The Capability Maturity Model for Software known as the CMM and SW-CMM has been replaced by SEI with Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). The CMMI was introduced to sort out the issues in the use of multiple CMMs. CMMI combined the three source models namely; Capability Maturity Model for Software (SW-CMM) v2.0 draft C, the Systems Engineering Capability Model (SECM), the Integrated Product Development Capability Maturity Model (IPD-CMM) v0.98
The CMMI is a process improvement approach that gives organizations the essential elements of effective processes. The process improvement can be used across a project, a division, or an entire organization. It helps the integration of traditionally separate organizational functions, set process improvement goals and priorities. The CMMI aids in guiding the quality processes, and provide a reference point for appraising current processes.
The CMMI models are based on CMMI best practices which are published to address different area of interest. The two areas of interest that cover the CMMI models are Development and Acquisition. CMMI Version 1.2 is the current release models and it has two versions. These versions are the CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV), Version 1.2 which seeks to address product and service development processes and CMMI for Acquisition (CMMI-ACQ), Version 1.2 which seeks to address supply chain management, acquisition, and outsourcing processes in government and industry.
It is for the organziation to choose which model that appropriately applioes to their business objectives. Software organizations cannot be CMMI certified. Howver, they can be appraised and be awarded a 1-5 level rating. The rating results of which can be published should the the organization appraised feels like it.