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Introduction to Software Capability Maturity Model : 

Introduction to Software Capability Maturity Model Chuck Connell www.chc-3.com Copyright 2002, Charles H. Connell Jr.

Outline : 

Outline Why CMM matters Historical background Sports analogy What is CMM ? How you can use CMM Details about CMM Problems with CMM

Threads from this course : 

Threads from this course Iteration in design process Choice of process for development Is software different from other (physical) engineering fields?

Why CMM matters… : 

Why CMM matters… It is the most widespread and detailed software development model It is a standard for much DoD work, which is a lot of software projects It is being used by many non-DoD businesses It is widely criticized, and has inspired several anti-CMM models Your tax dollars paid for it

Background : 

Background Begun in 1986 by DoD to help improve government software contractors. Work started at Mitre, then at Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon Univ. Watts Humphrey was initial author, then Mark Paulk, Bill Curtis, and others. Borrows heavily from general Total Quality Management (TQM) and work of Philip Crosby.

Background : 

Background Under active development for 15+ years, ongoing… Has gained significant interest among non-DoD software vendors. All documents are public, and many are free. Known as SW-CMM or CMM.

SW development and baseball : 

SW development and baseball What happens when a ball is hit to a Little League team? Everyone runs around at random. They might do the right thing, or they might not. The next time the ball is hit in the same place, they may do something different. What happens when a ball is hit to a professional team? Everyone moves in a coordinated fashion, based on practicing that play many times. Sometimes they fail to make the right play, but they almost always try to do the right thing.

SW development and baseball : 

SW development and baseball What happens when the team loses a star player? Little League team gets much worse. Professional team often has someone waiting to fill in.   Self-improvement after a bad play… Little League players don’t know what went wrong, or they blame each other. Professional teams discuss their play and look for ways to improve. "The next time there is an infield hit with 2 outs, let’s do this instead."

SW development and baseball : 

SW development and baseball A professional baseball team is more "mature" than a Little League team (not referring to age). A professional team has self-perpetuating quality. They Make good plays Develop new players like themselves Find ways to make better plays

What is CMM? : 

What is CMM? In the same way, high-quality SW organizations are different from low-quality orgs. CMM tries to capture and describe these differences. CMM strives to create software development organizations that are “mature”, or more mature than before applying CMM. Describes five levels of SW process maturity. Includes lots of detail about each level – we will look at some of it.

How to use CMM : 

How to use CMM Hire an officially certified CMM Assessor to conduct a formal evaluation. To win government software contracts. To find high-quality software subcontractors. (SA-CMM) For pure development shops, to impress clients with your quality. (India) Send your own people to official CMM training, then conduct internal assessments. For a large organization where software process improvements have a big payoff.

How to use CMM : 

How to use CMM Use CMM as a set of suggestions and apply as you see fit. Every other software development organization, of all sizes.

Summary of levels : 

Summary of levels Level 1 – Initial. Anything at all. Ad-hoc and chaotic. Will have some successes, but will also have failures and badly missed deadlines. Level 2 – Repeatable. SW processes are defined, documented, practiced, and people are trained in them. Groups across an organization may use different processes.

Summary of levels : 

Summary of levels Level 3 – Defined. SW processes are consistent and known across the whole organization. Level 4 – Managed. SW processes and results are measured quantitatively, and processes are evaluated with this data. Level 5 – Optimizing. Continuous process improvement. Experimenting with new methods and technologies. Change processes when find something that works better.

Level 1 – Initial : 

Level 1 – Initial Team tackles projects in different ways each time Can have strong successes, but may not repeat  Some time/cost estimates are accurate, many far off Success comes from smart people doing the right things Hard to recover from good people leaving Frequent crises and "firefighting.” (Many believe this is standard for SW development. CMM says NO.) Most SW development organizations are Level 1. Estimating curve, process diagram.

Level 2 – Repeatable : 

Level 2 – Repeatable Key areas Requirements management Software project planning Project tracking and oversight Subcontracts management Quality assurance Configuration management Usually takes 18+ months. (Some ask for Level 1.5.) Estimating curve Process diagram

Level 3 – Defined : 

Level 3 – Defined Key areas. Level 2, plus… Organization-wide process focus Organization-wide process definition Training program in above Integrated software management (above applied per project) Software product engineering (coding, etc.) Inter-group coordination Peer reviews Estimating curve Process diagram

Level 4 – Managed : 

Level 4 – Managed Key areas. Level 3, plus… Quantitative process management (data gathering) Quality management (data-driven quality improvement) Estimating curve Process diagram

Level 5 – Optimizing : 

Level 5 – Optimizing Key areas. Level 4, plus… Defect prevention Technology change management (bring in new methods) Process change management (improve processes) Estimating curve Process diagram

Structure of the Levels (OPT) : 

Structure of the Levels (OPT) Maturity Levels (5) Key Process Areas (2-7) Goals (2-4) Commitment to perform Ability to perform Measurement and analysis Verification Activities performed Key practice #1 Key practice #2 … Main idea: Saying you will do something is not enough.

