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CMMI® v3: Foundations of Capability

The official CMMI® Institute certified course, packed with our special bonuses

Why Take This Course


Pave the way for better operations and performance in your organization.


This two-to-three day class gives you a basic understanding of the core content of the most recent version of CMMI, and is the de facto standard way of learning CMMI. To make it more practical, you'll likely follow it up with one or more supplemental classes, like Building Development Excellence or Building Service Excellence (targeted to CMMI-DEV and CMMI-SVC, respectively).

This course is currently only available from us through live, virtual instructor-led training using Zoom.

Who Should Attend

This class should be attended by:

  • Anyone interested in improving the performance of any organization that develops products or delivers services

  • Anyone heavily involved in CMMI-based improvement

  • Candidate CMMI Appraisal Team Members (ATMs)

  • People interested in becoming a Certified CMMI Associate or Certified CMMI Professional

  • People who may ultimately want to take supplemental or more advanced courses (for which this is a prerequisite)

  • Anybody else interested in learning more about CMMI: executives, managers, developers, service providers...


What You'll Learn


By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • Connect the CMMI with business value

  • Use CMMI as a tool for improving performance

  • Describe the components of CMMI and how they work together

  • Discuss each of the core practice areas in the model 

  • Interpret core content of CMMI to serve effectively on an appraisal or process improvement team (after taking an appropriate Building Excellence course)

  • Know what it takes to be Maturity Level 2, 3, and beyond

  • Understand the high-level value of a CMMI appraisal

  • Know where to find information in the model

  • Compete effectively at your local watering-hole's CMMI Trivia Night.


  • Online Model Viewer access for 30 days (a $150 value), typically beginning a few days before class

  • CMMI Associate exam credit (a $250 value); passing the exam is a requirement for Appraisal Team Members; exam must be taken within 30 days after the start of class

  • Online access to all standard CMMI Institute slides

  • Official CMMI Institute certificate (upon completion)

PLUS - Only When We Teach It

We provide you with the following exclusive content with every one of our courses:

With our Foundations of Capability class you'll also receive:

  • Online access to our 60-question practice CMMI Associate Exams. (See 5 sample questions.)

  • CMMI guidance documents (pdfs): Cheat Sheet, Adoption Guidance, Method Definition Document Quick Reference (appraisal method summary)

Our Special Bonuses

Course outline

Our CMMI V2 courses are composed of occasional lectures combined with lots of exercises to make sure you understand the model. To receive credit for the class, you need to actively participate throughout the entire course without missing any class time.

Here's a high-level class outline, subject to occasional change based upon revisions to the model and improvements to our class.

Day One

1.1 Welcome!

Exercise: Your Stakeholder Needs
Exercise: Three Improvement Ideas


1.2 Performance Excellence & CMMI

Exercise: Performance & Capability - Examples

Exercise: Excellent Companies - Examples

1.3 CMMI V2 Product Suite

Exercise: Online Model Viewer Access (Walkthrough)

Exercise: What's New (for V1.3 Fans), What's Interesting (For Everyone Else)

1.4 CMMI V2 Model Structure​

  • CategoriesCapability Areas

  • Practice Areas (PAs), Practice Groups (Levels)Practices

  • Views

Exercise: Capability Areas

Exercise: Practice Area Structure

1.5 Doing the Work

  • Overview of PAs Specific to the Following Capability Areas (detailed in add-on courses):

    • Engineering and Developing Products (EDP)

    • Delivering and Managing Services (DMS)

    • Selecting and Managing Suppliers (SMS)

Exercise: Identifying Capability Areas and Practice Areas

1.6 Ensuring Quality (ENQ)

  • Requirements Development and Management (RDM)

  • Process Quality Assurance (PQA)

  • Verification and Validation (VV)

  • Peer Reviews (PR)

Exercise: Practice Area Abbreviations

1.7 Planning and Managing Work (PMW)

  • Estimating (EST)

  • Planning (PLAN)

  • Monitor and Control (MC)

Exercise: Capability Areas

1.8 Managing Business Resilience (MBR)

  • Risk and Opportunity Management (RSK)

1.9 Day 1 Wrap-up

Exercise: I Know, I Still Want to Know

Exercise: Name the PA

Homework Assignment

Day Two

2.1 Warm-up

Exercise: One-Word Feedback (How's Class So Far?)

Exercise: Assign PAs to Your Improvement Ideas

Exercise: Name the PA

2.2 Sustaining Habit & Persistence (SHP)

  • Governance (GOV)

  • Implementation Infrastructure (II)

Exercise: Map GOV/II Practices to Organizational Success Factors

2.3 Supporting Implementation (SI)

  • Causal Analysis and Resolution (CAR)

  • Decision Analysis and Resolution (DAR)

  • Configuration Management (CM)

Exercise: PA Abbreviations

The Hidden Practice Area! (Organizational Training [OT])

2.4 Improving Performance (IMP)

  • Process Management (PCM)

  • Process Asset Development (PAD)

  • Managing Performance and Measurement (MPM)

Exercise: Practice Area Relationships

Exercise: Identifying Practices

2.5 Maturity & Capability Levels

Exercise: Elevator Speeches

2.6 Appraisals


2.7 Putting It All Together

Exercise: Name the PA

Exercise: Scenario Evaluation

2.8 Next Steps


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