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CMMI stands for Capability Maturity Model Integration.


History & Origin of CMMI

CMMI was developed at the Software Engineering Institute or SEI of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA. CMMI was originally developed as CMM (Capability Maturity Model) in 1987 at the Research and Development Center at Carnegie Mellon University known as SEI. CMM was the child of a U. S. Air Force financed research for objectively evaluating the work of software subcontractors. Thus, the Department of Defense established SEI to develop CMM and though originally it was meant to evaluate software development, it has since been applied as a model for maturity of processes in both IT and non-IT organizations.11, 12

Over time, with increasing examples of successful implementation of CMM, the model was revised several times and applied to various subjects beyond software. This rapid proliferation of different models of CMM became confusing and thus dawned a new project involving more than 200 industry and academic experts funded by the government with the goal of developing a unique, extensible framework integrating systems engineering, software engineering, and product development.12 Thus was born CMMI. Though it was an improvement over CMM, it had the original five levels of process maturity namely Initial, Managed (previously known as Repeatable), Defined, Quantitatively Managed (previously known as Managed), and Optimizing. The model has 22 process areas categorized into process management, project management, engineering, and support.11 CMMI comprises of three overlapping constellations or disciplines: CMMI-DEV (Product and Service Development), CMMI-SVC (Service Establishment, Management, and Delivery) and CMMI-ACQ (Product and Service Acquisition) focusing on Development, Service Management and Acquisition respectively.13

More on CMMI, CMMI Maturity Levels & Benefits of using CMMI

CMMI is a proven approach, developed with practices and goals seen in thousands of real organizations worldwide, to performance management with decades of successful results indicating its effectiveness. Implementing CMMI helps the organization to have predictable cost, schedule and quality to give it an edge over its competitors.14 In other words, CMMI helps the organization better their processes to control costs while giving better quality results and realistic time estimates for projects.11 CMMI provides the organization with guidelines for processes improvement, an integrated approach to process development, embedding process improvements into a state of business as usual and a phased approach to introducing improvements.13

 Maturity levels are well-defined platforms or foundation layers that evolve over time and undergo continuous improvement process in order to get developed into mature software processes. Each maturity level is similar to a base of a pyramid which has some objectives, which when reached, strengthens it. Once the level of maturity framework is reached, a different component of the software process is established. This results in increased process capacity in the organization.15 Thus, a business can utilize CMMI to decrease costs, improve on-time delivery, improve productivity, improve product quality, improve service quality, improve customer satisfaction, gain impressive returns on investment, and so on.14


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Figure 1: CMMI Maturity Levels







Casual Analysis & Resolution


Configuration Management


Decision Analysis & Resolution


Integrated Project Management


Measurement & Analysis


Organizational Innovation & Deployment


Organizational Process Definition


Organizational Process Focus


Organizational process Performance


Organizational Training


Product Integration


Project Monitoring & Control


Project Planning


Process & Product Quality Assurance


Quantitative Project Management


Requirements Management


Requirements Management


Risk Management


Supplier Agreement Management


Technical Solution






Table 1: Elements of CMMI model


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Comic Strip 1: Dilbert on CMMI

SCAMPI & CMMI Appraisals

Unlike other certifications, CMMI does not have the concept of certification. Instead, the concerned organization is appraised and may receive maturity level rating from 1 to 5 or a capability level achievement profile. The appraisal measures the efficiency of the organization’s processes against CMMI best practices and provides some insight in their improvement. It further helps the organization meet its contractual requirements with clients and customers and inform them how it is doing in comparison to CMMI best practices.13 The CMMI appraisal requirements have been mentioned in Appraisal Requirements for CMMI (ARC) and there are three different types of appraisals – A, B and C.16 SCAMPI stands for Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement. SCAMPI A is the only SCAMPI appraisal method that can result in a Maturity or Capability Level Rating. SCAMPI B is often helpful for User Acceptance or ‘test’ appraisal and SCAMPI C is employed for gap analysis and data collection tool. SCAMPI appraisal can only be carried out by a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser.13, 17 The SCAMPI A Appraisal results are published on the SEI website.16, 17

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Figure 2: CMMI Appraisals



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Figure 3: SCAMPI Appraisals