Date of Original Version



Technical Report

Abstract or Description

Use of capability maturity models has become commonplace among software development organizations, especially defense contractors. Government program offices, however, have lagged behind contractors in implementing their own process improvement programs. The difference in relative maturity between program offices and contractors sometimes makes it difficult for program offices to adequately gauge the state of their programs. In 2004, the Office of the Secretary of Defense announced the creation of the CMMI Acquisition Module (CMMI-AM). The module aids program offices in developing a level of parity with their suppliers in terms of process maturity.

The first step in any process improvement endeavor is to determine the baseline state. A program office can undergo an external appraisal, but generally that is not a cost-effective solution for an organization that is still a novice in process improvement. For organizations with little process improvement experience, a better choice is to begin with a self-assessment.

This guide provides program managers with general information about the CMMI-AM, details about the self-assessment technique, and the questions used in a self-assessment. After reading this guide, program managers can evaluate whether a self-assessment fits their needs, and if so, conduct one.


CMU/SEI-2005-TN-004 Since its initial release, this report has been revised to reflect information contained in the CMMI-AM, Version 1.1. This revision was released on August 1, 2005.