A History of the Capability Maturity Model for Software

Date of Original Version




Abstract or Table of Contents

The Software Engineering Institute developed a five-level Capability Maturity Model for Software that described how software organizations transform their capability for building software by focusing on software process improvement. The model was initially published in 1987 as a software process maturity framework that briefly described five maturity levels. The model was formalized as the Software CMM® with a detailed description of recommended software engineering and management practices when published in 1991. Version 1.1 of the model was published in 1993, and work on Software CMM v2 was nearing completion when it was halted in 1997 in favor of the CMM Integration™ (CMMI) effort, which integrated systems engineering, software engineering, and integrated process and product development into a single model. The success of the Software CMM inspired a variety of maturity models and other standards. This article describes the history of the model and some of the major decisions made in its evolution.