Difference Between CMMI and Six Sigma

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: October 28, 2022


Difference Between CMMI and Six Sigma Difference Between CMMI and Six Sigma

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The good Six Sigma program uses a data-driven technique to provide staff members the authority to identify and fix issues. As a result, six Sigma can assist in bringing about long-lasting organizational change. Six Sigma's belt system organizes learning and creates people who can assist in resolving administrative difficulties. It encourages more people to implement practical solutions to problems. On the other hand, the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is an improvement model that raises staff productivity to witness continuous performance improvement. In addition to focusing on progress, its company strategy also addresses behavioral mode. The most recent CMMI edition covers every industry sector, including the creation of hardware, software, and services. Organizations may now create affordable models that are simple to deploy and integrate, thanks to the growth of CMMI.

CMMI addresses specific fields like software and systems engineering to build an organizational process architecture. Six Sigma's top-down project affects every company department, including engineering, sales, marketing, and research. Six Sigma is designed to be used with a focus on issues and opportunities, frequently with limited scopes, that will produce substantial economic advantages. Instead of examining whether processes and procedures conform to a definition or model, it focuses on how well they perform when they are put into practice. The utilization of these two improvement projects depends on one another, even if they are designed differently. The publications below offer instructions and illustrations for combining Six Sigma with CMMI, or they deal with high-maturity methods and process performance models.

CMMI Vs.Six Sigma

The use of approaches and techniques to improve efficiency, decrease mistakes, maintain quality standards, and enhance processes and procedures results from increased competition, rising prices, and consumer demands for products and services of consistently high quality. Two of these methods, namely Six Sigma and the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), are designed to enhance corporate processes and more successfully achieve organizational goals and objectives. Six Sigma and CMMI are very different, although both offer value to the business and result in high cost and efficiency benefits. The article concisely reviews each method and emphasizes the connections and distinctions between six Sigma and CMMI. While CMMI employs highly reactive companies constantly prepared to lead improvement processes, Six Sigma creates high-level designs to satisfy client demands. Both have pretty different foci by wide margins. Six Sigma uses statistical analysis and data charts to discover waste and production problems, whereas CMMI uses specialized techniques.

Difference Between CMMI and Six Sigma in Tabular Form

Table: CMMI Vs.Six Sigma
Parameters Of Comparison
Six Sigma
Sensibly applied Standard
De facto Standard
Methodology type
The emphasis
CMMI emphasizes infrastructure to guarantee that necessary procedures are taken care of.
The Six Sigma technique strongly focuses on training that will inspire participants or employees and help them improve their communication abilities.
Managed, Initial, Defined, Optimized, and Quantitatively Managed are five phases.
Defining, Measuring, Analyzing, Improving, and Controlling are five data-driven steps.
Approach Methodology
Six Sigma is entirely dependent and reliant on the statistical technique to increase the process quality.
CMMI, the statistical technique, is not used despite being meant to increase quality.
Tools and methods
Offer no methods or equipment.
provides cutting-edge statistical and analytical techniques
kind of leadership
project group
Availability of leadership in the green belt and black belt
Instead of individual practitioners, organizations and assessors receive CMMI Certification.
Online and offline Six Sigma certifications are often awarded to individual practitioners rather than organizations.
Primary target
It focuses on maturation model-based process optimization for goods and services.
It concentrates on minimizing unpredictability and enhancing processes and results.
Six Sigma is widely employed across all businesses and is not just used in one industry.
In contrast to six Sigma, CMMI was primarily created for the software sector and had a minor application.

What Is CMMI?

Capability Maturity Model Integration is known as CMMI. It facilitates productivity enhancement and process simplification. CMMI assists a company in enhancing its capabilities, performance, and alignment with business objectives. A process improvement paradigm operates on the premise that a process, system, or product's quality is mainly dependent upon the caliber of the processes involved in its creation and upkeep. The CMMI approach is used to direct and influence process improvement and the innovation of functions that support corporate objectives. For the benefit of the American government, Carnegie Mellon University created the CMMI. Three areas make up CMMI, including:

  • Production of goods and services
  • Establishing, running, and providing services
  • Buying goods and services

The five phases of maturity described by the CMMI define how well a process operates. Each function component is divided into CMMI-defined process areas, enabling businesses to ensure that each element is thoroughly assessed and improved. Additionally, this model features 16 process areas that may be customized to an organization's unique requirements and organizational objectives.

Objectives & Capabilities of CMMI

The two CMMI levels are capability and maturity. These two tiers describe the company model's overall potential and performance. According to the most recent versions, there are five capacity levels to build an evolutionary route to performance improvement.

The five degrees of maturity are:

  • Initial
  • Managed
  • Defined
  • Quantitatively Managed
  • Optimizing

The improvement methods are not reactive during the early phases of deployment and cannot forecast the outcomes. As maturity rises, plans become more well-organized, and the environment is optimized for the desired results. The management notices a noticeable improvement in work culture, service development, and customer happiness once they reach level three or four. CMMI establishes high-level goals to fulfill industry requirements. Any company concept must strive to overcome obstacles and scale new heights.

Following are a few of the objectives

  • Exceptional product quality. Daily product quality improvement is a CMMI goal. To ensure the product is flawless, they pay close attention to detail. It is accomplished by establishing performance standards and laying out weekly, monthly, and annual objectives.
  • Retaining clients and providing enormous value to stockholders. Driving for many years in the direction of acquiring primary clientele.
  • Customer satisfaction is the main objective of streamlining. Long-term market share growth is aided by it.

