SEI CMMI Representations - SEI Capability Maturity Model Implementation (SEI CMMI)

What are SEI CMMI - Representations?

The CMMI is structured is shown as below:

  • Maturity Levels (staged representation) or Capability Levels (continuous representation)
  • Process Areas
  • Goals: Generic and Specific
  • Common Features
  • Practices: Generic and Specific

This chapter will tell about two CMMI representations and remaining subjects will be seen in upcoming chapters.

A representation permits an organization to seek various improvement plans. An organization may go for one of the below two enhancement paths.

Staged Representation

The staged representation is the method employed in the Software CMM. It is a method that employes already defined sets of process areas in order to define an enhancement path for an organization. This enhancement path is defined by a model component known as a Maturity Level. A maturity level is a well-described evolutionary plateau for carrying out enhanced organizational processes.

CMMI Staged Representation:

  • Facilitates a proven sequence of enhancements, each providing as a basis for the next.
  • Allows comparisons over and among organizations with the help of maturity levels.
  • Facilitates an easy transfer from the SW-CMM to CMMI.
  • Facilitates a single rating that encapsulates appraisal results and permits comparisons among organizations.

Thus Staged Representation Facilitates as a pre-defined manual for organizational enhancement depending on proven ordering and grouping of processes and related organizational relationships. You cannot divert from the sequence of steps.

CMMI Staged Structure

Below diagram explains CMMI Staged Model Structure.

 CMMI Staged Model Structure.

Continuous Representation

Continuous representation is the method employed in the SECM and the IPD-CMM. This method permits an organization to choose a particular process area and do enhancements depending on it. The continuous representation employes Capability Levels to characterize enhancement related to a respective process area.

CMMI Continuous Representation:

  • Permits you to choose the order of enhancememnt that best meets your organization's business targets and reduce your organization's risk areas.
  • Ables comparisons over and among organizations on a process-area-by-process-area basis.
  • Facilitates an easy transfer from EIA 731 (and other models with a continuous representation) to CMMI.

Thus Continuous Representation facilitates ease to organizations to select the processes for enhancement, and also the amount of enhancement required.

CMMI Continuous Structure

The Below diagram explains the CMMI Continuous Model Structure.

CMMI Continuous Model Structure.

Continuous vs Staged Representations


Continuous Representation

Staged Representation

Process areas are organized by process area categories.

Process areas are organized by maturity levels.

Improvement is measured using capability levels. Capability levels measure the maturity of a particular process across an organization; it ranges from 0 through 5.

Improvement is measured using maturity levels. Maturity levels measure the maturity of a set of processes across an organization: it ranges from 1 through 5.

There are two types of specific practices: base and advanced. All specific practices appear in the continuous representation.

There is only one type of specific practice. The concepts of base and advanced practices are not used. All specific practices appear in the staged representation except when a related base-advanced pair of practices appears in the continuous representation, in which case only the advanced practice appears in the staged representation.

Capability levels are used to organize the generic practices.

Common features are used to organize generic practices.

All generic practices are included in each process area.

Only the level 2 and level 3 generic practices are included.

Equivalent staging allows determination of a maturity level from an organization's achievement profile.

There is no need for an equivalence mechanism to back the continuous representation because each organization can choose what to improve and how much to improve using the staged representation.

Which Representation is Better?

Every representation has its prons one among the other, some organizations employ both representations to address particular requirements at different times in their enhancement programs.

Organizational maturity is the target of the staged representation, on the other hand process area capability is the target of the continuous representation.

Both Organizational maturity and process area capability are same concepts. The major difference among them is that organizational maturity relates to a set of process areas among an organization, on the other hand process area capability dealts with a set of processes pertaining to a single process area or specific method.

The below diagram describes both the presentations. In this diagram, ML specifies Maturity Level and PA specifies Process Area.

SEI CMMI Representations

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