Do you want your high-performance organization to achieve demonstrable sustainable improvements? Then you have come to the right blog. 

The Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is a model that evaluates the practices of an organisation to see how efficient they are. It provides a clear definition of what an organisation should do to promote behaviors that lead to improved performance, productivity, and decreasing risks in product and service development, management, and acquisition.

In simple words, we could say CMMI evaluates and makes your business processes effective. 

Now, what’s its main goal?

The CMMI’s objectives for businesses include enabling the organization to produce quality services or products; increase customer satisfaction; increase value for stockholders; achieve industry-wide recognition for excellence; build a larger market share.

This short video, made by the CMMI Institute, shows in a simple way how the ship of your business can overcome even the most aggressive waters when applying CMMI.

How can CMMI help companies? (CMMI Institute)

A little bit of history…

Actually, since its formation in 1984, CMMI has gone through adjustments. It has continued to gain popularity in the development industry. Today, it is one of the most famous models.

The CMMI evolution (self-elaboration)

CMMI V2.0 

Over time, CMMI has changed primarily in an effort to make models easier for businesses to understand and implement. CMMI V2.0 Key Improvements are:

  1. Improve Business Performance: Business goals are tied directly to operations in order to drive measurable, improved performance against time, quality, budget, customer satisfaction, and other key drivers.
  2. Leverage Current Best Practices: CMMI V2.0 is a trusted source of proven best practices that will be continuously updated to reflect changing business needs on the new online platform.
  3. Build Agile Resiliency and Scale: Direct guidance on how to strengthen agile with SCRUM project processes with a focus on performance.
  4. Increase Value of Benchmarking: New performance-oriented appraisal method improves reliability and consistency of benchmarks while reducing preparation time and lifecycle costs.
  5. Accelerate Adoption: Online access and adoption guidance make the benefits of CMMI more accessible than ever.

The CMMI helps us understand the answer to the question “how do we know…?”:

  • How do we know what we are good at?
  • How do we know if we’re improving?
  • How do we know if the process we use is working well?
  • How do we know if our requirements change process is useful?
  • How do we know if our products are as good as they can be?

Now that we understand what the CMMI does, let’s discover how it works!

  CMMI starts with an appraisal process that evaluates three specific areas: 

  • Process and service development (CMMI-DEV)
  • Service establishment and management (CMMI-SVC)
  • Product and service acquisition (CMMI-ACQ)

Usually going through a CMMI study is expensive as it is the sum of different factors: it can cost anywhere from $36k to $60k. However, for big enterprises, this price is not such a problem.

Of course, going through the appraisal process can be time-consuming and expensive for organizations, but we must remember that doing so provides several benefits.

How capable is your organization? (CMMI Institute, 2020)

Any appraisals using the CMMI model must comply with the requirements in the Appraisal Requirements for CMMI (ARC) document. The official appraisal method used by the CMMI Institute is known as the Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI). Within this approved method, there are three classes of appraisal methods:

SCAMPI Class A is the most formal and rigorous type of appraisal it provides a benchmark for businesses and is the only level that results in an official rating. Organizations that conduct this type of appraisal usually have already implemented a number of changes and need to benchmark their progress formally.  

SCAMPI Class B appraisals are primarily used by organizations that have implemented some changes and want to measure their progress towards targeted CMMI levels. This appraisal is less formal than SCAMPI A; it helps businesses get a better idea of where they stand in the maturity process without having an official rating. 

SCAMPI Class C appraisals are less expensive, quicker, and more flexible than either Class A or Class B appraisals. The goal of this type of appraisal is to quickly assess a business’s practices and determine how they align with CMMI best practices.

The 3 Appraisals where only the “Class A” results in a “Rating” (Broadsword Solutions Corporation, 2020).

How are organizations rated by the CMMI?

When a Class A appraisal is done, an organization is awarded either a maturity level rating or a capability level rating. Maturity level ratings range from 1 to 5, with level 5 being the highest level and the goal towards which organizations are working.

The five CMMI maturity levels are:

The CMMI V2.0 Maturity Levels (CMMI Institute, 2020)

In order to reach a specific maturity level, organisations must have implemented the corresponding 22 processes to their businesses:

