The description of the Capability Maturity Model for Software was initially produced by a dedicated group of people who spent many hours discussing the model and its features and then trying to document it in CMM v1.0. This group consisted of Mark Paulk, Bill Curtis, Mary Beth Chrissis, Edward Averill, Judy Bamberger, Tim Kasse, Mike Konrad, Jeff Perdue, Charlie Weber, and Jim Withey.
This paper is based on the vision of Watts Humphrey, first director of the SEI's Software Process Program. It took several drafts to evolve this paper into the final product. Jim Withey, Mark Paulk, and Cynthia Wise produced an early draft in 1990. Watts Humphrey provided a second draft of the document, and Mark Paulk then took over the paper and remained book boss until the end. Mary Beth Chrissis and Bill Curtis helped Mark produce the CMM v1.0 revision of this paper in August, 1991. Mark Paulk produced the CMM v1.1 revision of the paper, which is this technical report.
At various stages, several people contributed to the concepts expressed in this paper. They include Joe Besselman, Marilyn Bush, Anita Carleton, Marty Carlson, Betty Deimel, Suzie Garcia, Richard Kauffold, Steve Masters, Mary Merrill, Jim Over, George Pandelios, Jane Siegel and Charlie Weber.
We appreciate the administrative help from Todd Bowman, Dorothy Josephson, Debbie Punjack, Carolyn Tady, Marcia Theoret, Andy Tsounos, and David White; and the editorial assistance from Mary Beth Chrissis, Suzanne Couturiaux, and Bill Pollak. Renne Dutkowski from the American Institutes for Research provided suggestions for the design of the document.
To the Reader
In November 1986, the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), with assistance from the Mitre Corporation, began developing a process maturity framework that would help organizations improve their software process. This effort was initiated in response to a request to provide the federal government with a method for assessing the capability of its software contractors. In September 1987, the SEI released a brief description of the process maturity framework [Humphrey 87a] and a maturity questionnaire [Humphrey87b]. The SEI intended the maturity questionnaire to provide a simple tool for identifying areas where an organization's software process needed improvement. Unfortunately, the maturity questionnaire was too often regarded as "the model" rather than as a vehicle for exploring process maturity issues.
After four years of experience with the software process maturity framework and the preliminary version of the maturity questionnaire, the SEI evolved the software process maturity framework into the Capability Maturity Model for Software (CMM) [Paulk91, Weber91]. The CMM is based on knowledge acquired from software process assessments and extensive feedback from both industry and government. By elaborating the maturity framework, a model has emerged that provides organizations with more effective guidance for establishing process improvement programs.
The initial release of the CMM, Version 1.0, was reviewed and used by the software community during 1991 and 1992. A workshop was held in April, 1992 on CMM v1.0, which was attended by about 200 software professionals. This version of the CMM, Version 1.1, is the result of the feedback from that workshop and ongoing feedback from the software community.
The CMM is the foundation for systematically building a set of tools, including a maturity questionnaire, which are useful in software process improvement. The essential point to remember is that the model, not a questionnaire, is the basis for improving the software process. This paper is intended to introduce the reader to CMM v1.1.
What is the Purpose of This Paper?
This paper provides a technical overview of the Capability Maturity Model for Software and reflects Version 1.1. Specifically, this paper describes the process maturity framework of five maturity levels, the structural components that comprise the CMM, how the CMM is used in practice, and future directions of the CMM. This paper serves as one of the best sources for understanding the CMM, and it should clear up some of the misconceptions associated with software process maturity as advocated by the SEI.
The SEI has worked with industry and government to refine and expand the model, and software organizations are encouraged to focus on the CMM rather than on the maturity questionnaire. The SEI has developed, and is developing, a suite of process products to encourage this focus. This paper [Paulk93a], in combination with the "Key Practices of the Capability Maturity Model, Version 1.1" [Paulk93b], comprises CMM v1.1. The "Key Practices of the Capability Maturity Model, Version 1.1" describes the key practices for each level of the CMM. This paper describes the principles underlying software process maturity and is intended to help software organizations use CMM v1.1 as a guide to improve the maturity of their software processes.
Who Should Read This Paper?
This paper presents an introduction to the CMM and its associated products. Therefore, anyone who is interested in learning about the CMM should read this paper. However, this paper assumes that the reader has some knowledge of, and experience in, developing and/or maintaining software, as well as an understanding of the problems that the software community faces today.
This document can be used in several ways:
How is This Paper Organized?
This paper has five chapters:
Chapter 1 Defines the concepts necessary to understand the CMM and the motivation and purpose behind it.
Chapter 2 Describes the five levels of the CMM and the principles that underlie them.
Chapter 3 Describes how the CMM is structured into key process areas, organized by common features, and described in terms of key practices.
Chapter 4 Provides a high-level overview of how the CMM provides guidance for software process assessments, software capability evaluations, and process improvement programs.
Chapter 5 Concludes by providing a description of future directions for the CMM and its related products.
What Are the Other CMM Products?
Although this paper can be read in isolation, it is designed to be the launching point for other products. This paper and the associated products help the reader understand and use the CMM. All of the CMM-based products have been, or will be, systematically derived from the model. At the time of this writing, most of these products are not available in their final form, although preliminary versions are in various stages of pilot testing and release.
The CMM-based set of products includes several diagnostic tools, which are used by software process assessment [ Begin Footnote ] --- A software process assessment is an appraisal by a trained team of software professionals to determine the state of an organization's current software process, to determine the high-priority software process-related issues facing an organization, and to obtain the organizational support for software process improvement. --- [ End Footnote ] and software capability evaluation[ Begin Footnote ] --- A software capability evaluation is an appraisal by a trained team of professionals to identify contractors who are qualified to perform the software work or to monitor the state of the software process used on an existing software effort.--- [ End Footnote ] teams to identify strengths, weaknesses, and risks of an organization's software process. Probably the best known of these is the maturity questionnaire. The software process assessment and software capability evaluation methods and training also rely on the CMM.
The users of these products form a community dedicated to improving the maturity of their software process. The SEI will continue to work with the software community to enhance the model and its associated products.
How Do You Receive More Information?
For further information regarding the CMM and its associated products, including training on the CMM and how to perform software process assessments and software capability evaluations, contact:
SEI Customer RelationsSoftware Engineering InstituteCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh, PA 15213-3890(412) 268-5800Internet: email@example.com
SEI technical reports, such as this paper and the "Key Practices of the Capability Maturity Model, Version 1.1," are directly available from the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), and Research Access Inc. (RAI). These documents can be obtained by contacting:
RAI: Research Access Inc. 3400 Forbes Avenue Suite 302 Pittsburgh, PA 15213 Telephone: (800) 685-6510 FAX: (412) 682-6530
NTIS: National Technical Information Service U.S. Department of Commerce Springfield, VA 22161-2103 Telephone: (703) 487-4600
DTIC: Defense Technical Information Center ATTN: FDRA Cameron Station Alexandria, VA 22304-6145 Telephone: (703) 274-7633
SEI technical reports are also available via Internet. To use anonymous ftp from a Unix system on Internet:
(The SEI ftp machine address is 220.127.116.11)
password: your user id or any string
The file READ.ME contains information on what files are available. Other SEI publications are available in a similar manner.
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