Ken Orr wrote ( in Cutter IT Journal Vol.3, No. 7 ):

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The Status of CMM in the World of Software Development

In the complex world of software development outsourcing, CMM has become a kind of high-level certification. In the same way that becoming a certified Oracle database administrator or certified Microsoft software engineer have become valuable on a résumé, becoming a CMM Level 3 organization has become a widely accepted certification in software marketing. Becoming a Level 4 or 5 organization is supposed to make you a top software engineering firm.

An interesting note is that in talking to some of my CIO friends, they are somewhat bemused by the emphasis on becoming a CMM Level 3 organization, but they are more than ready to use it as a selling point with management on outsourcing large tasks. On the other hand, many of these same managers are somewhat leery of organizations that represent themselves as Level 4 or 5. Most of these CIOs are afraid, I assume, that Level 4 or 5 will be too costly to do business with because they are too formal and too controlled.

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The CMM Levels

CMM has five levels (see Figure 1):

Figure 1

Figure 1 -- The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) ladder.


Level 1: Initial

Level 2: Repeatable

Level 3: Defined

Level 4: Managed

Level 5: Optimizing

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