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February 21, 2024

Systematic has once again achieved the black belt in software development

With its seventh CMMI assessment rating at the highest level, the company continues to be among the best in the world at delivering IT solutions on time, within budget, and with the agreed-upon quality.

Even though it is both expensive and cumbersome, Systematic still invests several full-time equivalents and about 300,000 EUR every third year to thoroughly examine its work processes with an external lead appraiser following the CMMI model. 

This year marks the seventh consecutive time the software company has achieved the highest CMMI rating at level five. Systematic is the only company in Scandinavia and one out of four companies in Europe with documentation attesting to being among the best in the world at delivering software solutions on time, within budget, and with the agreed-upon quality.


  • "Our result is extremely good this time - it is undoubtedly the best we have achieved out of the seven recent times we have undergone the assessment."

    Klaus Askjær Pedersen
    Director of Commercial and Audit

Best result to date 

The CMMI model assesses a company's maturity in software development and its ability to continuously improve and develop its workflows. "Our result is extremely good this time - it is undoubtedly the best we have achieved out of the seven recent times we have undergone the assessment," says Klaus Askjær Pedersen, Director of Commercial and Audit at Systematic and responsible for the CMMI assessment. 

Systematic develops solutions for defence and healthcare worldwide, and the CMMI assessment is an internationally recognised quality stamp that strengthens the organisation from within.  

"It shows that we are a supplier with high delivery reliability and that we are in control of our processes from end to end," explains Klaus Askjær Pedersen.

Klaus Askjær Pedersen

The thought of mistakes results in sleepless nights 

The CMMI assessment itself is conducted by an external lead appraiser with an external random selection of model areas and projects in the company, which are then reviewed from A to Z and must present documentation in areas such as project management, reporting, and quality assurance in the software development process. 

Systematic has maintained its level five rating since 2005, but it doesn't take much for a company to risk being set back:  

"What keeps me awake at night is the thought that if we have so much as a single slip-up on a single project, we risk dropping back to level two or three," says Klaus Askjær Pedersen. 

All appraisal points are entered into a chart and coloured according to the assessment: Green is good, yellow indicates improvement potential, and red means failed.

"This year, all our appraisal points were green - except one, which was yellow. It was due to a single document that had not been updated recent enough. The content of the document did not fail, but that kind of thing is enough to pull us down," he says. 

CMMI assessment is actively used to create improvements

Shane Atkinson has been a CMMI lead appraiser for Systematic for several years now, and he is impressed with the company's approach to the task:  

"In my experience, Systematic effectively uses CMMI as a framework to identify and drive improvements - it's not just something on the checklist they need to tick off. The company has been assessed at level five for nearly two decades, and they continue to push themselves for further improvements in their quality and performance - and each time, you can really see a difference in how the organisation performs," says Shane Atkinson. 

Systematic office

A good example of this is that Systematic makes several positive Causal Analysis and Resolution (CAR) initiatives which means that the company learns not only from its mistakes but especially from its successes. 

"We continuously analyse our results, and when something goes much better than expected, we investigate the cause so that we can use that knowledge in other contexts. Usually, you only do something like that if something has gone wrong, so you avoid repeating it - but the reverse is just as important," says Klaus Askjær Pedersen.

Automation tackles heavy tasks

For several years, Systematic has undergone a major internal automation and digitisation process, saving both time and resources and ensuring transparency in projects for both customers and suppliers. 

"We have implemented many automatic systems that handle some of the heavy work, such as scanning for poor software code, scanning license conditions, etc. In addition, we have achieved 100% traceability in our requirement management so that both we and the customer have a detailed description of the original requirements for the task, the process, and any change requests that arise along the way. Everything is collected and described continuously," says Klaus Askjær Pedersen. 

Nikolaj Bramsen, CEO, Systematic

Although the appraisal process requires the involvement of many employees over a long period of time - equivalent to two to three full-time employees, he believes that the appraisal is worth it all - even the sleepless nights. Systematic's CEO Nikolaj Bramsen agrees with that: 

"For growing companies that constantly hire new people, it is important to have uniform work processes - and not least continuously work to improve both them and ourselves. That way, we get a better planning basis. We identify errors, improvement opportunities, and challenges early on so that we can correct them along the way," says Nikolaj Bramsen.

Facts about the CMMI model

The CMMI model assesses, among other things, how good a company is at learning from previous projects and experiences and using this knowledge to become better and thus able to produce more efficiently. Maturity is measured on a scale from 1-5, where 1 is an immature organisation that spends a lot of time on error corrections, while five is an efficient, optimising organisation. 

Systematic is the only IT company in the entire Nordic region to have achieved a rating at level five, assessed according to the CMMI v 2.0 model, including subcontractor management. Only four companies in the whole of Europe have been assessed as high. 

This assessment is valid for three years, after which the company must be re-evaluated. 

Systematic’s official result at CMMI Institute: https://cmmiinstitute.com/pars/appraisals/66395 

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