Capability Maturity Model Integration Definition

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Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Definition

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) refers to a process level improvement training as well as an appraisal program that’s administered by the CMMI Institute, which is an affiliate of ISACA.

The CMMI is a tool to evaluate the maturity of an organization in terms of process development. Generally, it is used to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of how processes are being managed.

The program was developed at Carnegie Mellon University. Usually, it’s a requirement by various United States Department of Defense as well as the U.S. Government contracts, particularly when it comes to software development.

A Little More on What is the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)

In many professional cases, CMU claims can be utilized in guiding process improvement in a project, division, as well as an entire organization. The program defines some maturing levels for processes namely:

  • 0 – Lack of Management: Processes and their management is completely chaotic.
  • 1 – Initial: Processes are implemented ad hoc.
  • 2 – Repeated: Compliance with the discipline necessary to perform basic repetitive processes.
  • 3 – Defined: The processes of the organization are documented.
  • 4 – Managed: The processes are managed and carried out to measure their performance through KPI.
  • 5 – Optimized: Processes are continually improved, there is an innovation cycle for processes and management.

Version 2.0 was written and published in 2018 while Version 1.3 was launched in 2010. The reference model for the remaining data is in this wiki article. It’s important to note that CMMI is registered and patented in the U.S. by the Trademark Office.

CMMI addresses the following three main areas of interest:

  •         Product as well as service development – CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV)
  •         Service establishment and management- CMMI for Services (CMMI-SVC)
  •         Product and service acquisition- CMMI for Acquisition – CMMI for Acquisition (CMMI-ACQ)

In the second version (2.0), the three key areas that initially had a separate model were combined into one model. As such, CMMI was created by a group from the industry, the government, in addition to a prominent Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at CMU. CMMI models offer guidance for emerging or improving processes that have come to meet the objectives of an organization. A model of CMMI can also be utilized as a framework through which an organization appraises its maturity. As of January 2013, the whole of the CMMI product line transferred from the SEI to the CMMI Institution, which is a new organization situated at Carnegie Mellon.

CMMI emerged from software engineering. However, it has been generalized to embrace different critical areas of interest including the development and creation of hardware products, the delivery of different kinds of services, as well as the acquisition of products alongside services. In this case, software doesn’t appear in the definitions of CMMI. Therefore, the generalization of improvement concepts makes the program abstract. It’s also important to note that it’s not as particular to software engineering as CMM Software.

Moreover, users should note that CMMI is a business model and not a standard. As such, for every area of practice, it capitalizes a general intent as well as different levels of maturity in terms of abstract. However, it doesn’t offer a prescription of how to acquire the stated levels. It provides detailed abstract data and various examples that often serve as guidelines for getting to understand and implement various programs.


According to the SEI publication, approximately 60 organizations registered increased performance in the categories of cost, schedule as well as productivity and quality. The median increase in organization performance varied from 14 percent to 62 percent in terms of customer satisfaction and productivity respectively.  But, the CMMI model profoundly deals with the processes that should be implemented and less with how the implementation should be handled. These results don’t guarantee that the application of CMMI will increase the performance of an organization in every case. A small company that has few resources could less likely benefit from CMMI. Various maturity processes across different profiles support this theory. Also, of all small businesses, approximately 25 employees are assessed. This implies that 70 percent go through the level two assessments while 52 percent of a company with about 2,000 employees is rated at the highest level of the evaluation.

In a research proposal to establish the impact of CMMI to a business, Turner and Jain weigh in that even though it’s pretty apparent that there is a vast difference between CMMI and conventional development software, both approaches have a lot in common. Therefore, they believe that neither way seems like the right one when it comes to developing software. Nonetheless, there are certain phases in a project where one element is needed since they are best suited.

Additionally, the duo suggests that organizations should merge these processes of the available methods into a revolutionary hybrid method. Sutherland et al. (2007) reiterate that a combination of Scrum, as well as CMMI, may result in more adaptability as well as predictability that when only one process is implemented. On the other hand, David J. Anderson (2005) provides hints regarding how to interpret the CMMI program responsively.

