1. We admitted we were powerless over quality/on-time delivery/estimates/project management/etc. – that our projects had become unmanageable.
2. We came to believe that a model greater than ourselves (the CMMI) could restore us to sanity.
3. We made a decision to turn our processes and procedures over to the care of Software Engineering Institute.
4. We conducted a searching and fearless gap analysis of our organization.
5. We admitted to our Lead Appraiser, to ourselves, and to our executive management the exact nature of our process weaknesses and gaps.
6. We were entirely ready to have our Lead Appraiser help us address these weaknesses and gaps.
7. We humbly asked our Lead Appraiser to help us remove our weaknesses.
8. We made a list of all projects that had suffered because of our bad practices, and became willing to take corrective actions to address the issues, as applicable.
9. We made direct modifications to our processes wherever possible, except when to do so would jeopardize the success a project.
10. We continued to appraise the organization, and when we had weaknesses we promptly admitted them.
11. We sought through the Engineering Process Group (EPG) and the Management Steering Group (MSG), to improve our direct contact with our Lead Appraiser and the SEI, asking only for their knowledge and expertise to guide us on our process improvement journey.
12. We have recognized the benefits of process improvement as the result of these twelve steps; we have tried to carry this message to other internal groups and external organizations and to practice these principles in all our affairs.