Introduction to Capability Maturity Model (CMM)
The Capability Maturity Model is a concept about process maturity, that was developed in the field of software development and which provides a general theoretical model for understanding the capability maturity of an organizations software development business processes. Though the CMM is a process capability model continued to be used in the public domain, for Software Development processes it has been superseded by the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI).
The origination of CMM can be traced to 1980s. The US Air Force funded a study at the SEI (Software Engineering Institute) as several software military projects involving software sub constructors ran over-budget and under-scheduled in the 1980s.
The result of this study was the development of a model for the usage in military as an objective assessment of software subcontractors process capability maturity. This lead to the publishing of book entitled Managing the Software Process by Watts Humphrey in 1989. The basis for this was the Quality Management Maturity Grid introduced by Philip Crosby in 1979 in his book Quality is Free.
Humphrey developed his process maturity concepts at IBM and later in the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) located at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The Process maturity framework was formalized, initially to aid the U.S Department of Defense. Then organizations were evaluated using a process maturity questionnaire and method devised by Humphrey and his colleagues in SEI.
representation of the Capability Maturity Model was initiated in 1991,
with version 1.1 completed in 1993. It was published as a book in 1995
by primary authors, Mark C. Paulk, Charles V. Weber, Bill Curtis, and
Mary Beth Chrissis. For software development process it was superseded
by the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI).
The first level of process maturity is termed as Initial. Here the software process is characterized as ad hoc and sometimes even chaotic. The processes are typically undocumented and in a state of dynamic change tending to be driven in an uncontrolled manner by users or events. Success depends on individual effort.
The second level of process maturity is termed as Repeatable. Here the basic project management processes are in place to track cost, functionality and schedule. Process discipline is maintained to repeat earlier successes on projects with similar applications.
The third level of process maturity is termed as Defined. There are sets of defined and documented processes established, standardized and integrated into an organization wide software process that establish consistency of process performance. This level also includes all characteristics defined for level 2.
level of process maturity is termed as Managed. The software process and
products are quantitatively understood and controlled using process metrics.
The fifth level of process maturity is termed as Optimizing. Here continuous process improvement is focused at by means of quantitative feedback and from incremental and innovative changes or improvements in technology. This level also includes all characteristics defined for level 4.
For each level of process maturity, KPAs are defined and mapped having the following characteristics. Overall objective to be achieved by the KPA (Goals), requirements to be met for the goals to be achieved (Commitments), the process that must be in place for the organization to meet the commitments (Abilities) , the manner in which the activities are measured and verified for the proper practice of KPA (Measurement and Verification). For example at Process Maturity level 2 the KPAs to be achieved are Software Configuration Management, Software quality assurance, Software subcontract management, software project tracking and oversight, software project planning and requirements management.
maturity level 3 the KPAs to be achieved are Peer Reviews, Inter
group coordination, software product engineering, integrated software
management, Training program, and organization process definition and
organization process focus. At process maturity level 4, software quality
management and quantitative process management should be achieved and
for process maturity level 5, Process change management, Technology change
management and Defect prevention should be achieved.
Thus the SEI approach can be used to measure the effectiveness of a companys software practices. The Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) can guide process improvement across project, divisions or an entire organization, the benefits ensuring quality of a system that is influenced by the quality of process and increase in product and service quality helping to attain business objectives.
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