  1. Project Planning (PP): set of practices that are important for any business, project plan preparation, scheduling, risk planning, etc.
  2. Project Monitoring and Control (PMC): Used as guidance it helps monitoring through progress reviews and milestone reviews. 
  3. Configuration Management (CM): provides guidance for identification of configuration items, control of configuration, etc. 
  4. Integrated Project Management (IPM): helps in setting up and managing the project with the involvement of all the stakeholders.
  5. Measurement and Analysis (MA): guidelines for development and sustained measurement which eventually helps the decision making process. 
  6. Process and Product Quality Assurance (PPQA): great way to maintain the quality of relevant processes and other products
  7. Decision Analysis and Resolution (DAR): great way to select one of the best alternative using evaluation techniques. 
  8. Quantitative Project Management (QPM): is used for advanced measurement and assist in quantitative control and overall improvement of objectives
  9. Risk Management (RSKM): assists businesses in identifying potential problems before they occur and plan solutions for them 
  10. Supplier Agreement Management (SAM): assists the management in managing its products and other services that have been acquired from suppliers
  11. Requirements Management (REQM): helps the management of all the user requirements
  12. Requirements Development (RD): process area that helps in collecting requirements, analyzing them
  13. Product Integration (PI): great way when it comes to assembling the product in the final stage 
  14. Technical Solution (TS): assist businesses in selecting, designing, and implementing desired solutions for the different projects 
  15. Validation (VAL): ensures the product work in its environment 
  16. Verification (VER): ensures that the product meets their specific requirement 
  17. Causal Analysis and Resolution (CAR): identifying defects in products, and devising preventive and corrective actions to improve process performance
  18. Organizational Process Definition (OPD): setting up the library of organizational process assets and maintenance of the library.
  19. Organizational Training (OT):  critical development process areas that help develop competencies of the team and deal with human resource management
  20. Organizational Performance Management (OPM): used for proactive management of the performance of an organization to meet business objectives
  21. Organizational Process Focus (OPF): planning, implementing and deploying organizational process improvements which are based on current strengths and weaknesses
  22. Organizational Process Performance (OPP): helps in CMMI Process Areas and general process improvement by setting up a quantitative performance

In the following table, we can see the corresponding processes that each business shall acquire to reach a certain level of CMMI.

Maturity Levels and their Process Areas within CMMI-DEV (John Maher, 2018)

Joining the trend, we made a TikTok so that you can see some examples of companies that are at each maturity level.

Even though the goal of organizations is to reach level 5, the model is still applicable and beneficial for organizations that have achieved this maturity level. Organizations at this level are primarily focused on maintenance and improvements, and they also have the flexibility to focus on innovation and to respond to industry changes.

But the question now is: how can an organization escalate levels?

Let’s watch this video to know it!

Maturing the organisation (John Maher, 2018)

A real example to illustrate what we are talking about…

Accenture’s U.S. Government Group, is one of the many prestigious companies that was rated by CMMI. This enterprise got a level 4, which is a considerable high level on this rating.

The Level 4 CMMI designation signifies that Accenture’s U.S. Government practice and National Security Services group consistently deliver high-quality solutions with repeatable processes, including:

  • A formal, structured decision-making process, identifying the pros and cons to different approaches that provide a basis for client recommendations.
  • Developing fully integrated teams that understand and work toward the client’s common goal.
  • Quality-assurance reviews that contribute to the delivery of a system that meets client requirements.
  • Testing and conference room pilots to validate that the new systems perform as intended.

Stanley Gutkowski, the managing partner of Accenture’s U.S. Government practice, explained one of the reasons why the CMMI impacted the enterprise´s prestige saying “This distinction demonstrates to our public-sector clients that they will receive proven commercial practices and business processes delivered by people with a depth and breadth of industry skills and experience.”

Proven results of CMMI

Apart from rating a company’s maturity process, CMMI assures the following:

Proven benefits of using CMMI (self-elaboration)
Proven results of CMMI (John Maher, 2016)

To sum up…

CMMI Summary Infographic (self-elaboration)

Any doubts? If you have any comments or suggestions, write it down! We are eager to hear from you.

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Keep yourself always updated!

Here you’ll find the all the posts and latest news published by the CMMI Institute. And if you’d also like to know even more about #DigitalBusiness, #SoftwareArchitecture and related topics, you can always follow @DBA_FUNSOFT, @carmenpelayofdz, @MolinaRuizAlmu, @Monica_Navas_, @AmaralBarrera and @blancaromeroho1 on Twitter!


Acuna Juan, (2018). ¿CMMI 5 qué es y quienes cuentan con este modelo? Retrieved from:

Accenture, (2004). Accenture’s U.S. Government Group Achieves Level 4 CMMI Rating From Software Engineering Institute. Retrieved from:

Broadsword, (2020). What is CMMI? Retrieved from:

CMMI Institute, (2020). BUILD CAPABILITY, DRIVE PERFORMANCE. Retrieved from:

CMMI Institute, (2015). CMMI Institute Capabilities. Retrieved from:

CMMI Institute, (2015). Complete list of V2.0 Appraisal Results. Retrieved from:

CMMI Institute, (2018). Introducing CMMI V2.0. Retrieved from:

John Maher, (2020). CMMI-DEV: Model Views and Levels. Retrieved from:

John Maher, (2015). CMMI: Maturing the Organization. Retrieved from:

Nayely Yaline León Padilla, (2013). Ranking mundial en certificaciones CMMI-DEV ver 1.3. Retrieved from:

Software Engineering Institute, (2011). Appraisal Requirements for CMMI® Version 1.3 (ARC, V1.3). Retrieved from:

Steven Nova, (2019). What is CMMI, and Why Does It Matter?. Retrieved from:

SYNC resource. CMMI Process Areas and Maturity Levels. Retrieved from:

VideotecaQG, (2019). ¿CMMI 1.3 o 2.0?) Todo lo que necesitas considerar para tomar la decisión. Retrieved from:

Watts Stephen, (2020). CMMI: An Introduction to Capability Maturity Model Integration. Retrieved from:

White Sarah, (2018). What is CMMI? A model for optimizing development processes. Retrieved from:

BusinessMaturity, CMMI, Innovation, ProductandServiceDevelopment, Productivity, Sustainability


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