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

Agile . since Jun 23 . Index . DOCs TOP TOC

Level 4: Managed

At Level 4, software development is increasingly managed using statistical methods. Both process and product quality measures are collected and monitored to quality controls. At Level 4, software products are not only managed to meet time and cost schedules, they are also managed to meet specific customer satisfaction and defect levels. Level 4 organizations understand and practice statistical quality control.

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Level 5: Optimizing

At Level 5, organizations reach quality nirvana. Software is produced as in Level 4, but the organization is continually working to improve its processes and standards. Level 5 organizations are world-class innovators in software development.

The idea behind CMM is that through a certification process, organizations can be checked out, their current state can be identified, and management can be provided with a roadmap for improving their performance. By committing to the CMM process, organizations can start wherever they happen to be, and through a conscious statistical quality control program can begin to improve, just as the total quality management (TQM) gurus say. All it takes is commitment, training, measurement, and correction.

In a recent conversation with Council Fellow Ed Yourdon, he discussed the experiences of the Indian software company whose board of directors he sits on. This firm had embarked, as had so many Indian firms, on CMM to help in marketing to the US. Over time, however, they had become such experts in its use that they are now using it on smaller and smaller projects. Indeed, it is now part of the organizational culture.8 This organization had pushed even further by putting management practices on the Web for all of their clients to see in real time.

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