CMMI Roadmaps are objective oriented roadmaps as they have an approach to selecting as well as deploying relevant process areas from the parent model. This can offer guidance as well as a focus for the effective adoption of CMMI. With that said, CMMI roadmaps come in many forms for the continuous representation of various organizations and their projects. Every program has a set of improvement objectives. As such, CMMI has a continuous pattern of roadmaps for progressive representation. Some of the examples of CMMI roadmaps are such as CMMI Product as well as Product Integration Roadmaps as well as the CMMI Process Alongside Measurement Roadmaps. Such roadmaps merge all the strengths of staged as well as stagnant and continuous representations.

Also, the combination of these project management techniques and systems is earned through value management with CMMI as described by (Solomon 2002). For an organization to conclude with the similar application of the use of CMMI, Extreme Programming, which is a software engineering method, has been monitored with CMM/CMMI (Nawrocki et al., 2002). For instance, the XP requirements management technique relies on oral communication. It was evaluated as not compatible with CMMI.

Other than that, the appraisal of CMMI can occur through different approaches namely staged and continuous. While the staged method can yield the results of the assessment on a scale of one to five, the constant approach seeks to produce the results of one of four levels of capability. The differences in such procedures are often felt in the appraisal. Some of the best practices are equal and the result in equivalent process improvement results.

References for Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)

Academic Research for Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)

