Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University

Staff Profile

Mary Beth Chrissis

Senior Member of Technical Staff

Key Responsibilities

 Mary Beth Chrissis has over 30 years of experience in software development and sustainment, organizational improvement, strategic planning, and related fields. She currently works for the Client Technical Solutions Division and focuses on improving performance and capability in government and civil agencies. 

Professional Background

Chrissis has supported numerous commercial and government agencies in transitioning improvement strategies to their organizations. She specializes in performance improvement implementation, technology transition, change management and strategic planning. Chrissis joined the SEI in 1988 and spent 20 years helping organization's put in place best practices that enable them to develop and deliver high-quality products and services.  She was part of the initial development team of the Capability Maturity Model for Software (SW-CMM) and continued contributing as a coauthor of the Capability Maturity Model Integration for Development (CMMI-DEV). Chrissis chaired the CMMI Configuration Control Board (CCB) and was a member of the IEEE Software and Systems Engineering Standards Executive Committee. As CMM Training Manager, she developed the CMM-SW Instructor Program that has evolved into the CMMI Partner Network. She designed, developed, and taught numerous courses which included introductory, intermediate, instructor, upgrade, and practitioner courses. Before joining the SEI, Chrissis worked at GTE Government Systems in Rockville, MD developing voice processing systems, Dravo Automation Sciences in Pittsburgh, PA developing a shop floor automation system for the steel industry, and worked on the Trident and other government programs for Sperry Corporation in Great Neck, NY.  

Publications (recent or significant)

  • Mary Beth Chrissis, Mike Konrad, Michele Moss. “Ensuring Your Development Processes Meet Today’s Cyber Challenges.” Crosstalk Feb/Mar 2013. 
  • Mary Beth Chrissis, Mike Konrad, Sandy Shrum. “CMMI(R) for Development: Guidelines for Process Integration and Product Improvement." Third Edition. Pearson Education, 2011, Second Edition, Pearson Education, 2006, First Edition, Person Education 2003.
  • Contributor to “Software Engineering, Volume 2: The Supporting Processes”. IEEE Computer Society Press, 2005, Third Edition.
  • Mary Beth Chrissis, Michael Konrad, Sandra Shrum, Kenneth Smith, and Gian Wemyss. CMMI Interpretive Guidance Project: What We Learned (CMU/SEI-2004-SR-008). Pittsburgh, PA: Software Engineering Insitute, Carnegie Mellon University, 2004.
  • Mark. C. Paulk, Charles V. Weber, Bill Curtis, Mary Beth Chrissis. “The Capability Maturity Model: Guidelines for Improving the Software Process”. Addison-Wesley, 1995.
  • Contributor to “Software Engineering.” IEEE Computer Society Press 1997.


  • Ground Sector Team
  • Veterans Health Administration Team
  • Cyber Resileince Review (CRR) Implementation Guides Team
  • SEI's Agile in Government Team
  • Eliciting Unstated Requirements Research Team
  • Integrated Air-Missile Defense Project Office (IAMD PO) Technical Lead


  • SEI Achievement Award for CMMI Innovation in recognition of outstanding dedicationk, commitment, leadership, and performance to support 25 years of world-wide success with significant and long-term impact on the management of software, 2012
  • SEI Achievement Award, Customer Service in recognition of dedication, contributive spirit, and on-going excellence in delivering SEI CMMI courses to international customers, (AJ Award nominee also), 2010 
  • SEI Achievement Award, Quality Innovation for outstanding commitment and performance in advancing the CMMI Product Suite by participation in development of the CMMI for Services Constellation, 2009
  • AJ Award nomination, Instructor and Lead Appraiser Workshop team, 2005
  • SEI Achievement Award, Community Leadership for delivering the highest level of leadership on the CMMI Interpretive Guidance Project, 2004
  • Department of Defense Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding contribution to the CMMI Project, 2000
  • CMU Andy Award nomination for work on the SW-CMM, 1994


Contact Mary Beth Chrissis