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Using the Software CMM with Good Judgment

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.1999, 00:00 by Mark Paulk
The Software Engineering Institute’s Capability Maturity Model for software (CMM) has had a major influence on software process and quality improvement. Although the CMM has been widely adopted, there remain many misunderstandings about how to use it effectively for business-driven software process improvement, particularly for small organizations and small projects. This article discusses how to use the CMM correctly and effectively in any business environment, with examples for small organizations, rapid prototyping projects, maintenance shops, R&D outfits, and others. The conclusion is that the issues associated with interpreting the software CMM are essentially the same for any organization interested in improving its software processes—the differences are of degree rather than kind. Using the software CMM effectively and correctly requires professional judgment and an understanding of how the CMM is structured to be used for different purposes.