Establish and maintain tailoring criteria and guidelines for the organization’s set of standard processes.


Tailoring criteria and guidelines describe the following:

  • How the organization’s set of standard processes and organizational process assets are used to create defined processes
  • Requirements that must be satisfied by defined processes (e.g., the subset of organizational process assets that are essential for any defined process)
  • Options that can be exercised and criteria for selecting among options
  • Procedures that must be followed in performing and documenting process tailoring



Examples of reasons for tailoring include the following:
  • Adapting the process to a new product line or work environment
  • Elaborating the process description so that the resulting defined process can be performed
  • Customizing the process for an application or class of similar applications

Flexibility in tailoring and defining processes is balanced with ensuring appropriate consistency of processes across the organization. Flexibility is needed to address contextual variables such as the domain; the nature of the customer; cost, schedule, and quality tradeoffs; the technical difficulty of the work; and the experience of the people implementing the process. Consistency across the organization is needed so that organizational standards, objectives, and strategies are appropriately addressed, and process data and lessons learned can be shared.

Tailoring is a critical activity that allows controlled changes to processes due to the specific needs of a project or a part of the organization. Processes and process elements that are directly related to critical business objectives should usually be defined as mandatory, but processes and process elements that are less critical or only indirectly affect business objectives may allow for more tailoring.

The amount of tailoring could also depend on the project’s lifecycle model, the use of suppliers, and other factors.

Tailoring criteria and guidelines can allow for using a standard process “as is,” with no tailoring.

Example Work Products

  1. Tailoring guidelines for the organization’s set of standard processes


1. Specify selection criteria and procedures for tailoring the organization’s set of standard processes.


Examples of criteria and procedures include the following:
  • Criteria for selecting lifecycle models from the ones approved by the organization
  • Criteria for selecting process elements from the organization’s set of standard processes
  • Procedures for tailoring selected lifecycle models and process elements to accommodate process characteristics and needs
  • Procedures for adapting the organization’s common measures to address information needs


Examples of tailoring include the following:
  • Modifying a lifecycle model
  • Combining elements of different lifecycle models
  • Modifying process elements
  • Replacing process elements
  • Reordering process elements

2. Specify the standards used for documenting defined processes.

3. Specify the procedures used for submitting and obtaining approval of waivers from the organization’s set of standard processes.

4. Document tailoring guidelines for the organization’s set of standard processes.

5. Conduct peer reviews on the tailoring guidelines.

Refer to the Verification (VER) (CMMI-DEV) process area for more information about performing peer reviews.

6. Revise tailoring guidelines as necessary.