After operating for the past year with just its direct customers, the CMMI Institute is ready to be introduced to the public.

The CMMI Institute, established by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), is home to the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). Originally, CMMI was housed in CMU’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI), but as the framework improved and extended its scope beyond software and the mission of the SEI, the university decided to open up a new institute completely focused on elevating organizational performance.

“To compete in the global market, leaders must build organizations that can consistently deliver quality and value in products and services,” said Kirk Botula, CEO of CMMI Institute. “The CMMI Institute enables organizations committed to excellence to achieve measurable results in the facets of their business that matter most to their goals.”

While the CMMI framework now goes beyond software and systems engineering, the new institute still remains dedicated to helping software development.

“The CMMI Institute is going to be doing a lot of work to help practical adoption and practical improvement in the software development life cycle,” said Botula.

He went on to say that the CMMI Institute is going to help developers be able to rapidly gain relevant capabilities to drive their business goals, and to work to make it easier to do that.

“Software development is no longer just an engineering function; it is contiguous with all business, so developers need to be aligned to business objectives, and they need to be comfortable that the work they are doing is aligned,” said Botula.

The CMMI Institute plans to offer CMMI adopters an online self-assessment tool as well as new professional credentials for practitioners by the beginning of 2014. Practitioner certificates are meant to help individuals translate their experience with CMMI into professional development opportunities. It will provide confirmation of a person’s knowledge of basic and advanced concepts in CMMI.

“The practitioner credentials will not only provide a clear path for my growth, it will also help me to communicate and validate my skills to my clients as well as my organization,” said Capri Dye, a CMMI specialist at Hubbert Systems Consulting.

Classroom instruction will be available through the CMMI Institute, but its strategic focus is in providing online learning. The institute’s goal is to create a setting where the best practices and the latest thinking could be delivered in an online context.

“In the next year, we hope that the things we do will make CMMI more accessible, elevate the conversation around performance management and get people focused on the ‘so what’ and ‘who cares’ of work,” said Botula.