Capability Maturity Model Integration, commonly abbreviated as CMMI is one of the process level improvement program that was released back in 2002. Before CMMI came into being, there was another process level program that is a successor of CMMI known as CMM which stands for Capability Maturity Model developed long ago in 1987. CMMI has been resulted in more worldwide acceptability than CMM because of its generic nature and easier practicability on different domains of industries.

CMMI – Categories of Components

There are three categories of components of CMMI levels and they are listed below:

  • Informative Components: These components are helping hands for the model users in order to better understand the required and expected components of CMMI models.
  • Required Components: These components are significant in order to achieve improvement in the process in any stated process area.
  • Expected Components: These components are the ones that best describe the activities that are really important in achieving a desired and required CMMI component. They are mostly used by those who wants to get process improvement cycles to get implemented in their organizations.

On a Journey to Explore CMMI Levels

Let’s begin our journey to see what CMMI levels are up to.

Types of Representations In CMMI

There are two types of representation in CMMI whose purpose is to execute improvement goals and their achievements.

  • Staged Representation: Staged representation helps to make the set of related processes in a better and improved form by using CMMI maturity levels.
  • Continuous Representation: Continuous representation enables an organization to make their related process better in more of an incremental way corresponding to an individual area of process by making use of capability levels.

Maturity Levels In CMMI

In order to characterize the state of processes of the organization, one utilize the maturity levels of CMMI. The maturity levels in CMMI are based on related specific and generic practices for an already defined process area or set of process areas.

  • Level 01 – Initial: Pretty unpredictable processes with poor control and measures having more of a reactive approach.
  • Level 02 – Managed: Still on a reactive approach with processes being characterized in projects.
  • Level 03 – Defined: Decisions based on proactive approach rather than on reactive approach and organizational processes are also being characterized proactively.
  • Level 04 – Quantitatively Managed: All the organizational processes being characterized are completely measured and controlled.
  • Level 05 – Optimization: organizational direction is more aligned towards the road to process improvement and innovative initiatives.

How to Measure Maturity Level?

In order to measure Maturity level for an organization, one must first have to look into the achievement level of the generic as well as specific goals which are being associated with a pre-defined process area or set of pre-defined process areas.

Real Nifty Moves to Get Ahead On Maturity Levels

Each of the Maturity level is a lighthouse for your organization to improve the organizational processes in order to move to the next maturity level.

Move # 01

The Level 01 organizations are mostly those which exceeds its budget, cannot abide by their own committed schedules and are unable to sustain their own success stories and can even banish their own standards in the time of crises. The success of level 01 organizations depend mostly on the competency of their teams rather than on proved standardized procedures. In order to move towards Level 02, one must have less chaotic processes and the success of an organization should not be only dependent on people but on the concrete and standardized process steps.

Move # 02

Lucky you if you are a Level 02 organization! Because being on Level 02 means you have implemented processes that are well-managed, fully controlled and services that you offer but still there is a lot more to do to reach and explore. Level 02 organizations are mostly well managed but usually lack proactive approach in their working methods. In order to reach Level 03 Maturity Level one must be able to have sufficient expertise to have a rigorous and proactive approach, descriptions of the processes in detailed formats, proven tools and successful methodologies that are equally practicable.

Move # 03

Congratulations, if you have made to Level 03 organization but remember sky is the limit! One is fully managing all the processes and its controls to the best of their capacities but the performance of the described processes are not controlled by statistical and other quantitative analysis with qualitative analysis and more.

Move # 04

Being a level # 04 organization, one should have successfully established quantitative and qualitative goals and should have built a solid tried and tested criteria but the focus on continuous improvement and innovative initiatives needs to be increased to become a Level 05 organization. In order to jump from level 4 to level 5, one must change the way of addressing process variations. In level 05 organization, processes are directed more towards changing the process parameters (keeping quality of the final product undisturbed) so that betterment in products can be achieved leading to more customer satisfaction and to get an edge among other market competitors existing in the market. Please keep in consideration that the amendments being made in the process must be made keeping statistical predictability and its results in mind. Haphazard amendments will result in disturbances in not only quality of the final product but in any organization as well. Risks should be taken on calculation basis preferably.

Few Loopholes in CMMI

The CMMI model and its practical application seems to be too detailed for the organizations that plans to start from scratch or from zero level. Moreover, CMMI application sometimes result in financial expenditures too which mostly companies don’t feel comfortable about. Generally companies get too stiff while following the model of CMMI i.e. when they find CMMI more detailed, they prefer following CMMI rules more strictly whereas the clauses in CMMI are not specific to every business so one must make wise and sensible choices according to their nature of business and their customers’ needs.