CMMI®: Capability Maturity Model Integration

CMMI® (Capability Maturity Model® Integration).

CMMI is an internationally recognized process improvement approach that helps organizations to identify where to focus their improvement efforts along an evolutionary maturity path from ad hoc and chaotic to mature disciplined processes.


Capability maturity model


CMMI is owned and supported by the  CMMI Institute, which has taken CMMI over from the Software Engineering Institute (SEI).

Brief history and description

Version 1.0 of the CMM for Software (SW-CMM) was published in 1991; it was upgraded to CMM Integration (CMMI) in 2000 and the current version is Version 1.3, released in November 2010. An important change in Version 1.3 is the addition of agile.

CMMI integrates traditionally separate organizational functions, sets process improvement goals and priorities, provides guidance for quality processes, and provides a point of reference for appraising current processes. The CMMI models are collections of best practices that help organizations to improve their processes:

  • The CMMI for Acquisition (CMMI-ACQ) model provides guidance on managing the supply chain to meet the needs of the customer.
  • The CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV) model supports improvements in the effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of product and service development.
  • The CMMI for Services (CMMI-SVC) model provides guidance on establishing, managing, and delivering services that meet the needs of customers and end users.
  • People CMM  provides guidance on managing and developing the workforce.


An organization appraises its processes against the CMMI best practices:

  • To determine how well its processes compare to CMMI best practices, and to identify areas where improvement can be made
  • And/or to inform external customers and suppliers of how well its processes compare to CMMI best practices
  • And/or to meet the contractual requirements of one or more customers

Organizations can use a staged approach to appraisal to identify process maturity levels from 1 to 5 (see Figure). They can also take a more flexible continuous approach to appraisal, measuring capability maturity in individual process areas. The appraisal results can then be used to plan process improvements for the organization.

CMMI maturity levels (Source: SEI)

Target Audience

Managers responsible for process improvement programs; project managers, process improvement specialists, project team members; appraisals teams

User communities and groups

There is an official CMMI Institute Partner Network.

Official publisher

A variety of resources have been developed by the Carnegy Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and are being made available in the CMMI Institute’s online library.

Accreditations and qualifications

The Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) is the official CMMI (and People CMM) appraisal method used to evaluate organizations’ processes and provide ratings.

The CMMI Institute and its partners offer CMMI-related training. Information on the appraisal method SCAMPI and Courses in Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) can be found on the CMMI Institute official site.




Several Tools & Methods have been developed at the SEI. Detailed information can be found on the “Tools & Methods” page of the official CMMI site.

Tools & methods have been developed in the following areas:

  • Acquisition Support
  • Measurement & Analysis
  • Performance & Dependability
  • Process & Performance Improvement
    • CMMI
    • TSP
  • Risk & Opportunity Management
  • Smart Grid
  • Software Architecture
  • Software Product Lines
  • System of Systems


Official Sites CMMI home page
User groups and communities CMMI partners page
Publications CMMI library
Accreditations and Qualifications CMMI courses
Tooling SCMMI (SEI) Tools & Methods
Other useful links n/a
FREE IBPI documents Whitepapers