"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Thursday, June 17, 2004

Misinterpreting the CMM

Andy Hunt misinterprets the intent of CMM. (But then most of us do.)

The CMM, and even better the CMMI Continuous Representation, is an approach toward incremental process improvement and measuring their progress. Most organizations would not benefit from considering more than a level 3 assessment, and even then only in specific process areas.

This approach to process improvement is incremental. The XP/agile approach is radical. They are neither one ideal, and in fact more complementary than proponents of either tend to realize.

I'd recommend "Making Process Improvement Work" by Potter and Sakry to anyone who wants to understand how to use CMMI, or process improvement generally, effectively.


Navneet said...

Yes, I believe Hunt does misinterpret it. In a way, even with making movies all movies do follow a process, in that they have the script written first, followed by review and storyboarding and so on... it's a repeatable and time tested process.

What CMMi and RUP is asking of us, is to have the same with s/w development.

But at times, the template model does help cross the first hurdle of setting thing up easily. After that, as you mentioned, it's an iterative process of honing everything to individual project requirements.

Here's a link that gives a perspective to the template approach:


Anonymous said...

I don't think Andy is really misrepresenting CMM, he is just reacting to a common misperception of CMM. Business people want SW Dev. to be an assembly line, and looking at CMM misleads some into thinking this is possible. People often see what they want to see, after all.


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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.