Software Quality Journal

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 1–23 | Cite as

Frameworks for quality software process: SEI Capability Maturity Model versus ISO 9000

  • Hossein Saiedian
  • Laura M. McClanahan


With the historical characterization of software development as being costly due to massive schedule delays, incorporation of the ever-changing technology, budget reductions, and missing customer requirements, the trend of the 1990s in establishing a quality improvement or a quality assurance programme has been over-whelming. The two popular models or frameworks for assessment of a quality assurance programme are the US government-sponsored Capability Maturity Model (CMM) and the internationally recognized ISO-9000 quality standards. Both of these two frameworks share a common concern regarding software quality and process management. Since it is not clear which of these two frameworks is most effective in achieving their shared objectives, it is valuable and timely to provide an objective overview of both models and to compare and contrast their features for quality software development. Because there are many legitimate areas for comparison, we have selected the two most important as a basis for comparison: (1) the role of management, and (2) the application of measurements. We also provide a summary of the reported impact of these two models on the organizations adhering to their standards, and include our observations and analysis.


SEI Capability Maturity Model ISO 9000 software quality standards management roles application of metrics industrial impact 


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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hossein Saiedian
    • 1
  • Laura M. McClanahan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Nebraska at OmahaOmahaUSA
  2. 2.Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)BellevueUSA

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