William Hackos, Jr., PhD
You are probably familiar with the concept of process majority as promoted by JoAnn Hackos. Some of you may have had process maturity audits done for your information-development department. JoAnn has emphasized that although good writing can come out of any kind of environment, good, repeatable documentation requires a level of management maturity within the department.
JoAnn developed her ideas about the Information Development Process Maturity Model (IPMM) as an analogy to the Software Engineering Institute’s Capability Maturity Model (CMM). A process maturity model for outsourcing, the Outsourcing Management Maturity Model (OMMM), has been defined by Wissam Raggoul and was first published by the Meta Group on February 8, 2002.
What do these process maturity models have in common and what are their differences? Is there some commonality of all process maturity models that we might call the General Process Maturity Model (GPMM)?
The IPMM and the OMMM are based on the methodology first created for the CMM. Each model has five levels of maturity based on some defined attributes. Each model makes the assumption, based on careful observation, that some sort of maturity exists in the discipline and that departments or companies mature through particular phases, just as people mature from infants to children to adults to senior citizens. We can determine the maturity of people by observing their behavior. We know that all people mature through the same stages. Similarly, we can determine the maturity of an organization by observing its behavior.
All of the models have a list of traits that define the maturity level. However, each model has a different approach to defining these traits. The CMM, developed by the Software Engineering Institute, prescribes specific key process areas to define each level. CMM Level 1 (Initial) is defined as chaotic because few if any formal processes exist. At Level 2 (Repeatable), basic management processes are established to track cost, schedule, and functionality. At Level 3 (Defined), the processes for both management and engineering activities are documented and integrated into a standard software-development process. Further process improvements are made for Levels 4 and 5.
For the IPMM, developed by JoAnn Hackos at the Center for Information-Development Management, eight key practices are defined. They are
The maturity levels are defined based on the level of development of each of these eight key practices. Level 1 (Ad Hoc) has little if any development for any of the key practices while higher levels have greater and greater development of these same key practices. By using the eight key practices, Hackos does not need to make the assumption that the CMM makes: all organizations mature at the same pace and in the same way. Instead, Hackos allows for diversity among organizations. For example, a high maturity level in scheduling and estimating might balance an immaturity in the area of quality assurance.
The outsourcing model is organized differently than either the CMM or the IPMM. In the OMMM, each level is defined by the conditions that must be met to reach that level. For Level 2, some of the conditions are to “Establish a relationship management structure to create a winning relationship” and “Establish SLAs