Visure Solutions


Support
Register
Login
Start Free Trial

Capability Maturity Model Integration Explained

Capability Maturity Model Integration Explained

Table of Contents

Introduction

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is a framework that helps organizations improve their processes and enhance their overall performance. It provides a set of best practices and guidelines that enable organizations to assess and optimize their capabilities in various areas, such as software development, project management, and system engineering. This article aims to provide a comprehensive explanation of CMMI, its origins, history, and key components.

Origins and History

CMMI was initially developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University in the late 1980s. The SEI recognized the need for a standardized model to assess and improve the software development processes of organizations. The initial version, known as the Capability Maturity Model (CMM), was focused on software development and released in 1991.

Over time, the scope of the model expanded beyond software development to include other areas such as systems engineering, project management, and acquisition. This expansion led to the development of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) framework, which incorporated best practices from various disciplines into a unified model. The first version of CMMI, known as CMMI-SE/SW (Systems Engineering/Software Engineering), was released in 2002.

Since its initial release, CMMI has gone through several iterations and updates to refine and improve the model based on industry feedback and evolving best practices. The latest version, CMMI v2.0, was introduced in 2018, focusing on simplicity, scalability, and performance improvement.

What is CMM?

CMM, which stands for Capability Maturity Model, is a framework that was initially developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University in the late 1980s. The purpose of CMM is to assess and improve the software development processes of organizations. It provides a set of best practices and guidelines that help organizations enhance their capabilities and achieve higher levels of maturity in software development.

The CMM framework is based on the idea that there are predictable stages of process improvement that organizations go through as they mature. These stages, known as maturity levels, provide a roadmap for organizations to evaluate their current processes and determine the desired level of improvement.

The original CMM focused solely on software development processes. It defined five maturity levels that represented different stages of process improvement:

  • Initial: Processes are unpredictable, and success depends on individual effort.
  • Repeatable: Basic processes are established and documented to repeat successful practices.
  • Defined: Processes are well characterized and understood throughout the organization.
  • Managed: Processes are measured and controlled to ensure predictable outcomes.
  • Optimizing: Continuous process improvement is the focus, with a focus on innovation and learning.

Each maturity level is associated with a set of process areas that organizations should address to achieve that level. The CMM provided a structured approach for organizations to assess their current maturity level and take steps to improve and advance to higher levels.

The CMM framework served as a foundation for the development of the more comprehensive Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) framework. CMMI expanded beyond software development to include other areas such as systems engineering, project management, and acquisition. CMMI integrated best practices from various disciplines into a unified model, allowing organizations to improve their capabilities across multiple domains.

What is CMMI? How is CMMI different from CMM?

CMMI, which stands for Capability Maturity Model Integration, is an enhanced and more comprehensive framework that builds upon the foundation of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM). CMMI was developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University to address the limitations of the original CMM and to provide a unified model that incorporates best practices from various disciplines.

While CMM focused primarily on software development processes, CMMI extends its scope to include other areas such as systems engineering, project management, acquisition, and services. It enables organizations to assess and improve their capabilities across multiple domains, allowing for a more holistic approach to process improvement.

Here are some key differences between CMM and CMMI:

  • Scope: CMM focuses solely on software development processes, while CMMI encompasses a broader range of disciplines, including software engineering, systems engineering, project management, acquisition, and services. CMMI provides a more comprehensive framework that integrates best practices from multiple domains.
  • Integration: CMMI emphasizes the integration of different process areas and disciplines within an organization. It provides a unified model that promotes collaboration and consistency across various functions. In contrast, CMM primarily focuses on the maturity of individual processes within the software development domain.
  • Maturity and Capability Levels: Both CMM and CMMI define maturity levels, but CMMI introduces the concept of capability levels. Maturity levels in CMM represent different stages of process improvement, while capability levels in CMMI provide a more granular assessment of an organization’s ability to perform specific process areas. Capability levels allow organizations to evaluate their capabilities within each discipline independently.
  • Appraisal Methods: CMMI introduces updated appraisal methods compared to CMM. These methods provide more flexibility and options for organizations to assess their processes and determine their maturity and capability levels. CMMI appraisal methods accommodate different organizational contexts and allow for tailored assessments.
  • Updates and Evolution: CMMI has undergone several iterations and updates since its initial release to incorporate industry feedback and evolving best practices. The latest version, CMMI v2.0, released in 2018, focuses on simplicity, scalability, and performance improvement. On the other hand, CMM has not seen significant updates since the development of CMMI.

Key Components of CMMI

CMMI consists of several key components that organizations can use to assess and improve their capabilities. These components include:

Process Areas

Process areas are the building blocks of CMMI. They represent a specific area of focus, such as project planning, requirements management, or risk management. Each process area consists of specific goals and practices that organizations should strive to achieve to improve their maturity level.

Maturity Levels

CMMI defines five maturity levels that represent different stages of process improvement. These levels provide a roadmap for organizations to assess their current state and determine the desired level of maturity. The maturity levels, in ascending order, are:

  • Level 1: Initial – Processes are unpredictable, and success depends on individual effort.
  • Level 2: Managed – Basic processes are established and documented.
  • Level 3: Defined – Processes are well characterized and understood.
  • Level 4: Quantitatively Managed – Processes are measured and controlled.
  • Level 5: Optimizing – The focus is on continuous improvement and innovation.

Capability Levels

In addition to maturity levels, CMMI also defines capability levels that represent the ability of an organization to perform specific process areas. Capability levels provide a more granular assessment of an organization’s capabilities within each process area. The capability levels, in ascending order, are:

  • Level 0: Incomplete – The process area is not performed or does not achieve its objectives.
  • Level 1: Performed – The process area is performed but often ad hoc and inconsistent.
  • Level 2: Managed – The process area is performed in a managed and planned manner.
  • Level 3: Defined – The process area is performed according to documented standards and procedures.
  • Level 4: Quantitatively Managed – The process area is measured and controlled using statistical and quantitative techniques.
  • Level 5: Optimizing – The process area is continuously improved and adapted based on feedback and innovation.

Appraisal Methods

CMMI provides appraisal methods that organizations can use to assess their current capabilities and determine their maturity and capability levels. These methods involve evaluating the organization’s processes, practices, and artifacts to determine compliance with CMMI’s requirements.

Training and Certification

To effectively implement CMMI, organizations can take advantage of training programs and certifications offered by authorized CMMI training providers. These programs help individuals and organizations develop a deeper understanding of CMMI and acquire the necessary skills to successfully apply its principles.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is an enhanced and comprehensive framework developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University. Building upon the foundation of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM), CMMI expands the scope beyond software development to include other disciplines such as systems engineering, project management, acquisition, and services. It provides a unified model that integrates best practices from multiple domains, promotes collaboration and consistency, and enables organizations to assess and improve their capabilities holistically. Unlike CMM, CMMI introduces capability levels, updated appraisal methods, and has evolved over time to meet industry needs. CMMI empowers organizations to enhance their processes, achieve higher levels of maturity and capability, and deliver high-quality products and services consistently.

Don’t forget to share this post!

Top

The High Cost of Poor Requirements Management

June 06th, 2024

11 am EST | 5 pm CET | 8 am PST

Louis Arduin

Louis Arduin

Main Speaker

Impact & Solutions for Inefficient Requirements Management

Explore the significant impact that inefficient requirements management practices can have on project costs and timelines.