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Capability Maturity Model Integration


Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is a process improvement approach, provided by Carnegie Mellon University, United States, whose goal is to help organizations improve their performance. CMMI can be used to guide process improvement across a project, a division, or an entire organization. Currently supported is CMMI Version 1.3.


In CMMI models with a staged representation, there are five maturity levels designated by the numbers 1 through 5

Initial Process unpredictable, poorly controlled and reactive approach.
Managed                             Process characterized for projects and adopts reactive approach.
Defined                                Process characterized for the Organization and adopts proactive approach
Quantitatively Managed Process measured and controlled.
Plan Focusing on Continual process improvement.



CMMI currently addresses the following three areas

Product and service development CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV),
Service establishment, management CMMI for Services (CMMI-SVC), and
Product and service acquisition CMMI for Acquisition (CMMI-ACQ).





  • An organization cannot be certified in CMMI; instead, an organization is appraised. Depending on the type of appraisal, the organization can be awarded a maturity level rating (1-5) or a capability level achievement profile.
  •  Many organizations find value in measuring their progress by conducting an appraisal. Appraisals are typically conducted for one or more of the following reasons:
  •  To determine how well the organization’s processes compare to CMMI best practices, and to identify areas where improvement can be made
  •  To inform external customers and suppliers of how well the organization’s processes compare to CMMI best practices
  •  To meet the contractual requirements of one or more customers


Appraisals of organizations using a CMMI model must conform to the requirements defined in the Appraisal Requirements for CMMI (ARC) document. There are three classes of appraisals, A, B and C, which focus on identifying improvement opportunities and comparing the organization’s processes to CMMI best practices. Of these, class A appraisal is the most formal and is the only one that can result in a level rating. Appraisal teams use a CMMI model and ARC-conformant appraisal method to guide their evaluation of the organization and their reporting of conclusions. The appraisal results can then be used (e.g., by a process group) to plan improvements for the organization.


The Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) is an appraisal method that meets all of the ARC requirements. Results of an SCAMPI appraisal may be published (if the appraised organization approves) on the CMMI Web site of the SEI. SCAMPI also supports the conduct of ISO/IEC 15504, also known as SPICE(Software Process Improvement and Capability Determination), assessments etc.

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