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Part of the Atarim Glossary

Capability Maturity Model (CMM)

TLDR: The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is a process improvement approach that can be used by organizations to improve their software development processes.

The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is a process improvement approach that can be used by organizations to improve their software development processes. It was developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in the early 1990s and has since been adopted by many organizations around the world.

The Capability Maturity Model is a framework that helps organizations assess and improve their software development process. The model describes a five-level evolutionary path of increasingly organized and systematically more mature processes. 

Background of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) 

CMM was developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and now part of Carnegie Mellon University. SEI was founded in 1984 to address software engineering issues and, in a broad sense, to advance software engineering methodologies. 

More specifically, SEI was established to optimize the process of developing, acquiring and maintaining heavily software-reliant systems for the DOD.

Levels and stages of Capability Maturity Model (CMM) 

The model is made up of five levels, each representing a different stage in the development process. It is based on a five-level maturity model, which describes the different stages that an organization can go through as it matures its software development processes. 

To assess an organization’s innovation level, we use a scale of 5 process maturity levels. This allows us to see what processes should be implemented and how they should be improved. Each maturity level comprises a predefined set of process areas called KDA (Key Process Area). These KDA – Goals, Commitment, Ability, measurement, verification.

Organizations can use the CMM to identify areas where they need to make improvements. The CMM provides a framework for assessing an organization’s current capabilities and maturity level. It also outlines a path for improving processes and moving up the maturity scale. By taking stock of their current situation and following the CMM roadmap, organizations can improve their chances of success.

The Capability Maturity Model for software (CMM) is a roadmap for software process improvement that has had a major influence on the world software community. The CMM defines a five-level framework for how an organization matures its software process capability. These levels describe an evolutionary path from ad hoc, chaotic processes to mature, disciplined software processes. The CMM has been shown to be an effective tool for improving software development processes.


The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is a process model that provides a framework for continuous process improvement. The CMM describes an evolutionary path from an ad hoc, immature process to a mature, disciplined process. Atarim’s core features provide the perfect foundation for creating your own CMM.

Beth Livingston

Beth Livingston

After a 25+ year history as an IT business analyst, instructional designer, and project manager, Beth left the corporate world to become a full-time WordPress coach and designer and now enjoys providing real-life project management skills training for WordPress practitioners (designers, developers, consultants, project managers, and agencies). Beth is the creator of The WP Project Manager’s Academy, administers the WordPress Project Management Facebook group and serves as an organizer for the North Carolina Triad WordPress Meetup Group.

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