Observation: : 

Observation: CMM contains a lot of verbiage. Can seem like just a word game, which it might be to some extent. If you get beyond the verbiage however, CMM does describe some important methods for running software projects.

“Maturity suite” (OPT) : 

“Maturity suite” (OPT) Personal Software Process (PSP) Team Software Process (TSP) People CMM (P-CMM) Software Acquisition CMM (SA-CMM) System Engineering CMM (SE-CMM) Integrated Product Development CMM (IPD-CMM) CMM Integration (CMMI): SW + SE + IPD

Problems with CMM : 

Problems with CMM It is a goal, not a method Being used just as stamp of approval Doesn’t say anything about software! Doesn’t help in a crisis Only for repetitive tasks

CMM is a goal, not a method : 

CMM is a goal, not a method Organizations often look to CMM as a method or formula for improvement Tempting to want easy answers. CMM is actually a management framework, with many details left out Example: “You must have peer reviews.” But how should the reviews be run? If you say, "we do CMM just like the book", you aren't doing CMM To use CMM, you have to think You must be flexible, be creative, and integrate the goals of CMM with the realities of your business.

CMM is a goal, not a method : 

CMM is a goal, not a method Related to this point, some organizations are rigid about mandating CMM to their employees This has given CMM a bad reputation as an onerous, inflexible method The problem here (usually) is misunderstanding CMM, not its rigidity

Becoming stamp of approval : 

Becoming stamp of approval Some organizations want CMM only as a stamp of approval, without a high-level commitment to process improvement or quality Want to find easiest way to get certified as Level 2 (or 3) without really changing I talked to the first CMM assessor in the world. She was tired and disillusioned. Why? She wanted companies to say, “Let’s work together to improve our software processes.” Instead, they say, “Just tell us what to do to get Level 2, so we can get back to work."

Not about software! : 

Not about software! CMM is, by design, a model for managing software projects They claim most software failures are due to management problems rather than technical barriers (I agree) But CMM goes too far in this direction An organization could write lousy code (consistently) and be rated highly by CMM This is counter-intuitive, since good code is the goal of software development

Does not help in a crisis : 

Does not help in a crisis CMM does not help projects that are in crisis right now Trying to apply it then would make things worse Unfortunately, this is often when companies look for help with their software processes Analogy: For long-term cardiac health… Eat lots of fruits and veggies, quit smoking, get exercise, reduce stress But suppose you are having a heart attack now. Will these actions help? It is too late for preventive measures. You need some other kind of intervention.

Only for repetitive tasks : 

Only for repetitive tasks CMM is based on re-using past results for future software projects In management activities, quality measurements, development processes But, this only makes sense for relatively repetitive projects Example: MS Word team creating V7 after V1-6 To create brand-new software of unknown size, with unknown hurdles, using human creativity, CMM is clearly not the right model.

Questions ? : 

Questions ?

Official CMM information : 

Official CMM information Software CMM home, summary paper, detailed paper Using CMM in small organizations Software Acquisition CMM home, paper Team Software Process Personal Software Process System Engineering & Product Development CMMs CMM Integration Comparison of CMM to ISO 9001

Other authors about CMM : 

Other authors about CMM The Essence of the CMM, Judy Bamberger. Computer, 6/97. Worth reading, by one of the authors of CMM. The Immaturity of CMM, James Bach. American Programmer, 9/94. This article, and the next, articulate common complaints about CMM. Enough About Process: What We Need are Heroes, James Bach. IEEE Software, 2/95. Agile software development (anti-CMM): AgileManifesto.org and AgileAlliance.org. A Critical Look at Software CapabilityEvaluation, Bollinger and McGowan. IEEE Software, 4/91. Process Assessment Considered Wasteful, Fayad and Laitinen. Communication of the ACM, 11/97. Software Quality and the Capability Maturity Model, Herbsleb et. al. Communication of the ACM, 6/97.

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