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To save you the search, below please find the official list of the CMMI capability maturity levels (ref: CMMI v1.1). Note that there are no levels 1.5 or 2.5, there are only levels 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. As mentioned, each level corresponds to a markedly improved “stepped-up” time/cost performance.  For more information, and the official bodies of work, visit the CMU-SEI site.


SmartMatix comments are in blue: For CMMI “minus” levels click here.



Process Area




“Management by heroics”, on average (if you did many projects) twice over time and cost.


Of course on individual projects, “by heroics” managers can drive the team to complete “on-time/to cost”. However, typically there is no way to verify scope (it sort of delivers) and you may experience high staff turnover as people don’t enjoy making overtime and being bullied around. But hey, the manager is successful; the job appears to be done on time, to cost... However, before long, phase 1B, or project 2, or 1+ commences…


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.


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.


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.


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.



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