Capability Model Maturity Integrated (CMMI) and EA

There are two maturity models that serve as a foundation for most maturity models used in the Enterprise Architecture field. These two models are the Carnegie Mellon Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) and the Meta Group's Information Maturity Model (IMM). While the two models provide a five level maturity hierarchy to define an enterprises software development maturity level, each two have different focuses and origins.

CMMI originated in 1987 and was developed until 1997 under the name Capability Maturity Model (CMM) having several different module types. In 2002, the announcement of a unified model - the CMMI - became the new Carnegie Mellon software development assessment model in use; subsequent revisions have been released since its original release, and the current version stands at Version 1.3, which was released in October 2010. The origins of all five-level models stem from the inception of the CMM and the CMMI.

The focus of Carnegie's model is that of process improvement through evaluation, standardization, and standard compliance. According to Carnegie Mellon, CMMI is a process improvement approach that provides organizations with the essential elements of effective processes that ultimately improve their performance. CMMI can be used to guide process improvement across a project, a division, or an entire organization. It helps integrate traditionally separate organizational functions, set process improvement goals and priorities, provide guidance for quality processes, and provide a point of reference for appraising current processes. Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute paved the way for other IT assessment models to follow, however SEI's focus is more of process improvement and not Enterprise Information, whereas information-centric five level models such as the Information Maturity Model and their offshoots are.

The fact that SEI CMMI model is not information-focused does not detract from their significance to Enterprise Architecture. Their format is a gold standard, a lofty benchmark, and a cornerstone for all maturity assessments. The image below illustrates the SEI CMMI maturity level criteria.

CMMI Maturity level graphic

The Gartner Group purchased the rights of the META Group's IMM when they acquired them in 2005 and has transformed the IMM into the IT Score methodology which has an EA Maturity focus. Another example of an META IMM offshoot is demonstrated by MIKE2.0, a delivery framework focusing on information development in the Information Management field, who further defined the levels surrounding the maturity level structure as part of their data investigation efforts. The MIKE2.0 maturity model serves as a foundation for their Information Maturity QuickScan, which assesses broad bases of information across an enterprise.

The original META Group IMM structure is listed below. This chart illustrates the content shift between the organizational and process-centric focus of the CMMI model with the information-centric focus of the META IMM.

The META Group's IMM Maturity Levels graphic

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