Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)

The Capability Maturity Model Integration, or CMMI, is a process model that provides a clear definition of what an organization should do to promote behaviors that lead to improved performance. With five “Maturity Levels” or three “Capability Levels,” the CMMI defines the most important elements that are required to build great products, or deliver great services, and wraps them all up in a comprehensive model. The CMMI was developed at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University with representation from defense, industry, government, and academia, and is now operated and maintained by the CMMI Institute, an operating unit of CMU. It is the successor of the popular Software CMM, or SW-CMM. The are multiple “flavors” of the CMMI, called “Constellations,” that include CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV), CMMI for Services (CMMI-SVC), and CMMI for Acquisition (CMMI-ACQ). The three Constellations share a core set of sixteen Process Areas. There is also a “People CMM,” or P-CMM, that exists outside of the three CMMI Constellations.[1]

An accepted, global best practice for the management and delivery of quality software services. CMMI® is a process improvement approach that provides organizations with the essential elements of effective processes. It can be used to guide process improvement across a project, a division, or an entire organization. CMMI® helps integrate traditionally separate organizational functions, set process improvement goals and priorities, provide guidance for quality processes, and provide a point of reference for appraising current processes.[2]

The CMMI comes with two different representations - staged and continuous. The staged model, which groups process areas into 5 maturity levels, was also used in the ancestor software development CMM, and is the representation used to achieve a "CMMI Level Rating" from a SCAMPI appraisal. The continuous representation, which was used in the ancestor systems engineering CMM, defines capability levels within each profile. The differences in the representations are solely organizational; the content is equivalent. The CMMI uses a common structure to describe each of the 25 process areas (PAs). A process area has 1 to 4 goals, and each goal is comprised of practices. Within the 22 PAs these are called specific goals and practices, as they describe activities that are specific to a single PA. There is one additional set of goals and practices that apply in common across all of the PAs; these are called generic goals and practices.

See Also

Information Technology Capability Business Capability
Business Architecture
Business Model
Business Process
Business Analysis
Balanced Scorecard
Business Process Management
IT Strategy
Business IT Alignment
IT Capability Maturity Framework (IT-CMF)
Capability Maturity Model(CMM)


  1. Definition of Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)® Broadswords Solutions
  2. What is Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)®?
  3. Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI®) Structure Selectbs

Further Reading

  • Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Definition and Solutions
  • Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI®) Overview UCCS