SSC Atlantic achieves CMMI® Maturity Level 3 rating for organization

SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic
May 26, 2010

Maturity Level 3 (ML3) is recognized as a significant benchmark toward world-class systems engineering. By achieving a ML3 rating, SSC Atlantic has enhanced its ability to provide engineering capability to produce quality products for its clients. SSC Atlantic is responsible for providing systems and software engineering in support of the U.S. Navy and other Department of Defense and government activities worldwide.

“Earning Level 3 certification is a major milestone for SSC Atlantic’s integrated business units across various sites. This is an indication of our solid commitment to delivering high quality solutions and services to our customers,” said SSC Atlantic Technical Director Christopher Miller. “This continuous process improvement encourages innovation and creativity, and enables us to quickly adapt in a competitive and dynamic environment.”

The SPAWAR Command chose to implement CMMI® because it provides a structured model for process improvement. CMMI® is used to measure and improve an organization’s ability to successfully plan, manage, and execute complex projects and yields improvements in cost, schedule, quality, customer satisfaction, and return on investment.

In CMMI®, a project’s or organization’s progress is determined by informal internal assessments or formal appraisals. In this case, SSC Atlantic underwent the most formal type of CMMI® appraisal: a “Class A” Standard CMMI® Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPISM) v1.2 appraisal conducted by a Certified Lead Appraiser from the Software Engineering Institute (SEI).

Prior to the SCAMPISM, SSC Atlantic’s business units in Charleston, New Orleans, and Tidewater were all rated at CMMI® Maturity Level 3, but the organization as a whole could not claim a ML3 rating until the Command successfully completed the SCAMPISM A and the appraisal results were approved by the SEI.

The two-week SCAMPISM, which concluded on April 2, 2010, was sponsored by SSC Atlantic’s Chief Engineer Bruce Carter, who is the Director of Engineering Operations. The eight-person appraisal team was led by SEI-Certified Lead Appraiser Rick Barbour and consisted of experienced CMMI® instructors, lead appraisers, and consultants.

The 11 projects involved represented a cross-section of the engineering disciplines found at SSC Atlantic’s Charleston, New Orleans, and Tidewater business units. During the SCAMPISM A, the appraisal team reviewed 16,000 project documents and interviewed more than 150 SSC Atlantic CMMI® practitioners.

SSC Atlantic’s Maturity Level 3 rating is good for three years, after which the organization must undergo another formal SEI appraisal to determine whether it has continued to follow CMMI® best practices.
The projects and respective project managers who participated in the Command appraisal include:

•Automation Program (AP)
•Cryptographic Modernization (Crypto Mod) Integration & Installation
•Joint Threat Warning System (JTWS)
•Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy (SCN)
•Ship Signal Exploitation Space (SSES)
•Tactical Messaging System (TMS)
•Visual Information Display Systems (VIDS)

New Orleans
•Customer Support Center (CSC)
•Support Equipment Maintenance System (SEMS)
•Naval Tactical Command Support Systems (NTCSS) Patriot
•Shipboard Non-Tactical ADP Program (SNAP) Automated Medical System (SAMS)


SSC Atlantic develops, acquires, and provides life cycle support for Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems, Information Technology (IT), and Space Capabilities.
SSC Atlantic is a leading edge Navy engineering center that designs, builds, tests, fields and supports many of the finest frontline C4ISR systems in use today, and those being planned for the future.

The majority of SSC Atlantic’s approximately 3,300 federal civil service employees, 120 military personnel and 9,000 industry partners are located at the center’s headquarters in Charleston, S.C., and at other Southeastern U.S. locations. SSC Atlantic’s operations in Charleston had a total economic impact of $2.6 billion on the state of South Carolina in 2008. SSC Atlantic overseas locations are in Europe, the Middle East and Antarctica.

Total obligation authority for SSC Atlantic for 2009 was $5 billion. SSC Atlantic has more than 1,452 customers around the globe. Approximately 51 percent of them are Navy and Marine Corps commands, 37 percent are joint commands and 12 percent are federal agencies. SSC Atlantic supports Unified Combatant Commands USAFRICOM, USCENTCOM, USEUCOM, USJFCOM, USNORTHCOM, USSOCOM, USTRANSCOM and USSTRATCOM. Federal agency customers include the Department of State, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Justice, Department of Treasury, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Aviation Administration and National Science Foundation. Visit for more information.

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