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What is the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) [ For Freshers and Experience ]

Last updated on 03rd Nov 2022, Artciles, Blog

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Pavni Krish (Senior QA Engineer )

Pavni Krish is an Senior QA Engineer manual testing with 8+ years of experience and she has skills in TestLodge, Zephyr, TestLink, Trello, Jira, Basecamp, Sauce Labs, Browser Shots.

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    • In this article you will get
    • 1.What is a Capability Maturity Model?
    • 2.Levels of CMM
    • 3.Why Capability Maturity Model?
    • 4.Features of 5 level
    • 5.Benefits of CMM
    • 6.Why use a Model?
    • 7.Internal structure of CMM
    • 8.Conclusion

What is a Capability Maturity Model?

The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Capability Maturity Model (CMM) specifies the increasing range of levels of software development organisation. The higher a level, the better the software development process, so reaching every level is an expensive and time-consuming process.

Capability Maturity Model

Levels of CMM

Level One:

Initial : The software process is said to be an inconsistent, and sometimes chaotic. Explained procedures and standard practises that exist are abandoned during the crisis. The success of an organisation majorly depends on a individual effort, talent and valour. Heroes eventually move on to the other organisations, taking their wealth of knowledge or lessons learned with them.

Level Two:

Repeatable : This level of a software development organisation has basic and consistent project management processes to track cost, schedule and functionality. The process is be underway to replicate an earlier successes on projects with the similar applications. Program management is the key feature of level two organisation.

Level Three:

Defined : The software process for the both management and engineering activities is documented, standardised and integrated into a standard software process for an entire organisation and all the projects in organisation are approved, conforming to the organisation’s standard software process for the development. Application testing and maintenance.

Level Four:

Managed : Management can effectively control a software development effort using a precise measurements. At this stage, the organisation sets can quantitative quality targets for the both software process and software maintenance. At this maturity level, the performance of processes is controlled using a statistical and other quantitative techniques, and is be quantitatively estimated.

Level Five:

Optimization : The key feature of this level is a focus on continual improvement in process performance through a both incremental and innovative technological improvements. At this stage, process changes aim to improved a process performance as well as maintain statistical probability to achieve an established quantitative process-improvement objectives.

Why Capability Maturity Model?

The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is the methodology used to develop and refine organisation’s software development process. The model explains a five-stage evolutionary path of increasingly organised and systematically more mature processes. CMM was developed and promoted by a Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a research and development centre sponsored by an US Department of Defence (DoD). SEI was established in a 1984 to address software engineering problems and advance software engineering practises in a broadest sense. More specifically, SEI was established to optimise a process of development, acquisition and maintenance of a heavily software-dependent systems for DoD. Because processes involved are an equally applicable to a software industry as a whole, SEI advocates adoption of an industry-wide CMM.

Features of 5 level


Preliminary :No kpa is explained The procedures to be followed are ad hoc and immature and not well be defined.Unstable environment for a software development.There is no basis for the predicting product quality, completion time, etc.


Repeatable : Focuses on a establishing basic project management policies.The experience of an earlier projects is used for managing a new similar nature Projects.

Project planning: It involves explaining a resources, goals, constraints etc. required for a project. It presents a detailed plan to be followed systematically to successfully complete a good quality software.

Configuration Management : The focus is maintaining a performance of the software product, including all of its components, for the entire lifecycle.

Requirement Management: It involvedthe management of a customer reviews and feedback resulting in certain changes in requirement set. This also includes a fulfilment of those revised requirements.

Subcontract Management: It focuses on an effective management of a qualified software contractors i.e. it manages those parts of a software which are developed by a third parties.

Software Quality Assurance: It guarantees good quality software product by a following certain rules and quality standard guidelines while developing.


Defined : At this stage, documentation of a standard guidelines and procedures takes place.It is a well- explained integrated set of a project-specific software engineering and management processes.

Peer Review: In this method, defects are removed using a several review methods like walkthrough, inspection, friend check etc.

Intergroup Coordination: This involves a planned interaction between various development teams to ensure efficient and appropriate fulfilment of customer needs.

