Context The establishment of effective and efficient project management practices still remains a challenge to software organizations. In striving to address these needs, �best practice� models, such as, CMMI or PMBOK, are being developed to assist organizations interested in improving project management. And, although, those models share overlapping content, there are still differences and, therefore, each of the models offers different advantages.
Objective This paper proposes a set of unified project management best practices by integrating and harmonizing on a high-level perspective PMBOK (4th ed.) processes and CMMI-DEV v1.2 specific practices of the basic project management process areas PP, PMC and SAM.
Method Based on the analysis of both models, a unified set of best practices has been defined by a group of researchers with theoretical and practical expertise on the CMMI framework and software process improvement as well as project management and the PMBOK. The proposed set has been revised by different researchers from different institutions in several review rounds until consensus was achieved.
Results As a result, a set of unified best practices is defined and explicitly mapped to the correspondent PMBOK processes and CMMI specific practices of the current versions of both models.
Conclusion We can conclude that an integration and harmonization of both models is possible and may help to implement and assess project management processes more effectively and efficiently, optimizing software process improvement investments.