Negative aspects of CMMI

The CMMI is not appropriate for all sorts of businesses, to put it mildly. In terms of software, organizations mostly use it. Although software businesses increasingly use the Six Sigma technique to apply measurement-related process improvement, the Six Sigma approach was first utilized in manufacturing sectors. Second, CMMI adoption calls for a significant change in corporate culture, mentality, time, and effort.

What Is Six Sigma?

"Six Sigma" refers to tools and methods used to enhance various commercial operations, organizations, and processes. In 1986, Bill Smith introduced the procedure. The main goal of the device is to increase production quality by locating and eliminating the sources of such flaws. The Six Sigma methodology is built on quality control techniques that use statistical and empirical methods. Every Six Sigma project has a set approach with specific value objectives. The word was first used in statistical modeling used in manufacturing operations. The manufacturing process's unpredictability can be reduced via the procedure.

The manufacturing process's unpredictability can be reduced via the procedure. Six Sigma's tools and methods work well for medium-sized to big enterprises. The technique is used in various industries, including manufacturing, finance, engineering, construction, supply chains, and healthcare. It offers strategic goals with improved organizational prioritizing and selection.

Key Six Sigma Approaches & Elements

There are several slightly varying aspects and methodologies used in Six Sigma. The guiding concepts for the process must also be understood. Six Sigma's primary focus is the stability and uniformity of process outcomes; Organizational participation is among the most critical factors. The lower, middle, and top management aim for continual quality improvement. Companies that use Six Sigma regularly evaluate their processes to identify uncertainty. Finding flaws more quickly aids in cost savings. The five basic data-driven steps of DMAIC—Defining, Measuring, Analyzing, Improving, and Controlling—form the backbone of the Six Sigma methodology. However, there is a lot of disapproval of Six Sigma methods. Lack of innovation, inability for complicated production, excessive dependence on statistics, and several other issues are cited by various quality experts.

1. Define: This stage is known by the project teams as "the burning platform." To define or identify the issue, sponsors and team members must align appropriately. In addition, it draws attention to the problem since it affects the business's bottom line.

2. Measure: Here, the teams embark on a data scavenger quest to gather stats, graphs, and charts. The current procedure is simple to comprehend. The Six Sigma project team's duties include calculating losses and monitoring the production facility.

3. Analyze: Analyze's goal is to compare the information obtained with the issue's underlying causes. It enables the team to go further and identify the actual problem driving poor product quality. The claims made to the sponsors and managers are supported by root cause analysis.

4. Improve: The creation and execution of the optimal strategy is Improve's sole focus. Eliminating all fundamental problems entails returning to the whiteboard and brainstorming solutions. It is accomplished by establishing a set timeframe and adhering to it throughout the implementation process.

5. Control: One becomes overwhelmed by the response to the rapid jump in inefficiency, but the real issue now arises. It's crucial to control management growth and earnings. To keep track of the processes, utilize a log or control chart. This guarantees that any incoming issues will be quickly resolved.

Main Differences Between  CMMI and Six Sigma in Points

  • While CMMI focuses more on infrastructure to ensure that critical processes are handled, the Six Sigma approach primarily emphasizes training to inspire the workers or participants and strengthen their communication abilities.
  • In contrast to CMMI, where the statistical approach is not used while being meant to enhance quality, Six Sigma is dependent on and depends on statistical methods to bring about changes in the quality of processes.
  • Online and offline Six Sigma certifications are often awarded to individual practitioners rather than organizations. On the other side, organizations and assessors rather than specific practitioners receive CMMI Certification.
  • While CMMI is focused on establishing technical processes and management early, Six Sigma primarily focuses on learning from internal experience and data, i.e., day-to-day operations occurring in the organization and making them defect-free.
  • Six Sigma does not provide any new techniques for implementation in an ongoing Six Sigma Project since it presumes that the processes have already been identified and specified.
  • While CMMI was mainly created for the software industry and had limited use compared to six Sigma, it is widely adopted by many organizations and is not industry-specific.
  • Another significant distinction between six Sigma and CMMI is that the former includes methods for identifying, measuring, monitoring, and ultimately assessing the efficacy of process improvement efforts. On the other hand, CMMI is a set of recommendations with a "how to" method for process improvement.
  • Continuous and staged representations are used in CMMI, whereas DMADV and DMAIC are the primary methodologies used in Six Sigma.


The current CMMI metrics program may benefit from the use of Six Sigma. To have a broader perspective on different sectors, a company that leans more toward software development can integrate its current CMMI framework with Six Sigma. Many firms have an outstanding possibility to develop measuring procedures at capability level four. It is completed by considering the qualitative components of Six Sigma. The ability to produce qualified professionals who have worked in several firms utilizing statistical methods and their applications is another significant advantage that Six Sigma offers. Six Sigma can support the entire management framework with its knowledge and recommendations. Continuous improvement is not compromised in any way by this combination. The result will be a robust system that can respond quickly to issues, and Six Sigma will integrate smoothly. Both procedures serve various kinds of enterprises and organizations. Both processes differ in terms of their origins, traits, and capabilities. Before choosing a final course of action with the process for their company, the users must weigh all the points of differentiation.


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"Difference Between CMMI and Six Sigma." Diffzy.com, 2023. Sun. 02 Apr. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-cmmi-and-six-sigma-1081>.

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