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Thursday, July 12, 2012

What are CMM and CMMI? What is the difference between the two?

In this article we take up two very important topics CMM and CMMI! Though these two concepts sound too much similar with only a difference of “I” there is a whole lot of difference between the two. 

The CMM stands for “capability maturity model whereas the CMMI stands for capability maturity model integration. 

What is CMM?

- CMM was born as a registered service mark of the CMU (Carnegie Mellon University). 
- CMM is quite a popular model these days that was created post the study of some data that was collected from many different organizations which had made a contract with the USDD (U.S. department of defense), the organization that had funded the whole research. 
- This model is regarded as the birth point for the engineering giant SEI or software engineering institute.
- An effective approach for improving the quality of the software system or application that is under development can be planned by applying this model to that concerned software system or application. 
- Previously, it was thought that the CMM model can only be applied to the software systems and applications.
- But eventually it was proved it cane be very effectively applied to the other processes as well. Gradually a concept of this model was developed which could also be applied to the business.

What is CMMi?

- CMMI is the abbreviation for capability maturity model integration.
- It is rather like a simple approach for improving the processes whose basic aim lies in helping the organizations in improving their overall performance.
- Unlike CMM, CMMI can effectively drive the improvement process across a whole organization, project or even across a division of the organization. 
- Current version 1.3 of CMMI is supportable by most of the organizations. 
- With the aid of CMMI, following things can be done:
  1. Traditionally separate organizational functions can be properly integrated.
  2. Process improvement priorities as well as goals can be set.
  3. Guidance for quality processes can be provide and
  4. A point of reference for the appraisal of the current processes can be provided etc.
To say three major aspects are addressed in CMMI as mentioned below:
  1. Product and service development
  2. Service establishment, management and delivery and
  3. Product and service acquisition.

Differences between CMM and CMMi

Now let us clearly state what all the differences among these two! 

- Firstly the CMM was developed for software systems and applications whereas the CMMI was developed as a means for the integration of the past and future models and build some initially integrated models. 
- Gradually, CMM models gained success and found their use in the following concepts also:
  1. Systems engineering
  2. Software acquisition
  3. Integrated public development
  4. Software quality assurance and so on.
- Though all the above mentioned CMMs proved to be quite useful they presented some of the drawbacks also as mentioned below:
  1. They were overlapping.
  2. They were contradicting
  3. They lack an understandable interface
  4. They lack standardization and
  5. They all displayed different levels of detail etc.
All these drawbacks led to a quite expensive and utter confusing improvement programs that conflicted with one another. 
- CMMI is nothing but an upgraded version of the CMM which has got much wider applications than CMM. 
- CMM model can be considered to be a reference model constituting of matured practices in a discipline that is specified but difficult to integrate as and when needed. On the other hand, the CMMI can be considered to be a more matured set of practices as well as guidelines. 
- It was resultant of the combination of the best components of individual disciplines of CMM. 

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