A capability level consists of related specific and generic practices for a process area. As you satisfy the generic and specific goals for a process area at a particular capability level, and you achieve that capability level, you reap the benefits of process improvement. Capability levels focus on growing the organization’s ability to perform, control, and improve its performance in a process area. Capability levels enable you to track, evaluate, and demonstrate your organization’s progress as you improve processes associated with a process area. Capability levels build on each other, providing a recommended order for approaching process improvement.

In CMMI models with a continuous representation, there are six capability levels designated by the numbers 0 through 5.

  • 0 - Incomplete

  • 1 - Performed

  • 2 - Managed

  • 3 - Defined

  • 4 - Quantitatively Managed

  • 5 - Optimizing


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