The Must-Know Basics of CMMI and The 5 Levels Of Maturity

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Companies around the world have realized that their core business processes could do with some improvement. The question they’re usually presented with is how to go about making that improvement in a planned, logical fashion. The Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) was designed as a way for businesses who want to improve their processes. CIO mentions that CMMI is focused on helping companies to streamline their process improvement methodologies. Before a company can implement CMMI however, it needs to understand how the model functions.

A Breakdown of CMMI

If you’re interested in implementing CMMI as a means of improving your business, then you should consult us to help you understand how it can lead to significant improvement in your company’s processes. These are:

  • Staged:

The staged component delineates the process into five distinct maturity levels

  • Continuous:

The continuous model deals with capability levels and applies the metric to each area of the organization
There is a distinct difference between these models, even though the content contained therein is the same. They exist to offer different perspectives on the same problem. Carnegie Mellon UniversityCarnegie Mellon University mentions that these perspectives allow various organizations to inspect their processes along different lines.

Breaking Down Staged Maturity Levels

We covered the critical steps for capability maturity implementation previously but never outlined the maturity levels that we employ to help businesses improve. The maturity levels in question are as follows:

Maturity Level 1: Initial

Firms at this maturity level lack planning that can inform their decisions. They tend to lack processes that help them to account for current spending or future financial planning. Their lack of foresight usually leads to poor sustainability planning.

Maturity Level 2: Managed

Companies within this heading can accomplish specific goals, with proper planning, management, and execution. These organizations also have feedback mechanisms in place to monitor and improve their processes going forward.

Maturity Level 3: Defined

At this level, a business can accomplish goals set forward in Levels 2 and 3. Their processes are well-documented and understood. Companies who fall into this category can explain what each of their processes do. They are also well-aware of the scope of those processes and the standards they conform to. The procedures are proactive in trying to ensure that the business is continually improving in its efforts.

Maturity Level 4: Quantitatively Managed

At this level, the business is managed using statistical data and techniques that utilize the information to improve them in a manner that affects those metrics. Companies at Level 4 achieve the goals outlined in the previous three levels as well as this one. At Level 3, only the quality of the improvements can be predicted accurately. At Level 4, the exact value of the development can be determined precisely.

Maturity Level 5: Optimizing

This maturity level focuses on constant improvement. By focusing on the quantitative methodology established at the previous level, a business can innovate to optimize their current processes. This innovation is the core of the improvement process at maturity level 5. Feedback from the previous standard can help the business be aware of whether it’s hitting its goals or if something needs to change. Companies at Level 5 also can achieve all the goals outlined in the previous levels.

Skipping Levels

While some businesses might be inclined to skip levels or aim for a maturity level far off from their current location, this isn’t recommended. It leads to complications with the system and can set a business back further rather than helping it to move forward. We outlined the major process areas that could benefit from CMMI in a previous post. If you’d like to have help with your CMMI solution, feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience. Our goal is to help all client businesses be the best that they can be.


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