CMM and Repeatable Process

—Andy Hunt

Published in Andy's Blog

One of the goals of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is to achieve a defined, repeatable process to design and produce software. Software processes such as RUP implicitly promise that the Process will fix any problems introduced by us unruly people.

Now I’m not going to say whether the CMM and RUP are good approaches or not, but I would like to pose a challenge for you.

I want a defined, repeatable, process for making a hit movie. It should be well documented, and perfectly repeatable, with no consideration of the talent involved. Just turn the crank, and rely on the process to work.

That’s what everyone seems to want for software development. Creating movies is very similar to developing software: you need a potentially large team, with many specialties, a lot of disparate (and occasionally unruly) technology, a lot of creativity, a good overall architecture/design, and lots of attention to details. Oh, and it has to satisfy the sponsor and end-users as well, even if you’re not completely sure what it will take to do that.

So given that they’re very similar activities, I challenge advocates of repeatable software process to show me a process that will work for hit movies as well.

And when they can’t, take a good look at why not.

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