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CMMI quick self-assessment

The aim of this self-test is to get a quick assessment of the capability maturity of your project team / organisation (whichever you are answering for).


Capability maturity is a measure for your (or your vendor’s!) likelihood / ability to deliver as promised, on-time, to cost. Increased maturity means significantly reduced risks, time and cost of software development (see CMMI explained)


This is not an official CMMI appraisal in anyway, and by using this page you acknowledge that. A proper CMMI appraisal involves checking the compliance of the development process and application thereof (by staff) versus the CMMI key process areas, goals, and practices defined for each level. The full (up-to level 5) CMMI practices list is roughly 500 entries long, and needs to be checked for a number of projects and with a range of staff. Hence it takes considerable effort to do a formal appraisal.


However, you can get a reasonably accurate idea of your project’s / organization’s capability maturity by answering a few “simple” questions below (which have far reaching underlying implications). All you need to do is honestly and quickly answer these questions. If you don’t know 100% for sure what is meant, just click “unsure”. If you don’t have sub-contractors or vendors working with / for you, click on “N/A” (not applicable) to exclude this from the scoring. In brackets you’ll find the CMMI process area tested.


If you are already at level 3, see if you are truly at that level or whether someone was clever at passing the auditors (is the goal certification or time/cost benefit?!). The questions for level 4 and 5 are there for a faint sense of completeness but should realy be ignored.


(30 seconds gone, now get going )

Software Process KPI's

CMMI Level 2 Yes Unsure No Na
Do you have a complete list of uniquely numbered, prioritized and base-lined requirements? [RQM]  
Do you have bi-directional traceability between work products, i.e. can you trace business requirements to software requirements, to test cases, scripts, code components, designs and visa versa? [RQM]  
Are all documentation, test and code artifacts are under version management, and carry a unique version number, save date (not print date), and revision history statement? [CM]  
Time, cost, scope, quality, and present process maturity is periodically reported? [MA]  
Project Planning & Monitoring: estimates & scheduling are “deliverable” and "effort" based? [PP & PMC]  
In case of sub-contractors, are agreements monitored and adhered to [SAM]
Non-compliance issues are recorded, communicated, and reviewed till closure? [PPQA]  
If an audit was held, would the finding be that all CMMI level 2 practices, are adhered to?  
CMMI Level 3 Yes Unsure No Na
Requirements are translated into design, and product/component solutions and alternatives are considered? [TS] [RD]  
Internal and external Interfaces are managed, incl. definitions, designs, and changes [PI] [RD]  
Is peer-review work planned, actioned, and metrics reported on [VER]  
Do work products meet / implement the specified requirements [VER]  
Is validation (different from verification) planned with the appropriate stakeholders? [VAL] [RD]  
Have risk mitigation plans been developed? [RSKM]  
For all significant decisions, is your Decision Analysis Resolution process applied and records kept? [DAR]  
You apply your organisations' CMMI level 3 compliant & fully described process? [OPF] [OPD]  
All staff new to the organization automatically receive an induction training in the organization's processes and tools, immediately or shortly after arrival? [OT]  
If an audit was held, would the finding be that all CMMI level 3 practices are adhered to?  
CMMI Level 4 Yes Unsure No Na
Your work contributes to the organization's process and quality performance data, baselines, and models to quantitatively manage the organization's projects? [OPP]  
We quantitatively maintain and act on the variations of our project's selected processes versus company baselines, to achieve the project's established quality and process-performance objectives. [QPM]  
CMMI Level 5 Yes Unsure No Na
Your organisation collects and analyzes improvement proposals to measurably improve the organization's processes and technologies? [OID]  
Your organization performs root cause analysis of selected defects and other problems, to prevent them from occurring in the future, and evaluate the effect of changes on process performance [CAR]  

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Project (office) managers: consider adding this metrics test to each monthly report so that you can measure and show performance in view of capability maturity (e.g. do level 2 projects perform better than level 1’s?!). This metrics test is available in MS Excel format for all projects in your organisation if you have the SmartMethod.


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