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3.2 CMMI Objectives

While CMMI has many business-related benefits, the project as defined by its sponsors was directed toward the development of more efficient and effective process-improvement models. The CMMI project had both initial and longer-term objectives. The initial objective (represented in version 1.1 of the CMMI Product Suite) was to integrate three specific process-improvement models: software, systems engineering, and integrated product development.2

This integration was intended to reduce the cost of implementing multidiscipline model-based process improvement by:

  • Eliminating inconsistencies.

  • Reducing duplication.

  • Increasing clarity and understanding.

  • Providing common terminology.

  • Providing consistent style.

  • Establishing uniform construction rules.

  • Maintaining common components.

  • Assuring consistency with ISO/IEC 15504.

  • Being sensitive to the implications for legacy efforts.

The longer-term objective was to lay a foundation for the later addition of other disciplines (such as supplier sourcing, manufacturing, acquisition, or safety and security) to CMMI. Figure 3-1 illustrates these objectives and the product line approach developed by the CMMI Team.3

03fig01.gifFigure 3-1. The CMMI product line approach

To facilitate both current and future model integration, the CMMI Team created an automated, extensible framework that can house model components, training material components, and appraisal materials. Defined rules govern the potential addition of more disciplines into this framework.

From the start, the CMMI Team had to find an acceptable balance between competing requirements relating to change. The task of integration, which by its very nature requires change from each of the original single-discipline models, meant that all model users could expect new ways of thinking about process improvement to be needed in a CMMI environment. At the same time, an equally strong requirement called for protecting the investments in process improvement made by former users of those models, which meant controlling the introduction of new materials for each discipline. Judging from the significant rate of adoption throughout the world, we believe the CMMI Team has achieved an appropriate balance between old and new.

CMMI Milestones


CMMI initiated by U.S. Department of Defense and NDIA


First team meeting held


Concept of operations released

First pilot completed



Additional pilots completed

CMMI-SE/SW version 1.0 released for initial use


CMMI-SE/SW/IPPD version 1.0 released for initial use


CMMI-SE/SW/IPPD/SS version 1.0 released for piloting



CMMI-SE/SW version 1.1 released

CMMI-SE/SW/IPPD version 1.1 released


CMMI-SE/SW/IPPD/SS version 1.1 released


CMMI-SW version 1.1 released

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