search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

Software Process Improvement Journey: IBM Australia Application Management Services

March 2005 Technical Report
Robyn Nichols, Colin Connaughton

This report describes the work of the 2004 recipient of the IEEE Computer Society Software Process Achievement Award, jointly established by the SEI and IEEE to recognize outstanding achievements in software process improvement.


Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number


DOI (Digital Object Identifier):


IBM Global Services Application Management Services (AMS) Australia provides application development and support services, on an outsourcing basis, to a variety of clients. Typically, the organization delivers more than 3,000 work products in a year, with over 1,000 projects completed within overall schedule, budget, and productivity commitments. Client expectations of service standards increase year by year, requiring corresponding improvements in service delivery capability. 

In July 1997, IBM Australia began providing application management services to a major client. Services were initially provided by over 2,500 staff members in 17 locations, servicing over 370 applications accessed by more than 55,000 users. Over the next six years, the service delivery teams were transformed into an organization whose practices have now been formally assessed at Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) for Systems Engineering and Software Engineering, Version 1.1 (CMMI-SE/SW, V 1.1) maturity level 5. 

Significant improvements to software practices led to improvements in cost, on-time delivery, on-budget delivery, and client satisfaction achievements. Over the same period, an application development productivity improvement of 76 percent delivered cost savings of A$412 million. 

In May 2004, the Software Process Achievement Award Committee selected AMS Australia to receive a Software Process Achievement Award in recognition of those achievements. This report describes the history and experiences of the process improvement initiatives that transformed the AMS Australia organization.