Capability Maturity Model

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Capability Maturity Model Integration - CMMI ModelThe Capability Maturity Model of CM-CEI is an organizational model that describes 5 evolutionary stages (levels) in which the processes in an organization are managed.

The thought behind the Capability Maturity Model, originally developed for software development, is that an organization should be able to absorb and carry its software applications. The model also provides specific steps and activities that help to bring an organization from one level to the next.

The 5 stages of the Capability Maturity Model

  1. Initial (processes are ad-hoc, chaotic, or actually few processes are defined)
  2. Repeatable (basic processes are established and there is a level of discipline to stick to these processes)
  3. Defined (all processes are defined, documented, standardized and integrated into each other)
  4. Managed (processes are measured by collecting detailed data on the processes and their quality)
  5. Optimizing (continuous process improvement is adopted and in place by quantitative feedback and from piloting new ideas and technologies)

Software Maturity model

The CMM describes the principles and practices underlying software process maturity. It is intended to help software organizations improve the maturity of their software processes in terms of an evolutionary path. This path goes from ad hoc, chaotic processes, towards mature, disciplined software processes. The focus is on identifying key process areas and the exemplary practices that may comprise a disciplined software process. The maturity framework provided by CMM establishes a context in which:

  • Practices can be repeated. If you don't repeat an activity, there is no reason to improve it. There are policies, procedures and practices, that force the organization to implementing and performing consistently.
  • Best practices can be rapidly transferred across groups. Practices are defined sufficiently to allow for transfer across project boundaries, thus providing some standardization for the organization.
  • Variations in performing best practices are reduced. Quantitative objectives are established for tasks; and measures are established, taken, and maintained to form a base-line from which an assessment is possible.
  • Practices are being continuously improved to enhance capability (optimizing).

The Capability Maturity Model is useful not only for software development, but also for describing evolutionary levels of organizations in general and in order to describe the level of Management that an organization has realized or wants to aim for.

The Structure of the Capability Maturity Model

  • Maturity Levels - A layered framework providing a progression to the discipline, which is needed to achieve continuous improvement. It is important to state here that an organization develops the ability to assess the impact of a new practice, technology, or tool on their activity. Hence it is not a matter of adopting these, rather it is a matter of determining how innovative efforts influence existing practices. This empowers projects, teams, and organizations by giving them the foundation to support reasoned choice.)
  • Key Process Areas - Key process area (KPA) identifies a cluster of related activities that, when performed collectively, achieve a set of goals considered important.
  • Goals - The goals of a key process area summarize the states that must exist for that key process area. The states must be implemented in an effective and lasting way. The extent to which the goals have been accomplished is an indicator of how much capability the organization has established at that maturity level. The goals signify the scope, boundaries, and intent of each key process area.
  • Common Features - Common features include practices that implement and institutionalize a key process area. These five types of common features include: Commitment to Perform, Ability to Perform, Activities Performed, Measurement and Analysis, and Verifying Implementation.
  • Key Practices - The key practices describe the elements of infrastructure and practice that contribute most effectively to the implementation and institutionalization of the key process areas.

Process Definition Criteria

Process Definition Criteria are the set of process elements that must be included in a software process description for it to be usable by the people performing the process. To establish the criteria you are asking the question - "What software process information do I need to document?"

Such process elements are:

  • Purpose - why is a process performed?
  • Input - what work products are used?
  • Output - what work products are produced?
  • Role - who (or what) performs the activities?
  • Activity - what is done?
  • Entry criteria - when (under what circumstances) can processes begin?
  • Exit criteria - when (under what circumstances) can processes be considered complete?
  • Procedure - how are activities implemented?
  • Reviews and audits performed.
  • Work products that are to be managed and controlled (or placed under configuration management).
  • Measurements to be made.
  • Training.
  • Tools.

Book: James R. Persse - Implementing the Capability Maturity Model

Book: Mary Beth Chrissis - CMMI : Guidelines for Process Integration and Product Improvement

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Capability Maturity Management Special Interest Group.

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Forum discussions about Capability Maturity Management. Below you can ask a question about this topic, share your experiences, report a new development, or explain something.

🔥 Capability Maturity Model in Government
Is it possible to use this methodology in government? In SOE´s? In state enterprises? Are there any cases existing? Please I need some orientations. Thanks....
Comments1 comments
topic CMMI Level 5 Should be Made Simpler
CMMI level 5 should be made easier without too much thrust on usage of mathematical analysis. Ultimately the business needs to be captured....
topic Capability Maturity Model Integration Statistics
I need statistics of companies in the world that implement CMMI. Who has more information about this. Any CMMI References?...
Comments1 comments
topic Organisational Process Model in S/w Industry
Dear all, can anyone suggest me which organisational process model is best to apply in software company? Thanks for your suggestions......
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topic Hybrid Maturity Model Integrates Human Rights
In Canada, a new maturity model is being developed to integrate human rights into day-to-day business activities. The model is a hybrid of the CMM, the people CMM and a diagnostic tool for employment ...
Comments2 comments

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🥇 Capability Maturity Model > CMMI
This article needs to be updated. It is currently focused on CMM-SW that has been replaced in 2002 by a more comprehensive model (CMMI)(Capability Maturity Model Integration) in terms of scope and dep...
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🥈 Weaknesses of Capability Maturity Model?
What are the main weaknesses or limitations of CMM?...
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Expert Tips

Advanced insights about Capability Maturity Management. Here you will find professional advices by experts.


Weaknesses of the CMM Model

Implementing Process Improvements
- CMM does not describe HOW to create an effective software development organization. - CMM compliance is not a guarant...

Process and Enterprise Maturity Model

Alternative to CMM, Process-Based Transformation Efforts
Although most executives are aware that a redesign of business processes can lead to extraordinary improvements in cost,...

The CMMI Model

Process Improvement
The Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is the successor of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM). A new version ...


Alternate Process Improvement Model
Originally, the IDEAL model was a life-cycle model for software process improvement based upon the Capability Maturity M...

Origins of CMM

Teaching Process Improvement, History
In the mid 1980s, the United States Air Force funded a study at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) of the Carnegie...
Information Sources

Various sources of information regarding Capability Maturity Management. Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc. to use in your own lectures and workshops.


Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) In-depth

Capability Maturity Model Integration, CMMI Models, CMM Models
This presentation is about the Capability Maturity Model Integration and includes the following sections: 0. Part 1: ...

Introduction Into CMM and P-CMM

CMM, P-CMM, Software Management, Human Capital Development
Introduction into the Capability Maturity Model, including the following sections: 1. Outline 2. Why CMM matters 3. H...

Capability Lifecycles

Maturity Management
Article by Constance E. Helfat and Margaret A. Peteraf introduces the concept of the capability lifecycle (CLC), which a...

CMMI Diagram

Capability Maturity Management
Download and edit this 12manage PowerPoint graphic for limited personal, educational and business use. Republishing in ...

CMM in Software Process Improvement

Process Improvement, Capability Maturity Management
Extensive presentation about CMM in software processes, by T. Schouten (2010). The presentation first explains the quali...

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Compare with the Capability Maturity Model:  People CMM  |  OPM3  |  Balanced Scorecard  |  Baldrige Award  |  EFQM  |  Change Approaches  |  Organizational Learning  |  Kaizen

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