Capability Maturity Model Integration – CMM Maturity Levels

The Five Maturity Levels described by the Capability Maturity Model can be characterized as per their primary process changes made at each level as follows:

  1. Initial The software process is characterized as ad hoc, and occasionally even chaotic. Few processes are defined, and success depends on individual effort and heroics.
  2. Repeatable Basic Project Management processes are established to track cost, schedule, and functionality. The necessary process discipline is in place to repeat earlier successes on projects with similar applications.
  3. Defined The software process for both management and engineering activities is documented, standardized, and integrated into a standard software process for the organization. All projects use an approved, tailored version of the organization’s standard software process for developing and maintaining software.
  4. Managed Detailed measures of the software process and product quality are collected. Both the software process and products are quantitatively understood and controlled.
  5. Optimizing Continuous process improvement is enabled by quantitative feedback from the process and from piloting innovative ideas and technologies.

The structure of the Capability Maturity model is as shown below:


Maturity Level, KPA

At the Optimizing Level or the CMM level5, the entire organization is focused on continuous Quantitative feedback from previous projects is used to improve the Project Management, usually using pilot projects, using the skills shown in level 4. The focus is on continuous process improvement.

Software project teams in SEI CMM Level 5 organizations analyze defects to determine their causes. Software processes are evaluated to prevent known types of defects from recurring, and lessons learned are disseminated to other projects. The software process capability of Level 5 organizations can be characterized as continuously improving because Level 5 organizations are continuously striving to improve the range of their process capability, thereby improving the process performance of their projects. Improvement occurs both by incremental advancements in the existing process and by innovations using new technologies and methods.

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