Sad News – CMM Misconceptions

The IT industry is so huge and continues to grow as new innovations in technology and other breakthroughs on today’s computer generation is released to the public almost everyday. However, not everyone is in favor of each technological milestone. Supporters will provide inspiration but critics will offer a bit of a challenge. There will always be a lot of misconceptions before everyone will completely understand and grasp the true essence of each new product or service presented to the public. The Capability Maturity Model or CMM was no exception.

Advocates of CMM introduced five maturity levels that aim to result in a disciplined, measured and constantly improving approach in the software development process and these are: Initial, Repeatable, Defined, Managed and Optimized. Here are some misconceptions about the maturity levels:

(a) If an organization is on Level 1 (Initial), this means that it is still immature by definition.

This misconception is a result of some people’s perception of the term “maturity” in context, rather than an objective appraisal for process capability. Not every organization on level 1 is unsuccessful. Most of them are still within commonly accepted measures and this is dependent on the performance of key people within the organization.

(b) The organization has to perform and complete all the activities defined at each maturity level before moving to the next level.

It is not a must to perform every common practice defined at each level in order to complete it. But then again, it is necessary to demonstrate competence in satisfying goals applicable for each level.  

It is but natural to have false impression on such an effective business approach such as CMM. However, it is also important to know the facts first before reaching conclusions.