The Capability Maturity Model of
Software or the (CMM), established in part by the Software Engineering
Institute, the ISO 9000 series and standards, which was established by the
International Standards Organization. Both groups share one if not many
concerns with quality and process management. They are motivated by similar
concerns and plausibly interact. The function of this paper is to compare and
to also contrast the CMM and ISO 9001.
to, Philip A. Laplante in What Every Engineer Should Know about
Software Engineering, The Capability Maturity Model for
Software describes the principles and practices as:
software process maturity and is intended to help software organizations
improve the maturity of their software processes in terms of an evolutionary
path from ad hoc, chaotic processes to mature, disciplined software processes
The CMM is organized into five
maturity levels. Laplante defines the maturity level as, “A level in which a well-defined evolutionary
plateau toward achieving a mature software process”. In this article, each
maturity level provides a level in the foundation footing for
continuous growth. Below are the 5 levels of maturity from the CMM Institute:
Initial: Unpredictable and reactive.
Work gets completed but is often delayed and over budget.
Managed: Managed on the project level.
Projects are planned, performed, measured, and controlled.
Defined: Proactive, rather than
reactive. Organization-wide standards provide guidance across projects,
programs and portfolios.
Quantitatively Managed: Measured and
controlled. Organization is data-driven with quantitative performance
improvement objectives that are predictable and align to meet the needs of
internal and external stakeholders.
Optimizing: Stable and flexible.
Organization is focused on continuous improvement and is built to pivot and
respond to opportunity and change. The organization’s stability provides a
platform for agility and innovation (CMMI®
These levels set goals or benchmarks
for the company to look forward to and to be able to make sure that the company
is staying competitive within the market. Not just currently but as time
progresses and the company progresses over time. From these five steps or well
in this case the path, it can show the company the path they need to take a
where they currently stand. As it grows the higher maturity levels it can reach.
CMM and ISO 9000
are not so different in terms of they are both providing instruction and guides
on how to make sure the business is functioning to it’s highest potential.
According it the international
Organization for Standardization, “the ISO 9000 – Quality management addresses
various aspects of quality management and contains some of ISO’s best known
standards. The standards provide guidance and tools for companies and
organizations who want to ensure that their products and services consistently
meet customer’s requirements, and that quality is consistently improved.”
Some of the main
points that were outlined in Quality
Management Principles were the following:
An organization should achieve and sustain the
quality of the product or service produced so as to meet continually the
purchaser’s stated or implied needs.
An organization should provide confidence to its
own management that the intended quality is being achieved and sustained.
An organization should provide confidence to the
purchaser that the intended quality is being, or will be, achieved in the
delivered product or service provided. When contractually required, this
provision of confidence may involve agreed demonstration requirements.
One of the difference
between CMM and ISO 9000 series is the breakdown of the management responsibility.
For example, in the 9000 series it is required that quality assurance is
documented and is well defined for everyone to understand and also that it is
maintained in some sort of fashion in house and there is a designated manager
to inforce said policy.
While in CMM you
still have the management of responsibility but it is all done through software
through some quality assurance program along with the project planning that
goes along with tracking all the activities and functions that may occur. CMM
uses software product engineering that directly corresponds to ISO 9000-3 for
quality system. From one can see that CMM still use some of the guidelines that
ISO 9000 have set in place for quality of project planning.
One of the
biggest differences, between these two is the emphasis of the CMM is in my
opinion an ongoing process which is constantly showing improvement within the
company. ISO 9001 on the other hand all it does is set a baseline minimum
criteria for what is to be an acceptable quality system. On the other hand it
is to be mentioned that all CMM mainly focuses on is strictly on software,
while ISO 9000 series has a much expansive outlook such as, hardware, software,
processed materials, and services (Marquardt 91).