The Business Book

(Joyce) #1


Adam Smith observed workers making
pins in a pin factory and realized that
if the process were split into separate,
specialized steps, productivity would
increase by 240 to 4,800 times.

See also: Keep evolving business practice 48–51 ■ Reinventing and adapting 52–57 ■ Simplify processes 296–99 ■
Kaizen 302–09 ■ Critical path analysis 328–29 ■ Benchmarking 330–31


with funding from the US Air
Force, and was used as a model for
the military to evaluate software
subcontractors. The model’s
original goal was to improve
software-development processes,
but it is now applied as a general
model of the maturity of processes.
It is often used in evaluating
IT service management, for
example, or more widely across
organizational systems.

The CMM describes five levels of
increasing maturity through which
an organization or team manages
its processes: in the first level, work
is conducted in a chaotic and ill-
defined way; in the second level,
processes are put in place and
adhered to with some discipline,
and previous successes can be
repeated; in the third level, processes
are defined, standardized, and can
be proactively implemented; in the
fourth level, they are managed and
monitored; and in the fifth level,
they undergo regular improvement
through monitoring and feedback.

Comparing industries
The CMM can be used to compare
different organizations in similar
industries. For example, two
companies could be compared
on the basis of their software-
development processes. Increasingly,
IT projects, which involve complex
software development and new
system implementation, can
impact a company’s operation
and profitability, as they affect
all of the company’s departments.

The strength of CMM is its effective
measurement of the standardization
of an organization’s processes. This
is why the model moved from being
used to assess software development,
to applications in project
management, risk management,
personnel management, and systems
engineering. It provides a starting
point for managers looking to improve
a company’s processes and a
framework for prioritizing actions.
It also offers a way of defining what
“improvement” might really mean. ■

The whole idea was
to motivate people to think
about how they’re working,
and how to improve it.
Watts S. Humphrey

Watts S. Humphrey

Software engineer Watts S.
Humphrey, known as the
“father of software quality,”
was born in 1927 in Michigan,
US. He credited his father with
his approach to problem solving.
After high school, where he
struggled with dyslexia, he
joined the US Navy to serve
during World War II. 
Humphrey then studied
for a BSc and MSc in physics
before completing an MBA in
manufacturing at the University
of Chicago Graduate School of

Business. After graduating,
he joined the Software
Engineering Institute (SEI) at
Carnegie Mellon University,
Pennsylvania, where he founded
the Software Process Program,
which focused on understanding
and managing the software
engineering process. This work
resulted in the development of the
Capability Maturity Model (CMM),
for which he is best known, and
inspired the subsequent
development of the Personal
Software Process (PSP) and the
Team Software Process (TSP),
which was later adopted by IT

companies Adobe, Intuit, and
Oracle. Humphrey was awarded
a National Medal of Technology
in 2003 for his work in software
engineering. With his wife,
Barbara, he had seven children,
and died at his home in Florida
on October 28, 2010, at 83.

Key works

1995 A Discipline for Software
1999 Introduction to the Team
Software Process
2005 PSP, A Self-Improvement
Process for Software Engineers
Free download pdf