CMM

CMM - Capability Maturity Model

Structure of the CMM

The CMM involves the following aspects:

Maturity Levels: A 5-Level process maturity continuum - where the uppermost (5th) level is a notional ideal state where processes would be systematically managed by a combination of process optimization and continuous process improvement.

Key Process Areas: A 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 to have been 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. There are five types of common features: 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 KPAs.

Levels of the CMM:

There are five levels defined along the continuum of the CMM, and, according to the SEI: "Predictability, effectiveness, and control of an organization's software processes are believed to improve as the organization moves up these five levels. While not rigorous, the empirical evidence to date supports this belief."

The levels are:

Level 1 - Ad hoc (Chaotic)
It is characteristic of processes at this level that they are (typically) undocumented and in a state of dynamic change, tending to be driven in an ad hoc, uncontrolled and reactive manner by users or events. This provides a chaotic or unstable environment for the processes.

Level 2 - Repeatable
It is characteristic of processes at this level that some processes are repeatable, possibly with consistent results.Process discipline is unlikely to be rigorous, but where it exists it may help to ensure that existing processes are maintained during times of stress.

Level 3 - Defined
It is characteristic of processes at this level that there are sets of defined and documented standard processes established and subject to some degree of improvement over time. These standard processes are in place (i.e., they are the AS-IS processes) and used to establish consistency of process performance across the organization.

Level 4 - Managed
It is characteristic of processes at this level that, using process metrics, management can effectively control the AS-IS process (e.g., for software development ). In particular, management can identify ways to adjust and adapt the process to particular projects without measurable losses of quality or deviations from specifications. Process Capability is established from this level.

Level 5 - Optimized
It is characteristic of processes at this level that the focus is on continually improving process performance through both incremental and innovative technological changes/improvements.
At maturity level 5, processes are concerned with addressing statistical common causes of process variation and changing the process (for example, shifting the mean of the process performance) to improve process performance. This would be done at the same time as maintaining the likelihood of achieving the established quantitative process-improvement objectives.

Links:

http://www.sei.cmu.edu/cmm/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capability_Maturity_Model