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  2. Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)


Derived from the now-retired Software Capability Maturity Model (SW-CMM), the CMMI integrates a number of disciplines into a unified model useful for process improvement. Three domain variations (so-called “CMMI constellations”) of the CMMI exist: one for development organizations (CMMI-DEV), one for acquisition organizations (CMMI-ACQ), and one for service-type organizations (CMMI-SVC). All the models share a common set of core processes with additional processes added as appropriate for the domain. While the CMMI models can provide ratings on a numerical scale (5 being the highest), DoD prefers to use them primarily in a process improvement role, de-emphasizing numerical ratings. The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) manages the three CMMI product suites.

General Information

The CMMI combined 3 models into a single framework for collections of best practices in process improvement. Three models of CMMI are for development organizations (CMMI-DEV), acquisition organizations (CMMI-ACQ), and service-type organizations (CMMI-SVC). All the models share a set of 16 core process areas with additional process areas added as appropriate for each model. CMMI has two process improvement paths called specific process areas by level (continuous representation) and summary of levels (staged representation). The continuous representation uses capability levels assessing the CMMI process area(s) chosen by an organization. In the continuous representation, there are 4 categories of process areas are processes for management, project management, engineering and support. The staged representation uses maturity levels assessing a set of related processes across multiple process areas, including the 16 core process areas, as depicted in Figure 1.

Figure 1. CMMI Ultimate Model “Constellation”