What's the role in CMM Level in Testing? What's the diff b/w 5 levels? which level most commonly used in testing?
Software QA/Testing Technical FAQs
(Continued from previous question...)
What's the role in CMM Level in Testing?
What's the diff b/w 5 levels?
which level most commonly used in testing?
SEI = 'Software Engineering Institute' at Carnegie-Mellon University;
initiated by the U.S. Defense Department to help improve software
CMM = 'Capability Maturity Model', now called the CMMI ('Capability Maturity
Model Integration'), developed by the SEI. It's a model of 5 levels of
process 'maturity' that determine effectiveness in delivering quality
software. It is geared to large organizations such as large U.S. Defense
Department contractors. However, many of the QA processes involved are
appropriate to any organization, and if reasonably applied can be helpful.
Organizations can receive CMMI ratings by undergoing assessments by
Level 1 - characterized by chaos, periodic panics, and heroic efforts
required by individuals to successfully complete projects. Few if any
processes in place; successes may not be repeatable.
Level 2 - software
project tracking, requirements management, realistic planning, and
configuration management processes are in place; successful practices can be
Level 3 - standard software development and maintenance processes
are integrated throughout an organization; a Software Engineering Process
Group is is in place to oversee software processes, and training programs
are used to ensure understanding and compliance.
Level 4 - metrics are used
to track productivity, processes, and products. Project performance is
predictable, and quality is consistently high.
Level 5 - the focus is on
continouous process improvement. The impact of new processes and
technologies can be predicted and effectively implemented when required.
Perspective on CMM ratings: During 1997-2001, 1018 organizations were
assessed. Of those, 27% were rated at Level 1, 39% at 2,23% at 3, 6% at 4,
and 5% at 5. (For ratings during the period 1992-96, 62% were at Level 1,
23% at 2, 13% at 3, 2% at 4, and 0.4% at 5.) The median size of
organizations was 100 software engineering/maintenance personnel; 32% of
organizations were U.S. federal contractors or agencies. For those rated at
Level 1, the most problematical key process area was in Software Quality
The whole essence of CMM or CMMI is to produce quality software. It
targets the whole organizational practices (or processes), which are
believed to be the best across industries. For further understanding
of SEI CMMI visit http://www.sei.cmu.edu/cmmi.
What is the role of CMMI Level in Testing?
Please understand that Testing is just part or subset of CMMI. Testing
is addressed on a particular Process Area. If my memory serves me
correct, it is the VER or Verification process area and sometimes
addressed also in VAL or the Validation process area. It could also be
the other way around.
Each Process Area has its own level to be driven to the level 5. This
is true for the Continuous Representation of CMMI version 1.1. I am
not sure about the Staged Representaiton of the same version. Please
refer to the website above for more details.
What is the difference between the levels of CMMI?
This was already answered in the same thread by Priya. I would like to
add that there is an additional level for the Continuous
Representation which is called Level 0 (zero) --> Incomplete.
Which level is most commonly used in Testing?
I would say all levels would deal with testing. But again this is true
for VAL and VER Process Areas.
For further readings, try searching google using CMMI+tutorials or
Testing+CMMI. Most of the documents about CMMI are free and available
on the Web.
Level 1. Initial The organization is characterized by an ad hoc set of
activities. The processes aren't defined and success depends on
individual effort and heroics.
Level 2. Repeatable At this level, basic project management processes
are established to track costs, to schedule, and to define
functionality. The discipline is available to repeat earlier successes
on similar projects.
Level 3. Defined All processes are documented for both management and
engineering activities, and standards are defined.
Level 4. Managed Detailed measures of each process are defined and
product quality data is routinely collected. Both process and products
are quantitatively understood and controlled.
Level 5. Optimizing Continuous process improvement is enabled by
quantitative feedback from the process and from piloting innovative
ideas and technologies.
There are 3 popular ISO standards that are commonly used for SW
projects. They are 12270, 15540, and 9001 (subset or 9000). I hope I
got the numbers correct. For CMM, the latest version is 1.1, however,
it is already considered a legacy standard which is to be replaced by
CMMI, the latest version is 1.1. For further information re CMM/I,
(Continued on next question...)
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