The Maturity Maturity Model (M3)

[article]
Guidelines for Improving the Maturity Process
Summary:

Over the years our industry has witnessed an explosion of maturity models. You can see a list of thirty-four of them at the end of this column. Unfortunately, until now, we have been lacking a maturity model to evaluate our own maturity-thus the need for the development of the "Maturity Maturity Model (M3)."

Based on the seminal works of Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Ph.D., as elucidated in his best-selling books Did Too-Did Not and You're Not the Boss Boss of Me , the Maturity Maturity Model guides us in understanding the maturity of our own maturity. To clarify, the dictionary defines maturity as "the state or quality of being mature." As with all other maturity models, the Maturity Maturity Model has five levels. They are designated:

Oblivious
At this maturity level, people are oblivious to even the idea of maturity. They say and do as they feel. Ideas of duty, responsibility, peer approval, societal norms, benefits, or ethics do not influence their behaviors. (Dang, that sounds like fun.)

Peter Pan
At this maturity level, people acknowledge the existence of "maturity" but want nothing to do with it. They simply refuse to grow up. Father William J. O'Malley describes this level as "the commitment to non-commitment." The business mogul, Buffett (that is, Jimmy Buffett), calls it the "growing older but not up" level. (Dang, that sounds like fun too.)

Anal
At this maturity level, people seem to have their heads stuck somewhere. At this level people are sticklers, but no one knows what for. This level is better discussed in private.

Management by Objective
At this maturity level, people are fighting for their survival-clawing up the corporate mountain/molehill toward ever-retreating material success. They yearn for, clutch at, and then cling to arbitrary rules of behavior as a coping mechanism against the post-neo-ex-modern angst that envelops them. Rewards and punishments guide their every action. Anxiety (both stranger and separation) rule their mid-brains (in the seventh house). They are hypersensitive to hypocrisy and often cranky (see dilbert.com).

Five
At this final maturity level, people become reflective about the ethical, moral, and religious values they attach to their behaviors. They easily conform their behaviors to those values. Note that no one actually achieves this level unless they reside in a monastic cave carved into the east side of a mountain in southeast Mars.

Thus, the Maturity Maturity Model holds the key to understanding all other maturity models, and to increasing our own maturity through its clearly defined maturation-saturation process.

Here's a list of a few of the more prominent maturity models:

1. Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)
2. Capability Maturity Model for Software (SW-CMM)
3. People Capability Maturity Model (P-CMM)
4. Software Acquisition Capability Maturity Model (SA-CMM)
5. Software Engineering Capability Maturity Model (SE-CMM)
6. Integrated Product Development Capability Maturity Model (IPD-CMM)
7. IT Service Capability Maturity Model (IT Service CMM)
8. Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3)
9. Services Maturity Model
10. Self-Assessment Maturity Model (SAMM)
11. Testing Maturity Model (TMM)
12. Web Services Maturity Model
13. Security Maturity Model (SMM)
14. Operations Maturity Model
15. e-Learning Maturity Model
16. eGovernment Maturity Model
17. Earned Value Management Maturity Model (EVM3)
18. Outsourcing Management Maturity Model
19. Change Proficiency Maturity Model
20. Performance Engineering Maturity Model
21. IT Architecture Maturity Model
22. Information Process Maturity Model
23. Project Management Maturity Model (PMMM)
24. Programme Management Maturity Model
25. Learning Management Maturity Model (LM3)
26. Automated Software Testing Maturity Model
27. Website Maturity Model
28. PM2 Maturity Model
29. Internet Maturity Model
30. Usability Maturity Model
31. Software Reliability Engineering Maturity Model
32. System Security Engineering Capability Maturity Model
33. Configuration Management Maturity Model
34. Broccoli Maturity Model

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About the author

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland

Lee Copeland has more than thirty years of experience in the field of software development and testing. He has worked as a programmer, development director, process improvement leader, and consultant. Based on his experience, Lee has developed and taught a number of training courses focusing on software testing and development issues. Lee is the managing technical editor for Better Software magazine, a regular columnist for StickyMinds.com, and the author of A Practitioner's Guide to Software Test Design. Contact Lee at lcopeland@sqe.com.

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