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CMM capability maturity model


It is a process that refines the understandings and the definitions of the processes of an organization. Under CMM, there are five different levels that define the different levels of processes and is described by SEI as: The improvement in the predictability, the effectiveness and the control of the software processes through these five levels of CMM will eventually help the overall processes of an organization to be improved. While this belief is not absolutely out of errors, yet its positive effect has been seen in the processes for which it has been applied till date.


The five different levels are described below:


1st Level – Ad hoc (chaotic) →


This is the level, which is characterized by the un-documentation of the processes and their status of being in a dynamic change mode, which makes the processes to get into an ad hoc, reactive or uncontrolled status and this situation can be brought about by the users or some events. So, at this level the processes remain in an unstable form or we can also call it the chaotic condition.


Organizational implications of level 1:




·         Organizations at this level of CMM do not use processes with a good planning and good executive commitment or are limited with the acceptance of the processes. This nature of the organization shows its lackluster attitude towards the structure and the formality of processes. These organizations tend to commit way beyond their capacity or leave a process in between its execution. They are also not able to repeat the past successes.  


2nd Level - Repeatable→


At this level of CMM processes have the repeatable characteristics and that also with a result that is very consistent in nature. But this repetition could not be seen for each and every process of an organization. Organization commonly makes use of a basic project management program to determine the cost and schedule for a particular project. The discipline for the processes is not very strict, yet it ensures the execution of existing practices even in the time of stress. So, at this level the processes are managed according to the plans that have already been documented.


Organizational implications of level 2:


3rd Level - Defined→


At this level of CMM the processes have the characteristics of defined as well as documented standards and are subject to a certain degree of timely improvement. These processes that are standards among different organizations (i.e., AS-IS processes) are used to instill a consistency in the performance of the processes. Projects always follow the defined processes that are established with a definite set of standard organizations’ processes and can also be customized with similar standardized guidelines.


Organizational implications of level 3:



4th Level - Managed→


At this level of CMM the processes have the characteristics of being effectively controlled (control of the AS-IS process) by the management through the utilization of process metrics as is witnessed in the projects of software development. At this level, the management is capable of altering the processes in such a way that they become applicable for a particular project without losing much quality form their set of standards. Establishment of process capability is achieved form this level itself.


Organizational implications of level 4:



5th Level – Optimized →


At this level of CMM the processes have the characteristics of improving their performances through integration of innovative & incremental changes in the technology.


Organizational implications of level 5:



Processes, which are at the maturity level 4, takes into account the statistical special causes for the variation of processes and provides the results with statistical predictability. Despite the prediction of the results along with the statistics, it may be sometimes not enough to fulfill the objectives that are already established.


Processes, which are at the maturity level 5, takes into account the statistical common causes for the variation of processes and improves the performances of the processes by changing them like, shifting of the mean of the performance of a process. Along with changing the processes for the improvement of their performance, it is also maintained that the processes achieve the established quantitative process-improvement objectives.