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Capability Maturity Model for Software (Version 1.1)

February 1993 Technical Report
Mark C. Paulk, Bill Curtis (CAST Research Labs), Mary Beth Chrissis, Charlie Weber

This paper provides a technical overview of the CMM for software and reflects version 1.1.


Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number



In November 1986, the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) with assistance from the Mitre began developing a process maturity framework that would assist organizations in improving their software process. This effort was initiated in response to a request to provide the federal government with a method for assessing the capability of their software contractors. In September 1987, the SEI released a brief description of the process maturity framework and a maturity questionnaire (CMU/SEI-87-TR-023). The SEI intended the maturity questionnaire to provide a simple tool for identifying areas where an organization's software process needed improvement. Unfortunately, the questionnaire was too often regarded as "the model" rather than as a vehicle for exploring process maturity issues. 

After four years of experience with the software process maturity framework and the preliminary version of the maturity questionnaire, the SEI has evolved the software process maturity framework into a fully defined model. 

This model will be used in a systematic, principled way to derive a maturity questionnaire. By fully elaborating the maturity framework, a model has emerged that provides organizations with more effective guidance for establishing process improvement programs than was offered by the maturity questionnaire. Using knowledge acquired from software process assessments and extensive feedback from both industry and government, an improved version of the process maturity framework has been produced called the Capability Maturity Model for Software (CMM). This paper is an introduction to the revised model.