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Software sustainability maturity model

About this toolkit

Maturity model
Subject areas
Software sustainability, open source
Technology Platform
Conditions of use
Registration required
Application to Open Source Software (OSS) Watch required
Date of original release
September 2010
Date of last known update
March 2011
Current status


Summary of stated purpose


The aim of the Software Sustainability Maturity Model is to evaluate a project in terms of three elements of software sustainability - openness, reusability and capability - in order to highlight opportunities for improvement in open innovation, product design and process maturity. This in turn will allow project managers seeking to reuse or further develop software outputs, to allocate resources in the most appropriate way for their project's needs.


Output types



The model measures Openness, Re-use Readiness Level and Capability Maturity Level. The names of the nine levels in the model have been inspired by the life cycle of a pear tree.


Level 0 Seed (The project is little more than an idea and a blank canvas) = no source code available under Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) licence; no reusability; incomplete; to


Level 8 Dispersal = project is able to maintain  own momentum independently of any one participant in the community; proven reusability; continuous process improvement.


Supporting evidence


Supported by OSS Watch which provides advice and guidance on the use, development, and licensing of free and open source software. OSS Watch is funded by the JISC and its services are available free-of-charge to UK higher and further education.


URL http://www.oss-watch.ac.uk/resources/ssmm.xml