What is the Capability Maturity Model?
A Capability Maturity Model (CMM) measures the existing capabilities of a company to streamline process improvement, foster productivity, and decrease software risks. Once a business understands the guidelines to improve these processes, they can create an integrated approach to solve those issues, long-term. The idea is that, by optimizing the relationship to software, businesses can improve customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and overall company performance.
The Capability Maturity Model refines the processes that are working and streamlines them to encourage efficient behaviors and decrease software risk — just like integrating systems does. The combination of these two concepts helps businesses develop, acquire, and maintain software-reliant systems. CMM measures software processes based on five levels of maturity:
- Initial: At this level, processes exist in chaos. Nothing is repeatable because nothing is sufficiently defined and documented. Processes are unpredictable, reactive, and inefficient. Regarding software, no maintenance policy exists. If anything out of the ordinary happens, teams find themselves scrambling for resolutions. At this stage, the company’s software systems exist as standalone entities.
- Managed: This level of the Maturity Model is sometimes called the “Repeatable Level”. At this level, a business achieves at least some of the necessary planning for managing a software project and its policies. Projects are thought-out, controlled, and measured; but, not all the kinks are worked out.
- Defined: With a greater emphasis on standardization, documentation, and integration, this level of the Capability Maturity Model is much more proactive. Organization-wide standards exist, and the company is actively trying to fix any shortcomings. Software engineering and management processes are documented and integrated throughout the organization to give management better insight on project status and software quality. User roles are defined, and teams are trained to learn the standards expected of them. At the Defined level, most businesses have at least one system integrated and are starting to get a feel for how roles and relationships to data are altered by the new connection.
- Qualitatively Managed: This level of the CMM is different from Defined because it delivers documentation and empirical evidence to the software management process. At the Managed level, data and analytics power the proactive standards. That’s where that “quantitative” concept comes in, because the results are measurable and comparable, which makes it easier to identify if the existing processes are serving the needs of the users and the company. At this stage, businesses with integrated systems are extracting the data to inform budgets, marketing tactics, sales strategies, and more.
- Optimizing: This level of the CMM is stable and flexible. An organization at this level has established repeatable processes and is constantly improving those processes to respond to new challenges. The empirical evidence informs potential changes to the software process and practices. There’s more agility, and simultaneously more predictability. User feedback and shared knowledge help this process work at its highest level to find new avenues for innovation and software changes. This stage represents the ultimate level of data integration. An optimized company has all their major systems integrated together (ERP and CRM for financial insight, Marketing Automation and CRM for segmenting and lead scoring, CRM and Email for faster sales processes, etc.) and are effectively utilizing their capabilities and data for more informed business decisions.
How Does Integration Accelerate Capability Maturity?
Integrated software systems do a few things for the Capability Maturity Model:
- Provide more qualitative analysis and monitoring by broadening the view of the data
- Work to streamline software usability by making interaction with the systems more predictable
- Fill in functionality gaps for an improved software experience
- Reduce data entry errors for more accurate data analysis
- Be more cost-effective than purchasing new systems and training teams on them
- Create new capabilities for increased productivity, improved quality, and minimized rework
Why is the Combination of a CMM and Integration Important?
The more knowledge an organization has on their software, the better prepared they are to maximize the uses of that software. A Capability Maturity Model provides the framework for understanding and proactively adjusting the software for the users. A major component of that proactive adjustment is integration.
For example, a business may come to realize it is missing a crucial feature that would save time and benefit the teams. Qualitative analysis backs up the argument for augmenting the software, purchasing a replacement, or integrating the software to expand the capabilities. These conclusions are difficult to gather without some empirical, standardized evidence from the CMM. With the right evidence in hand, management can set objectives for how to improve processes and add new functionality to the software. Integration and the Capability Maturity Model combine to:
- Streamline process improvement
- Increase productivity
- Decrease software risk
How Can You Start Accelerating Your Capability Maturity Model Growth?
Assess at which level of the Capability Maturity Model your company is functioning. Where are you today and where do you want to be? What is missing from your software capabilities that is preventing you from getting there?
The expert staff at StarfishETL will listen to your concerns and advise you on how to get to the next level in the most efficient, cost-effective way. The StarfishETL platform has the flexibility to integrate all your systems, and even your custom fields and functions, to create the software experience you need for better project management, operations, customer service, and sales. Contact a representative today to help you get started with an integration strategy.