REVIEW - Implementing the Capability Maturity Model


Implementing the Capability Maturity Model


James R. Persse


Wiley (2001)




Roger N Lever


June 2002



The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is well established and has been used by software companies to implement continuous improvement. The CMM is designed specifically for the software engineering process. For those familiar with the model they will know that it is has five levels and this book is a step by step guide to implementing level 2 and 3. The other levels (1, 4 and 5) are covered by an overview section in the first chapter but are otherwise ignored.

The author takes the approach of describing the implementation of level 2 and 3 using the same format; overview, structures, processes, training program and policies. For the repeatable level (2) this includes the following subjects; requirements management, software project planning, tracking and oversight, configuration management, software quality assurance and software subcontract management. Level three includes: organisational process improvement, organisation process definition, integrated software management, product engineering, inter-group co-ordination and peer review.

The book is a useful introduction to CMM and will certainly provide the reader with the answers to what is needed when implementing level 2 and 3. These what-sections are combined with an implementation and assessment section, providing the how and some key success factors and basic steps to achieve a successful implementation. With all of this help available in the book the only criticism regarding this approach is that the author has not included any anecdotal information or war stories of how an implementation proceeded and with what trials and tribulations. For those wishing to understand the CMM and key software processes or to improve the software development process this is a good starting point.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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