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A systematic survey of CMM experience and results

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2 Author(s)
Herbsleb, J.D. ; Software Eng. Inst., Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; Goldenson, D.R.

The capability maturity model (CMM) for software has become very influential as a basis for software process improvement (SPI). Most of the evidence to date showing the results of these efforts has consisted of case studies. We present a systematic survey of organizations that have undertaken CMM-based SPI to get more representative results. We found evidence that process maturity is in fact associated with better organizational performance, and that software process appraisals are viewed, in retrospect, as extremely valuable and accurate guides for the improvement effort. The path was not always smooth, however, and efforts generally took longer and cost more than expected. A number of factors that distinguished highly successful from unsuccessful efforts are identified. Most of these factors are under management control, suggesting that a number of specific management decisions are likely to have a major impact on the success of the effort

Published in:

Software Engineering, 1996., Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

25-29 Mar 1996