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Something that might be called "shrink-wrapped" or even COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf).

While looking at CMMI for process improvement wouldn't be a bad idea, the point is that unless you are developing wares from scratch to a government (or a Prime's) specification, you ought to be able to elude having someone else require or expect you to pursue CMMI practices when you otherwise might not do so.

We're probably going to make as many enemies as friends with this FAQ, but hey, we expect it to be worth it.

:-) We also did a bit of research and found it pretty hard (if not impossible) to find this kind of information anywhere else on the web. This site was designed to provide help with CMMI for people who are researching, trying to get to "the truth" about CMMI, or just looking for answers to basic, frequently asked questions about CMMI and the process of having an appraisal for getting a level rating (or CMMI certification as some people (inaccurately) prefer to say).

This is a work-in-progress, not all questions have been answered yet -- simply a matter of time to write them, not that we don't know the answers -- but we didn't want to keep you waiting, so we're starting with that we have.

One strong case for why your company might not need to mess with CMMI would be if you are selling a product of your own specification.

None of them alone can be used to actually develop products, acquire goods or fulfill services.

The assumption with all CMMIs is that the organization has its own standards, processes and procedures by which they actually get things done.

CMMI is about improving performance through improving operational processes.

In particular, it's improving processes associated with managing how organizations develop or acquire solution-based wares and define and deliver their services.