CMM: A Road Map to Software Quality

Article

Raman, Sowmyan   (1997, ASQ)   The Boeing Company, Seattle, WA

Annual Quality Congress, Orlando, FL    Vol. 51    No. 0
QICID: 10637    May 1997    pp. 898-906
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Article Abstract

The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) provides a framework for the continuous improvement and documentation of software development processes. It is used for process assessment, capability evaluation, planning, and evaluating the risks associated with contracting software projects. The CMM consists of five levels: initial, repeatable, defined, managed, and optimized. The initial level establishes a baseline, while the other four levels identify improvement activities. Each of the four higher levels contains key process areas and related goals that characterize an organization striving for a particular level. Each key process area is linked to key practices that lead to achievement of goals. The managed and optimized levels are reached by very few organizations in the software industry, and these two levels are characterized by the Juran Trilogy of quality planning, quality control, and quality improvement. The CMM is tied to quality, as it follows the principle of fixing the process not the problem as well as the spirit of awards like the Deming Prize, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and the European Quality Award. The CMM also is related to standards, including ISO 9001. Guidelines for the application of ISO 9001 to software are ISO 9000-3 and TickIT. ISO 9001 and the CMM are strongly correlated, especially in their emphasis on documentation of processes. However, the CMM emphasizes continuous improvement, while ISO 9001 deals with minimum criteria of quality systems.

Keywords

Capability Maturity Model (CMM),Software,Process improvement,Documentation


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