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.The overlap is easy to explain: activities that help improve a process can also be activities to effectively perform a process, and, not every organization performs even the basic activities necessary to perform the process area well.So, to one organization, what seems trivial and commonplace, to another is salvation from despair.This overlap should not be misinterpreted as a sign that CMMI content *is*, in fact, process content.It can't be over-emphasized, CMMIs, while chock-full-o examples and explanations, do not contain "how to" anything other than building improvement systems.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.
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(Exactly, how would be an *entirely* different discussion! CMMI is meant to help organizations improve their performance of and capability to consistently and predictably deliver the products, services, and sourced goods their customers want, when they want them and at a price they're willing to pay.
From a purely inwardly-facing perspective, CMMI helps companies Without some insight into and control over their internal business processes, how else can a company know how well they're doing before it's too late to do anything about it?
The content of CMMIs are to improve upon the performance of those standards, processes and procedures -- not to define them.
Having said that, it should be noted that there will (hopefully) be overlaps between what any given organization already does and content of CMMIs.