CMMI® Training FAQ

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Disclaimer: I tried hard to make sure that this FAQ was accurate as of 11/1/2019; however, I’m only human, plus CMMI policies can and do change. My lawyer, a much more highly compensated and better-dressed man than me, wants you to know that (1) my company and I are not liable for any actions you take because of this FAQ, and (2) for critical CMMI-related decisions, you should consider consulting the brainiacs at the CMMI® Institute. -- Bill

CMMI V1.3 vs. CMMI V2.0

Am I crazy, or are there two different versions of CMMI?


You may be crazy, plus there are indeed two versions of CMMI: V1.3 and V2.0. They’re both actively used, and will be several more months.


Why? Well, when CMMI V2.0 was released in March 2018, hundreds of organizations were already knee-deep in CMMI V1.3 implementation efforts. The CMMI Institute is allowing V1.3 training and appraisals to continue for a few years beyond the V2.0 release date, so that those V1.3 initiatives aren’t disrupted.


Certified CMMI V1.3 training and appraisals may be conducted until the official V1.3 sunset date of September 30, 2020. (Correspondingly, the frequency of CMMI V1.3 training offerings on our calendar will decline as that date draws nearer and demand lowers. In fact, past November 2019 you likely won't find any.) CMMI Development (CMMI-DEV) V2.0 appraisals have been conducted since early January 2019, and CMMI Service (CMMI-SVC) V2.0 since September 30, 2019. (The two dates are different because CMMI-SVC V2.0 was released more than eight months after CMMI-DEV V2.0.)

Should I take a V1.3 class, or V2.0?

If you have to ask the question, the answer’s almost certainly CMMI V2.0. It’s newer (duh), and significantly improved based upon 18 years of lessons learned from versions 1.0 through 1.3. It’s a much better, easier-to-understand, easier-to-use model. Plus, due to changes in the accompanying new appraisal method, it’s very possible that your appraisal costs will be lower with V2.0.


But… if your organization is currently involved in a process improvement initiative based on CMMI V1.3, and/or will be appraised against V1.3, then it’s likely you’ll want to focus on V1.3 classes.


(Really, you should be asking this question to your Lead Appraiser or the person in charge of your improvement initiative.)




So, how do I learn CMMI V2.0?

You’ll start by taking a two-day Foundations of Capability class. It’ll cover basic CMMI V2.0 concepts, as well as core Practice Areas (Estimating, Planning, etc.) that are common to CMMI V2.0’s three existent Benchmark Model Views: CMMI Development (CMMI-DEV), CMMI Services (CMMI-SVC), and CMMI Supplier Management (CMM-SPM).


To make the Foundations class meaningful, you’ll follow that up with one or more single-day Building Excellence classes — typically Building Development Excellence and/or Building Service Excellence. (There’s also a Building Supplier Management Excellence that we don’t teach due to light demand; it could be valuable for acquisition entities, though.) Plus, stay tuned. Additional Building Excellence classes covering topics like Workforce Management, Safety, and Security will eventually be released to support new model “views” in the future!


The Foundations and applicable Building Excellence courses are pre-requisites for serving on CMMI V2.0 appraisal teams, required for taking more advanced CMMI classes, and strongly recommended for anyone heavily involved in CMMI V2.0 improvement initiatives.


All of these classes must be taught in-person, by a live, CMMI Institute certified instructor. 

Isn't there some online or “virtual” way to do the V2.0 traininG?

Sorry, but no. The CMMI Institute is experimenting with virtual instructor-led training (VILT) as a potential future option, but currently every "official" CMMI class (such as the ones mentioned above) must be taught in-person by a live instructor.

I’ve already had a 3-day Intro to CMMI V1.3 class. Do I really need 3 more days of training for V2.0?


Not necessarily. Depending on your requirements, you may be able to simply take a one-day CMMI V2.0 Upgrade Training course.


But first… if you feel your CMMI V1.3 knowledge is a bit rusty, then you may want to consider the two-day Foundations class plus the applicable Building Excellence class(es). (I’ve even designed my CMMI V2.0 classes to reuse none of the slides or images from my V1.3 classes, so my previous students won’t be bored by seeing the same stuff again!)


However, if you feel that a three-days-or-more sequence would be overkill, here are your options:

  • If you haven't been on a formal CMMI V1.3 appraisal team, then take the Upgrade Training class plus the appropriate Building Excellence classes. (E.g., to be considered for a CMMI-DEV V2.0 appraisal team, you'll need to have taken the Building Development Excellence class.)

  • If you have been on a formal CMMI V1.3 appraisal team, then all you need is the Upgrade Training -- as long as your formal Intro to CMMI V1.3 training was in the same domain as the targeted V2.0 appraisal (e.g., Development or Services). If not, then you'll need to add the appropriate Building Excellence class.


The Upgrade Training may either be taken online (from the CMMI Institute website) or delivered by a live instructor. In either case, Intro to CMMI V1.3 (DEV or SVC) is a pre-requisite. 

