e-Talk Radio: Paulk, Mark, 28 November 2000

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Carol: Right. And I've heard that an excuse for poor management is not measuring, that if you can avoid measurement, then you can hide behind poor management practices.

Mark: There probably is some truth to that, yes.

Carol: Now one of the things that we had talked about is the fact that there are some things that the Software Engineering Institute has learned or that you've learned about high maturity organizations that aren't really captured in the current version of software capability maturity model. Would you just expand on that a little bit?

Mark: Well there certainly are, in particular at the higher levels. When we published Version 1.1 in 1993, there were a number of things about Levels 4 and 5 that we had more of a theoretical understanding of than a practical understanding of. We had a very limited set of organizations that we were using as our models in terms of the best practices, if you will, for Levels 4 and 5. And in the years since then, we've seen a growing number of organizations. There are about 85 Levels 4 and 5 organizations that we know about now. And we found out things that work. And one of the things that we see at Level 4, which is not captured in Version 1.1, is that it's not just process knowledge that you want to capture in a systematic way, it's also product knowledge. And so we see the Level 4 organizations doing systematic reviews. We see them doing domain specific software architectures. We see them establishing product lines and product families. We see them putting mechanisms in place that help them to capture product knowledge just like process knowledge. And that gives them a distinct competitive advantage in terms of understanding the work they're doing and in terms of understanding how to analyze and control their processes more effectively.

About the author

Carol Dekkers's picture Carol Dekkers

Carol A. Dekkers is President of Quality Plus Technologies, Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in creating peace of mind for companies who want to improve their software processes. Software measurement, software quality, process improvement, requirements, and software sizing (using function point analysis, as an example) are a few of the Quality Plus areas of specialization.

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