  • Capability maturity model® integration (CMMI SM), version 1.1, Team, C. P. (2002). CMMI for Systems Engineering, Software Engineering, Integrated Product and Process Development, and Supplier Sourcing (CMMI-SE/SW/IPPD/SS, V1. 1).  In this paper, researchers focused on primary definitions of a model and its impact on the operations of a company. It was concluded that a model refers to a simplified representation of the mundane existence of the world. Capability Maturity Models, also known as CMMs have the crucial elements of effective processes for one or more bodies of relevant knowledge. As the research progresses, it was discovered that these elements are intensely based on various concepts created by Crosby, Deming, Juran, as well as Humphrey (Crosby 79, Juran 88, Deming 86, Humphrey 89). Like other types of CMMs, Capability Maturity Model Integration models offer guidance to use when in the early stage of developing processes.
  • The process audit., Hammer, M. (2007). Harvard business review, 85(4), 111-9. This paper points out the fact that some executives raise questions regarding the idea of redesigning business processes. As a result, businesses that go on in an organization from one end to the next across an enterprise can be evaluated and the objectives achieved in cost, quality, speed as well as profitability among other vital areas. Regardless of the intentions as well as investments, many executives have floundered and as a result, are unsure of what needs to be changed in their organizations, and by how much. Model Integration (CMMI) applies to all sectors as well as all processes. Therefore, the author reiterates that companies such as Michelin and Tetra Pak have successfully incorporated PEMM in different ways and stages with the aim to monitor progress and impose various policies for improvement.
  • E-government maturity model using the capability maturity model integration, Kim, D. Y., & Grant, G. (2010). Journal of Systems and Information Technology, 12(3), 230-244. This paper intends to come up with a proposed framework for evaluating the maturity level of electronic government, also known as e-government. The researchers used a design method approach to conceptualize the structure based on two main models; the intellectual capital management as well as the capability maturity model integration. The research findings were presented in a composed framework that suggested four key areas such as human capital, relational capital, IT investment, alongside structural capital. It was also discovered that there are five maturity stages namely web presence, interaction, integration, continuous improvement, as well as transaction. The stated stages were assessed through the application of the IC management model as well as the CMMI Model.
  • Developing maturity models for IT management, Becker, J., Knackstedt, R., &Pöppelbuß, J. (2009). Business & Information Systems Engineering, 1(3), 213-222. In this paper, the research focuses on various maturity models that are also valuable elements for information technology managers since they allow for the assessment of the current situation of a company and the identification of reasonable improvement measures. In the last couple of years, more than one hundred maturity models have been created to provide support for IT management. These models address a broad spectrum of different application areas that comprise of holistic assessments of information technology management and appraisals of specific subareas such as business process management and business intelligence. The growing number of maturity models is a clear reflection of a certain degree of arbitrariness regarding their development processes. This is prominent and is highlighted by the incomplete documentation of different methodologies applied for maturity model development.
  • Software Maintenance Maturity Model (SMmm): the software maintenance process model, April, A., Huffman Hayes, J., Abran, A., &Dumke, R. (2005). Journal of Software Maintenance and Evolution: Research and Practice, 17(3), 197-223. This paper addresses the assessment as well as the improvement of the function of software maintenance in an organization. It proposes a viable maturity model for software maintenance activities: The Software Maintenance Maturity Model (SM). The software maintenance function suffers from a scarcity of updated management models to facilitate its evaluation, management, as well as continuous improvement. The SM structure addresses the special activities of software maintenance as it preserves a similar structure to that of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). It’s also designed to be utilized as a complement to the same model.
  • Understanding the main phases of developing a maturity assessment model, De Bruin, T., Freeze, R., Kaulkarni, U., &Rosemann, M. (2005). This paper disintegrates the main phases of creating a viable maturity model. It was established that practitioners, as well as academics, have created numerous maturity models for multiple domains to measure competency. The Capability Maturity Model has influenced such initiatives. But, an accumulative effort hasn’t been made to find a generalization of the phases of developing a maturity model in any domain. This paper also outlines the primary aspects of model development. The methodology proposed in the realms of creating a model is illustrated with the assistance of advanced maturity models.
  • A history of the capability maturity model for software, Paulk, M. C. (2009). ASQ Software Quality Professional, 12(1), 5-19. This research paper offers a general overview of the Capability Maturity Model for Software Concepts and the review of software process maturity. It’s clear that the Capability Maturity Model, as well as CMM, is registered in the U.S. Patent as well as Trademark Office. It has a background development of the CMM, a constructed summary of the model alongside a description of the development of the CMM. The reviews also give an overview of the model including a detailed description of the model and process improvement.
  • Interpreting Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) for Operational Organizations, Gallagher, B. P. (2002). (No. CMU/SEI-2002-TN-006). CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA SOFTWARE ENGINEERING INST. This article interprets Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) by providing a framework for improving the entire processes organizations utilize to develop as well as deliver products for their clients. The process concepts appended to CMMI are hugely based on sound process management principles used in manufacturing communities for decades. Such principles have been applied in software and system engineering process improvement. They are also codified for product development in CMMI. The technical note is, therefore, a detailed process of how operational organizations that can perform a variety of missions can gain from the concepts in CMMI.
  • Measurement and analysis in capability maturity model integration models and software process improvement, Goldenson, D. R., Jarzombek, J., & Rout, T. (2003). OFFICE OF THE UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (ACQUISITION TECHNOLOGY AND LOGISTICS) WASHINGTON DC. In this article, the explicit incorporation of measurement including the analysis of the process of incorporating models is defined as a distinct process area in the Capability Maturity Model Integration since it provides management with the keen eye and visibility that it may need to receive guidance and use measurement in the process of improvement efforts. This was missing in other models. The analysis goes on to review the content inclusive of the rationale behind the new process area. It goes on to describe how the ideas formulated are further elaborated and evolved in the capability maturity model.
  • A maturity model for quality improvement in knowledge management, Paulzen, O., Doumi, M., Perc, P., &Cereijo-Roibas, A. (2002). ACIS 2002 Proceedings, 5. Finally, this paper highlights the fact that because of the increasing importance and knowledge of management for the success of a business, it’s becoming employed to help organizations to acquire their sustainable competitive advantages. But, so far, no approach has been formulated. This allows organizations to determine their current state of knowledge management based on a process level and to derive the important steps for more development. To fill this gap, a new model namely Knowledge Process Quality Model has been proposed. The model is also based on various ideas garnered from quality management and different processes. It enables an organization to gain access to quality models and improve their knowledge management systems in order to control knowledge processes.

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