Organisation Process Definition: Its main focus is on a development and maintenance of a standard development processes.

Organisation Process Focus: It includes an activities and practises that should be followed to improve process capabilities of an organisation.

Training Program: It focuses on an enhancing a knowledge and skills of team members including developers and an ensuring a increased work efficiency.


Managed : At this stage, quantitative quality goals are set for an organisation for software products as well as a software processes. The measurements made help to organisation to predict the quality of a product and process within certain limits quantitatively.

Software Quality Management: This includes a quantitative analysis and an establishment of plans and strategies to develop understanding of a product quality.

Quantitative Management: It focuses on a controlling performance of a project in a quantitative manner.


Customization : It is highest level of a process maturity in CMM and focuses on a continuous process improvement in an organisation using quantitative feedback.New tools, techniques are used and software processes are be evaluated to a prevent recurrence of known defects.

Process Change Management: Its focus is continuous improvement of an organisation’s software processes to improve productivity, quality and cycle time for a software product.

Technology Change Management: It involves an identification and use of new technologies to improved the product quality and reduce product development time.

Defect Prevention: It focuses on identifying causes of defects and preventing them from a recurring in future projects by an improving project-defined processes.

Benefits of CMM

CMMI not only rates of maturity of the company’s process, it gives a level of the assurance that a company being awarded the work will be able to complete a work in time and price quoted for a project.


CMMI offers a proven approach that has enabled a diverse organisations to reap real benefits in terms of a dramatically improved project predictability and sustainability. While any or all of above factors can increase the organisation’s initial interest in a CMMI, the major benefit from an implementing that model that executives focus on is consistency in a delivery.

2.Cost savings:

CMMI driven process improvement also offers a real cost savings such as earlier and much effective error detection, and therefore lower cost of treatment, more effective management of change so can spend less on a rework, reduction in schedule variability and increase a cost estimation.

3.Self improvement:

There is also a aspect of self-improvement. Companies will be able to use a CMMI as a way to differentiate themselves locally and achieving CMMI levels will be naturally improve their processes which will make them a more competitive. The heat of competition is now generating significant interest in a CMMI. Development, service providers and acquisition/outsourcing organisations are all adopting CMMI as differentiator and as an enabler for a better performance.

4.Market demand:

Competing companies are using a CMMI and taking advantage of an industry best practises. Companies have adopted this approach to best meet demands and competition of customers. The increasing popularity of a CMMI in the market is also a major reason for the companies adopting this practice.

5.Demand for performance:

The objective of a CMMI is to improve the performance of an existing organisational standards, processes and procedures and not to redefine them. CMMI aims to help an organisations improve their “capacity” to consistently and predictably deliver desired products, services and sourced goods to their customers when they need them and at the price they are ready to pay.

6.Process Improvement:

A CMMI-driven improvement project will offers a framework to standardise a processes, ensure that are business best practises are captured, shared and adopted so that can can move employees around an organisation and Levers will not carry business are critical information with them.

Benefits of CMM

Why use Model?

Without a model of how organisation operates, what functions it undertakes, and how they function, it is complex to lead improvement efforts. A model gives us understanding of a discrete elements in an organisation and helps to formulate language and discussion as to what wants to be improved and how such improvement can be achieved. A model provide the following benefits:

Offers a common framework and language to help communicate.

  • Leverages years of an experience.
  • Helps to users keep a big picture in mind while focusing exclusively on improvement.
  • Often supported by a trainers and mentors.
  • Can offers a standard to help resolve disagreements.

Internal Structure of CMM

  • REQM–A Requirements Management.
  • PP-Project Plan.
  • PMC-Project Monitoring and Control.
  • SAM–Supplier Agreement Management.
  • PPQA–Process and Quality Assurance.
  • CM-Configuration management.


An organisation with the high maturity where all individuals recognize a role and responsibility for the business success is an organisation that is more likely to be achieve success.What an organisation gains from a process deployment and CMMI evaluation is reflection of what are organisation puts into it. Organisations focused on a achieving CMMI certification rarely reap a real benefits of adopting a quality framework.High maturity, with the focus on quality and process performance objectives, positions organisations and also projects to succeed.

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