PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - The Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center Armament Software Engineering Center here recently received a Capability Maturity Model Integration Level 5 designation following an in-depth external review of its business processes.

CMMI is a framework that appraises the maturity of an organization's processes.

CMMI Level 5 is the highest rating given to software engineering organizations that meet its rigorous standards.

The Armament SEC is the sole government organization in the United States that currently holds the Level 5 designation.

The CMMI for Development at Maturity Level 5 consists of 429 best practices in the disciplines of systems and software engineering.

The Armament SEC implemented these principles in the development and delivery of products and services to the warfighter.

"The implementation of Maturity Level 5 practices enable our projects to repeatedly meet cost and schedule estimates, deliver high quality products and reduce cycle time between software releases for the advanced weapons provided to the warfighter," said Lawrence Osiecki, director of the Armament SEC.

Using these practices, the Armament SEC has realized a 240 percent improvement in the ability to capture defects earlier, thereby significantly reducing costly downstream rework such as repeated rounds of regression testing, noted Osiecki.

These benefits are passed on to the Armament SEC's ultimate customer - the warfighter - in the form of high quality products and vastly reduced cycle time between software releases for weapons, Osiecki said.

"The Level 5 rating validates not only the discipline and dedication to excellence of the center's engineers, but also their unwavering commitment to delivering high-quality software to the warfighter," he noted.

Julie Robbins, Acting Deputy Director and Process Advocate of the Armament SEC, said that the organization's successful implementation of CMMI Level 5 has created a framework for the rapid development of technology and process innovations that keep pace with evolving warfighter needs for battle-winning technology.

"Our objective in maintaining a Level 5 goes beyond appraisal benchmarking. Our decision to follow Level 5 practices is based upon our unique responsibility to support our warfighter's need for responsiveness in constantly changing environments. Critical to our continued success: establishing an enterprise mind-set, emphasizing technology and process innovation, understanding impacts to the soldier, retaining and attracting superior talent, fostering team synergy and sharing of best practices. We can't afford not to continue our pursuit of these key characteristics of a high maturity organization."

The CMMI model was developed by experts from industry, government and the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University.

The Armament SEC was appraised by Integrated Systems Diagnostics, Inc., and the rating designation is remains in effect for three years.

This CMMI Level 5 achievement is a continuation of previous ground-breaking accomplishments attained by the Armament SEC.

In 2006, the Armament SEC became the first organization and only Software Engineering Center within the Department of Defense to have achieved this prestigious distinction in the disciplines of systems engineering, software engineering and supplier sourcing.

In 2002, the Armament SEC earned the distinction of becoming the first organization in the world to obtain a CMMI Level 3 rating in the disciplines of system engineering, software engineering and acquisition.

The Armament SEC researches and develops advanced software products and services used by weapons systems throughout the world that are developed and managed at Picatinny.