I am interested in applying CMMI techniques to modeling and simulation efforts. I do not mean the modeling and simulation of the software engineering process (I have plenty of information, models etc. on that).
We do modeling and simulation work (e.g. growth of the biofuel industry, migration issues, watershed management) to inform policy makers. We have a grassroots 'best practices' movement and are looking for suggestions, ideas, etc. to improve our process. We do not use 'popular' tools and the niche software we do use is not conducive to configuration management tools etc. In addition, we rarely have a requirements document. We are essentially doing research.
Do you have any suggestions?
In my experience, a pure R&D shop has difficulty implementing the CMMI-DEV because of the free form nature of the environment and work. However, what makes more sense for you to investigate is the CMMI-SVC. It sounds like you are performing engineering or research and analysis services for policy makers.
As you may not have a requirements document for your niche software, you most surely have requirements for the research you are performing for your clients. If not, then you run the risk of having your results called into question.
Therefore, I think that you would be better served by the CMMI-SVC than the CMMI-DEV as it sounds like you may not be doing a lot of development, but instead providing research services.