25 October, 2006

IT Service Capability Maturity Model

CMMI has been developed by the Carnegie Mellon University – Software Engineering Institute. It consists of best practices that address the development and maintenance of products and services covering the product life cycle from conception through delivery and maintenance.

CMMi provides a robust discipline to help developers achieve maturity in their software development processes. There are a number of factors that influence the maturity of the software development processes within an enterprise. These include the strategic plans of the enterprise, the enterprise’s own organization and culture, as well as the technologies that are adopted within the enterprise IT architecture.

A product can be an airplane, a digital camera, a drug or a software package available from a commercial retailer. It can also be a Service such as those defined into IT Service Management. CMMi integrates bodies of knowledge that are essential when developing products, but that have been addressed separately in the past, such as software engineering, systems engineering, and acquisition.

- Emphasizes the development of processes to improve product development and customer services in organizations.
- Provides a framework from which to organize and prioritize process improvement activities (product, business, people, technology)
- Supports the coordination of multi-disciplined activities that may be required to successfully build a product
- Emphasizes the alignment of process improvement efforts objectives with organizational business objectives

A CCMi model is not a process but describes the characteristics of effective processes. CCMI models could be used in conjunction with all IT processes found in Service Management (ITIL), COBIT, Project Management (SDLC/Prince 2), Enterprise Architecture (TOGAF), Quality (ISO 9000), Security Management (ISO 17799). CMMi allows companies to assess their practices and compare them to those of other companies. The CMMi measures process maturity, progresses through five levels: Level 1 (initial), 2 (managed), 3 (defined), 4 (predictable) and 5 (optimizing).

The CMM has been applied to several disciplines within different industries. It is not surprising that maturity models have also been applied to IT Service Management (ITSM).

Recently, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and CIBIT, published a very interesting document “The IT Service CMM” which is free to download and use. This should help companies to evaluate their level of maturity for their ITIL processes, using the CMMi framework.

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