CMM: How reliably do we produce software?

In 1987, WS Humphrey at SEI published the Software Capability Maturity Model

It doesn't give instructions on how an organisation can improve

Details at The SEI

Software Capability Maturity Model


Level 1: Ad hoc.

(Most firms are here)
No procedures, no standards. Success depends on individual effort

Level 2: Repeatable

Projects managed and current projects tracked. Success repeatable

Level 3: Defined

Standards have been defined. All projects use a tailored version

Level 4: Managed

Metrics are applied to ensure the quality of the outcome

Level 5: Optimising

The ideal situation: continuous improvement through quantitative feedback from processes

ISO9000 and CMM compared

Specific to software development Intended for most industries
Used in the USA, but less widely elsewhere Recognised and accepted in most countries
Provides detailed and specific definition of what is required for given levels Specifies concepts, principles and safeguards that should be in place
Assesses on 5 levels Establishes one acceptable level
CMM Level 2 = ISO9000
Relevant to the software development process Stabilises the customer - supplier relationship
No time limit on certification Certification valid for three years
No ongoing audit Auditors may return for spot checks during the lifetime of the certificate

(Based on Oskarsson & Glass, 1996)

Software Capability Maturity Model

Your assessment: At what level in the model was your work placement company (or a software development company you are familiar with)?

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