The Capability Maturity Model is a process aimed to help organizations to improve their software system within. While the model was intended for the improvement of a company’s software technologies, it can also be applied to other general aspects of the organization like project management or even personnel management.
Like any process CMM involves a transformation of an organization’s maturity from the initial level to the optimizing level. This transformation has five levels and it would end with the organization ideally having a continuous measurable process enhancement through development of new processes and technologies.
Before then the organization would have to pass through an initial level wherein the organization has undocumented processes, the people within are doing things their own way, budgets are not followed and due dates are not met. After some time, the organization would mature a bit and processes would start to be documented. Processes would then be replicated and successes too. Budgets would be tracked. And people are somehow conscious of deadlines. Processes are not strictly followed though and they may not be very specific yet so projects can still go over budget. Deadlines may still be unmet at this level.
At CMM Level 3, however, all the processes would have been clearly defined and established already. They would be documented. And so standardization and integration of processes becomes possible too. But in the standardization process, goals are set firsthand then the company would see to it that they are taken into consideration in the setting of the standardized processes. These standard procedures are then applied across projects and they are tailored to suit every project or unit’s need.