Capability Maturity Model (CMM) – What does it mean?

A word “model” could be identified in a lot of ways. It could mean a “representation”, a “replica”, or a “structure”. It is even more popularly associated with “runway” or commercial”. As for the term “maturity model”, this could connote a collection of elements that illustrates certain aspects of maturity in any organization. It may provide a common language, a shared vision, a place to jumpstart, or a benchmark for comparison. Still, the word “illustrate” is there as the term model is used often for this purpose. 

On the other hand, for CMM or Capability Maturity Model, the word “model” in this term may be perceived as a “methodology”. As the term itself implies, it is a methodology that is used to develop and improve an organization’s software development process. It is applied as an applicable model used in understanding better the processes involved in capability maturity of organizations in different areas such as software engineering, project management, risk management, system engineering, and even information technology (IT). It was founded and developed by the Software Engineering Institute or SEI, a research facility funded by the US DoD or Department of Defense.

CMM is often compared with ISO 9001 a serried of standards specified by the International Organization for Standardization or ISO. If ISO 9001 specifies a quality system for software development and maintenance, CMM is more into establishing a framework for continuous process improvement in as far as software engineering in concerned. This means that it is more explicit than ISO standards in terms of defining the means to be employed in certain organizational processes.