local bank to adopt, practise and achieve CMM certification to Level 3 whereby a consistent process and standards are applied across all projects and organisations,” Affin Bank president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Raja Aman Ahmad said at the ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday appointing Motorola Multimedia Sdn Bhd to provide the CMM consultancy services. 

Aman said the role of IT in banking could not be overestimated. 

“As a mid-sized bank, we do not have the extensive brick and mortar but we can improve our firepower by improving on our IT,” he said. 

Aman said banks were among the organisations that had the most projects and processes in place and it was thus important for them to adopt global methodologies such as the CMM. And while working on the methodology technically, the bank hopes to get the culture of CMM as well. 

Datuk Seri Raja Aman Ahmad (right) and S. Surya exchanging documents after the signing.

“The bank would then be able to produce higher quality banking products, have better cost prediction, and less rework and shorter development time,” he said. 

Motorola Multimedia managing director S. Surya said the demanding requirements for the CMM, particularly in terms of standardised and documented engineering and project management practices, would enable the bank to deliver on technology commitments more efficiently and predictably, “and serve its clients better through streamlined IT processes”. 

The CMM, developed by Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University, has become a de facto standard for assessing and improving software processes. It represents the collective knowledge gained from successes and failures in the software industry over the years, and is intended to help organisations transform ad hoc, chaotic processes to mature, disciplined software processes. The CMM certification comprises five levels. It is much more rigorous than the ISO certification and it has been said the ISO 9002 certification is equivalent to CMM Level 2. According to Surya, of all the organisations that have been assessed under the CMM, only about 4% has achieved Level 5, of which Motorola Multimedia is one. 

The bank aimed to achieve Level 2 maturity by November and thereon Level 3 by the middle of next year, said Affin Bank first vice-president and head of information services Abdul Mutalib Ishak. 

He said the contract with Motorola Multimedia was worth RM300,000 for Level 2 consultancy service, but the parties had yet to finalise the cost for Level 3.  

Mutalib said Affin Bank did not need to achieve the highest standard of the CMM as it was a bank, not a software house. 

“It's not a matter of numbers (levels) but the benefits we get from streamlining our processes. Level 3 is sufficient for our purposes,” he said. 

The adoption of the CMM is part of Affin Bank's IT strategy, for which it has budgeted RM100mil to be invested over three years.  

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