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The table below provides more detail on each of the process areas (PAs) for each of the CMMI maturity levels (source CMMI-DEV, V1.3, CMU/SEI-2010-TR-033, Staged Representation).


Note that for each process area there are a range of specific and generic practices (things you need to do). Hence the CMMI is very specific and practical regarding what needs to happen to make a stepped-up performance improvement. For an example of Specific Practices for requirements management, see THE level 2 hurdle.




Key Process Area




Level 2 - Managed

At maturity level 2, the projects of the organization have ensured that requirements are managed and that processes are planned, performed, measured, and controlled. The process discipline reflected by maturity level 2 helps to ensure that existing practices are retained during times of stress. When these practices are in place, projects are performed and managed according to their documented plans.



Requirements Management

The purpose of Requirements Management is to manage the requirements of the project's products and product components and to identify inconsistencies between those requirements and the project's plans and work products.



Project Planning

The purpose of Project Planning is to establish and maintain plans that define project activities.



Project Monitoring and Control

The purpose of Project Monitoring and Control is to provide an understanding of the project's progress so that appropriate corrective actions can be taken when the project's performance deviates significantly from the plan.



Supplier Agreement Management

The purpose of Supplier Agreement Management is to manage the acquisition of products from suppliers for which there exists a formal agreement.



Measurement and Analysis

The purpose of Measurement and Analysis is to develop and sustain a measurement capability that is used to support management information needs.



Process and Product Quality Assurance

The purpose of Process and Product Quality Assurance is to provide staff and management with objective insight into processes and associated work products.



Configuration Management

The purpose of Configuration Management is to establish and maintain the integrity of work products using configuration identification, configuration control, configuration status accounting, and configuration audits.



Level 3 - Defined

At maturity level 3, processes are well characterized and understood, and are described in standards, procedures, tools, and methods. The organization's set of standard processes, is established and improved over time. These standard processes are used to establish consistency across the organization. Projects establish their defined processes by tailoring the organization's set of standard processes according to tailoring guidelines.



Requirements Development

The purpose of Requirements Development (RD) is to elicit, analyze, and establish customer, product, and product component requirements.



Technical Solution

The purpose of Technical Solution is to design, develop, and implement solutions to requirements. Solutions, designs, and implementations encompass products, product components, and product-related life-cycle processes either singly or in combinations as appropriate.



Product Integration

The purpose of Product Integration is to assemble the product from the product components, ensure that the product, as integrated, functions properly, and deliver the product.




The purpose of Verification is to ensure that selected work products meet their specified requirements.




The purpose of Validation is to demonstrate that a product or product component fulfils its intended use when placed in its intended environment.

3 RSKM Risk Management The purpose of Risk Management is to identify potential problems before they occur, so that risk-handling activities may be planned and invoked as needed across the life of the product or project to mitigate adverse impacts on achieving objectives.
3 DAR Decision Analysis and Resolution The purpose of Decision Analysis and Resolution is to analyze possible decisions using a formal evaluation process that evaluates identified alternatives against established criteria. The Decision Analysis and Resolution process area supports all the process areas by providing a formal evaluation process that ensures that alternatives are compared and the best one is selected to accomplish the goals of the process areas.
3 IPM Integrated Project Management The purpose of Integrated Project Management is to establish and manage the project and the involvement of the relevant stakeholders according to an integrated and defined process that is tailored from the organization's set of standard processes.
3 OPF Organizational Process Focus The purpose of Organizational Process Focus is to plan and implement organizational process improvement based on a thorough understanding of the current strengths and weaknesses of the organization's processes and process assets.



Organizational Process Definition

The purpose of Organizational Process Definition is to establish and maintain a usable set of organizational process assets.



Organizational Training

The purpose of Organizational Training is to develop the skills and knowledge of people so they can perform their roles effectively and efficiently.



Level 4 - Quantitatively Managed

At maturity level 4, Quantitative objectives for quality and process performance are established and used as criteria in managing processes. Quantitative objectives are based on the needs of the customer, end users, organization, and process implementers. Quality and process performance are understood in statistical terms and are managed throughout the life of the processes.



Organizational Process Performance

The purpose of Organizational Process Performance is to establish and maintain a quantitative understanding of the performance of the organization's set of standard processes in support of quality and process-performance objectives, and to provide the process performance data, baselines, and models to quantitatively manage the organization's projects.



Quantitative Project Management

The purpose of the Quantitative Project Management process area is to quantitatively manage the project's defined process to achieve the project's established quality and process-performance objectives.



Level 5 - Optimizing

Maturity level 5 focuses on continually improving process performance. Processes are continually improved based on a quantitative understanding of the common causes of variation inherent in processes. The effects of deployed process improvements are measured and evaluated against the quantitative process-improvement objectives.



Organizational Performance Management

The purpose of Organizational Performance Management (OPM) is to proactively manage the organization’s performance to meet its business objectives.



Causal Analysis and Resolution

The purpose of Causal Analysis and Resolution is to identify causes of defects and other problems and take action to prevent them from occurring in the future.




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