HERNDON, Va., Feb. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE: NOC) Engineering and Systems Integration (ESI) organization has received a Level 5 rating, the highest possible rating, for acquisition from the Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI®) Institute. This is the second time the organization has been appraised at this level, and, according to the CMMI Institute, ESI was the first to receive a Level 5 rating for acquisition. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121024/LA98563LOGO) "Receiving this successful Level 5 appraisal demonstrates ESI's ongoing commitment to achieve consistent, repeatable results on our programs and deliver lower risk and high performance to our customers," said John Parker, director, weapons system sustainment and modernization, Northrop Grumman Technical Services. "Our ability to apply our engineering and business process maturity and discipline in conjunction with proven sustainment, development, test and production capabilities allows Northrop Grumman ESI to deliver innovative and affordable solutions." CMMI® for Acquisition is a best practices model for successful procurement of products and services to meet organizational and customer objectives. Key aspects of the acquisition model include project management, process management, conducting and managing acquisition, and supporting functions. The audit included the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) prime integration contract and was expanded to include systems engineering activities, software and business management elements. "Conducting external appraisals on a regular basis reaffirms our commitment to process improvement and the integration of best practices throughout each project," said Lori Belnap, ESI Director. "This recognition provides the foundation for our customers to have continued confidence that the requisite rigor and discipline are applied throughout the acquisition supply chain." CMMI® is a process improvement framework that guides organizations in software and systems development, acquisition and service delivery to create high-performance, high-maturity cultures. CMMI® is built upon best practices originally developed by a coalition of industry, government and the Systems Engineering Institute to objectively assess the full range of an organization's software and systems engineering, program management and organizational management capabilities. There are five levels of CMMI® maturity, each a layer in the foundation for ongoing process improvement, designated by the numbers one through five. High maturity levels signify lower risks to successful program execution.