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The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) (a registered service mark of Carnegie Mellon University, CMU) is a development model created after study of data collected from organizations that contracted with the U.S. Department of Defense, who funded the research. This model became the foundation from which Carnegie Mellon created the Software Engineering Institute (SEI). The term "maturity" relates to the degree of formality and optimization of processes, from ad hoc practices, to formally defined steps, to managed result metrics, to active optimization of the processes. When the model is applied to an existing organization's softwaredevelopment processes, it allows an effective approach toward improving them. Eventually it became clear that the model could be applied to other processes. This gave rise to a more general concept that is applied to business The CMM is a framework that describes the key elements of an effective process. It provides a foundation for process improvement. The CMM describes an evolutionary improvement path from an ad hoc, immature process to a mature, disciplined process. The process below describes the CMM. It shows the five levels of progressive process maturity (Initial, Repeatable, Defined, Managed, and Optimizing), and indicates the Process Areas (PA) that are addressed at each level. The CMM covers practices for planning, engineering, and managing development and maintenance activities. When followed, these key practices improve the ability of organizations to meet goals for cost, schedule, functionality, and product quality. The goal is to improve efficiency, return on investment, and effectiveness. The CMM establishes a yardstick against which it is possible to judge, in a repeatable way, the maturity of an organization's process and compare it to the state of the practice of the industry. The CMM is also used extensively by organizations to identify process improvement needs, to plan and prioritize improvements, and to evaluate improvement progress. The CMM has become a de facto industry standard for assessing and improving processes. Through the CMM, the SEI and community have put in place an effective means for modeling, defining, and measuring the maturity of the processes used by process engineering and development professionals. The CMM has been widely adopted and used by the U.S. Government, industry, and academia.

The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is a methodology used to develop and refine an organization's software development process. The model describes a fivelevel evolutionary path of increasingly organized and systematically more mature processes. CMM was developed and is promoted by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). SEI was founded in 1984 to address software engineering issues and, in a broad sense, to advance software engineering methodologies. More specifically, SEI was established to optimize the process of developing, acquiring, and maintaining heavily software-reliant systems for the DoD. Because the processes involved are equally applicable to the software industry as a whole, SEI advocates industry-wide adoption of the CMM. The CMM is similar to ISO 9001, one of the ISO 9000 series of standards specified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The ISO 9000 standards specify an effective quality system for manufacturing and service industries; ISO 9001 deals specifically with software development and maintenance. The main difference between the two systems lies in their respective purposes: ISO 9001 specifies a minimal acceptable quality level for software processes, while the CMM establishes a framework for continuous process improvement and is more explicit than the ISO standard in defining the means to be employed to that end.

Overview: The Capability Maturity Model was originally developed as a tool for objectively assessing the ability of government contractors' processes to perform a contracted software project. The model is based on the process maturity framework first described in the 1989 book Managing the Software Process by Watts Humphrey. It was later published in a report in 1993 and as a book by the same authors in 1995. Though the model comes from the field of software development, it is also used as a general model to aid in business processes generally, and has been used extensively worldwide in government offices, commerce, industry and softwaredevelopment organizations. Process Areas By Maturity Level Level 1-2 (Repeatable)

- Configuration Management - Quality Assurance - Subcontract Management - Project Tracking and Oversight - Subcontract Management - Project Planning - Requirements Management Level 3 (Defined) - Peer Reviews - Intergroup Coordination - Product Engineering - Integrated Software Management - Training Program - Organization Process Definition - Organizational Process Focus Level 4 (Managed) - Quality Management - Process Measurement and Analysis Level 5 (Optimizing) - Process Change Management - Technology Change Management - Defect Prevention Note. Level 1-2 is the disciplined process; Level 2-3 is the standard consistent practice; Level 3-4 is the predictable process; and Level 4-5 is the continuously improving process Level 1 - Initial (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 - Optimizing It is a 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, to shift 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.

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