CSC sector achieves Level 4

Responding to customers' desire for better software engineering processes, Computer Sciences Corp. announced Monday that its Federal Sector Civil Group has obtained one of the highest ratings from Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute.

CSC's Federal Sector Civil Group, one of the top federal information technology contractors, achieved the Software Capability Maturity Model Level 4 rating in one of the largest organization evaluations ever conducted, the company said.

The rating makes its software a lower-risk option for federal agencies trying to choose among providers, said Stephen Kalish, president of the Civil Group.

An independent team evaluated eight major projects that represent a cross-section of the civil group's business areas. More than 500 documents were reviewed, and more than 100 personnel were interviewed.

"We are one of four companies this size at CMM Level 4," Kalish said. "The customers are beginning to raise the bar. If the customers want to raise the bar, CSC wants to be able to deliver."

The CMM, developed by the federally funded Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, has become a staple at many agencies as a way to assess an organization's overall software engineering practices, with a focus on establishing documented, repeatable processes that carry over from program to program.

Following the failure of two NASA Mars exploration missions, NASA's chief information officer created a strategy that put emphasis on mature software development and on its contractors' need to reach high levels of the CMM methodology. The Defense Department also has high standards for its software developers.

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