Capability maturity modelling and xRM

January 27, 2015

In future of posts I will run through a couple of methods I have found that can greatly assist in providing some context and definition to xRM practices (both new and existing) within an organisation. The first of which is the concept of a capability maturity model.


Note: The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh initially developed the Capability Maturity Model which I have modified and simplified here. It has been applied extensively for avionics software and for government projects since it was created in the mid-1980s and in my opinion is one of the few frameworks that has become even more relevant in the post internet age!


The xRM Capability Maturity Model (xRM-CMM) is a good way to develop and refine an organisation’s xRM implementation process. A maturity model is a structured collection of elements that describe characteristics of effective processes for utilising and managing the business’s xRM capability.


The xRM maturity model has the benefit of providing organisations with:

  • A place to start and organise xRM activities (ingredients)

  • The benefit of using their own and the community’s prior experiences (pallete type and known allergies)

  • A common language and a shared vision of the required ‘trajectory’ (wording the menu and time between courses)

  • A framework for prioritising actions (picking items from the menu)

  • A way to define what improvement means (next time you cook the dish)

  • A method for benchmarking and performing equivalent comparisons (was this dinner party better than the last one?)


The xRM-CMM I prefer uses a ranking system of five levels, each with a progressively greater capability of producing quality xRM processes. The purpose of the xRM-CMM is to provide guidance for improving an organisation’s processes and it’s ability to manage the development and maintenance of xRM. The xRM-CMM provides a structure that I have found can greatly assist organisations to appraise its maturity with respect to its xRM capability, establish priorities for improvement, and implement these improvements.


The concept of an organisations ‘trajectory’ within the xRM-CMM is of fundamental importance as this recognises the implications from a funding and resourcing perspective as the organisation moves through the various levels.




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