A comparison of lean and CMMI for services (CMMI‐SVC v1.2) best practices

Goutam Kumar Kundu (VIT – Business School, VIT University, Vellore, India)
B. Murali Manohar (VIT – Business School, VIT University, Vellore, India)
Jayachandra Bairi (SAIC‐India, Bangalore, India)

Asian Journal on Quality

ISSN: 1598-2688

Publication date: 29 August 2011



The purpose of this paper is to investigate the elements of lean concept and identify those principles which are applicable to service organizations, also, to compare the lean best practices with CMMI‐SVC v1.2 model goals and practices and find out the compatibility.


The capability maturity model integration (CMMI) for services (CMMI‐SVC v1.2) model, developed by Software Engineering Institute is a collection of best practices applicable to service operations. Lean concepts, on the other hand, originated from manufacturing but of late lean principles and best practices have been implemented in some services organizations. As lean concepts originated from manufacturing and CMMI‐SVC v1.2 from software industry, there could be some overlapping content and some differences and each may offer some distinct advantages. This paper is based on the review of the contemporary literature on lean concepts and CMMI‐SVC v1.2 model, including books, journal articles and handbooks. The authors involved a group of practitioners and experts with theoretical and practical expertise on the CMMI framework, software process improvements as well as lean principles and services to find out which lean principles are applicable to service organization and also the compatibility of lean and CMMI‐SVC v1.2 practices.


The authors have defined a set of lean best practices which can be applied to service organizations. It is concluded that integration and harmonization of both lean and CMMI‐SVC v1.2 practices is possible and in many ways the practices are complementary. In the future, a unified model based on both lean and CMMI‐SVC v1.2 can be developed by combining the best practices of both.


This paper has reviewed the lean literature and grouped the lean best practices which are applicable to service organizations. It has compared the lean best practices with CMMI‐SVC v1.2 best practices. Little research has been done on comparison of lean best practices with CMMI‐SVC v1.2 model.



Kundu, G.K., Murali Manohar, B. and Bairi, J. (2011), "A comparison of lean and CMMI for services (CMMI‐SVC v1.2) best practices", Asian Journal on Quality, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 144-166. https://doi.org/10.1108/15982681111158715

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