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Evolution of CMMI

Since 1991, CMMs have been developed for a myriad of disciplines. Some of the most notable include models for systems engineering, software engineering, software acquisition, workforce management and development, and integrated product and process development.

Although these models have proved useful to many organizations, the use of multiple models has been problematic. Many organizations would like to focus their improvement efforts across the disciplines in their organizations. However, the differences among these discipline-specific models, including their architecture, content, and approach, have limited these organizations' ability to focus their improvements successfully. Further, applying multiple models that are not integrated within and across an organization is costly in terms of training, appraisals, and improvement activities.

The CMM IntegrationSM project was formed to sort out the problem of using multiple CMMs. The CMMI Product Team's mission was to combine three source models:1. The Systems Engineering Capability Model is also known as Electronic Industries Alliance 731 (EIA 731) [EIA 98].

  1. The Capability Maturity Model for Software (SW-CMM) v2.0 draft C

  2. The Systems Engineering Capability Model1 (SECM)

  3. The Integrated Product Development Capability Maturity Model (IPD-CMM) v 0.98

The combination of these models into a single improvement framework was intended for use by organizations in their pursuit of enterprise-wide process improvement.

These three source models were selected because of their widespread adoption in the software and systems engineering communities and because of their different approaches to improving processes in an organization.

Using information from these popular and well-regarded models as source material, the CMMI Product Team created a cohesive set of integrated models that can be adopted by those currently using the source models, as well as by those new to the CMM concept. Hence, CMMI is a result of the evolution of the SW-CMM, the SECM, and the IPD-CMM.

Developing a set of integrated models involved more than simply adding existing model materials together. Using processes that promote consensus, the CMMI Product Team built a framework that accommodates multiple disciplines and is flexible enough to support the different approaches of the source models.

CMMI is the designated successor of the three source models. The SEI has released a policy to sunset the Software CMM; the revisions and improvements made during development of the Software CMM version 2.0 draft C are captured in CMMI with further improvements incorporated that were discovered since 1997. The same can be said for the SECM and the IPD-CMM. These models are expected to be succeeded by CMMI.

The CMMI Framework was also designed to support the future integration of other disciplines. Furthermore, CMMI was developed to be consistent and compatible with the ISO/IEC 15504 Technical Report for Software Process Assessment [ISO 98].

CMMI has gone through an extensive review process. CMMI version 0.2 was publicly reviewed and used in pilot activities. Following release of that version, improvement was guided by change requests from public reviewers, piloting organizations, and focus groups.

The CMMI Product Team evaluated more than 3,000 change requests to create CMMI version 1.0. Shortly thereafter, version 1.02 was released, which incorporated several minor improvements. As with any release, opportunities for improvement remained.

Version 1.1 incorporated improvements guided by feedback from early use, more than 1,500 change requests submitted as part of the public review, and hundreds of comments as part of the change control process. No major changes to CMMI version 1.1 are expected before 2004.

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