We're offering Upgrade Training every other month from January through September 2020. (See our public class calendar.)


(The CMMI Institute’s cost for the online course is $600. Our public class, live delivery cost is $790, or $750 for three or more. Contact us if you need a private class quote; if enough people are in the class, the per-student cost may be competitive with the online class.)


It's Possible I could Be an appraisal team member (ATM) for a V2.0 Appraisal. Can you please clarify Exactly what My Model Training Requirements Are?


I think I just explained it above. If that's still not clear, check out the CMMI Institute's online Appraisal Team Member Eligibility Policy.


Also, all V2.0 ATMS need to take and pass the CMMI V2.0 Associate Exam, an online exam delivered by the CMMI Institute. (All Foundations of Capability and CMMI V2.0 Upgrade Training classes include a full exam credit with tuition.) Additionally, all high maturity ATMs must successfully complete the CMMI Institute's High Maturity Concepts course.

Where can I get a CMMI V2.0 book? Do you provide one in class?


There is no “book” for CMMI V2.0. Instead, you access the model online via subscription to a Model Viewer. Your CMMI V2.0 class tuition covers a subscription for 30 days (a $150 value), typically starting a few days before class. (A wise student will download all subscription-only pdfs while they have access.) You may extend the subscription with the CMMI Institute for an additional fee.


You’ll need to bring a laptop or tablet to class to access the Model Viewer, and a downloaded electronic pdf in case of connectivity issues. You’ll be provided Model Viewer access at least a few days prior to class, using an account that will be set up for you by the CMMI Institute.


Do I have to pass a test to get credit for any of these V2.0 classes?


No. You’ll get a certificate as long as you attend all hours and participate fully.


However, the tuition you pay to take the Foundations or Upgrade Training class includes a credit to take the CMMI V2.0 Associate Exam (a $250 value). As mentioned above, passing this exam is required to serve on a CMMI V2.0 appraisal team. You'll have three hours to complete the open-book, 60 multiple-choice question exam. (I do not provide time in class for this, because most students prefer to study before taking the exam.)


Why do some of your CMMI V2.0 classes seem to be more expensive than the equivalent V1.3 classes?


When you take the Foundations or Upgrade Training class, your tuition now includes the CMMI Associate Exam as well as access to the online Model Viewer. We pay a seat fee to the CMMI Institute for everyone who attends our classes; for a three-day class event, that fee has gone from $225 (V1.3) to $425 (V2.0) to pay for the subscription and the exam. We've increased the tuition to cover this cost.



I Know I need CMMI V1.3 training. What class or classes should I take?


The gateway drug… um, “course”… for CMMI V1.3 is called Introduction to CMMI, and it comes in three different flavors, one for each “constellation” — Development (CMMI-DEV), Services (SVC), and Acquisition (ACQ). (That last one is rarely used; we don’t offer training in it.)


All Introduction to CMMI classes must be taught by a CMMI Institute Certified Instructor. Although some tailoring of material is permissible — for example, we use mostly our own proprietary slides for a more engaging class— instructors are not allowed to deviate from the basic classroom learning objectives.


The specific introductory course you take depends upon the “constellation” your organization is adopting and against which it may ultimately be appraised. For organizations that develop products or services, you’ll likely want Introduction to CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV). For organizations that establish, manage, and deliver services, Introduction to CMMI for Services (CMMI-SVC) would be the logical fit. (In reality, many organizations do both of these things, which is why it’s not uncommon for organizations to be appraised against both CMMI-DEV and CMMI-SVC.)


I’ve already had Intro to CMMI-DEV, but now my company is also interested in the CMMI for Services. Should I take the 3-day Intro to CMMI-SVC?


Sure, if your goal is to help me retire as soon as possible. Otherwise, you can save hundreds of dollars and two days of your time by simply taking the one-day Services Supplement for CMMI. It focuses only on what’s different about CMMI-SVC (compared to CMMI-DEV), and you’ll still earn a valuable CMMI-SVC certificate — a pre-requisite to serving on a CMMI-SVC appraisal team.


I took Intro to CMMI-SVC a few years ago, and now I want the Development Supplement. I don’t see it on your  calendar. What’s up with that?


You can earn a Development Supplement certificate from me by simply attending the applicable portions of a public Intro to CMMI-DEV class, space permitting! This is typically Day 1, from about 11:00 until the end of class. (Don't worry, we've cleared this somewhat different way of delivering the class with the CMMI Institute.) Don’t just show up, though, because we still need to arrange payment etc. Contact us if you’re interested.


(By the way, the reason we don’t schedule separate, stand-alone Development Supplement classes is that we wouldn’t get enough attendees to make the room rental worthwhile.)



Classes beyond the introductory level are taught only by the CMMI Institute itself, not by CMMI Institute Partner organizations (like us). Please see the CMMI Institute website for more advanced courses.