There are five distinct CMMI levels that define the different process capabilities of companies or organization. Determining the CMMI level of companies is critical for correctly appraising the actual strength and weakness of their organization.
CMMI Level 1 is the lowest rating an organization can get. It is also called the Initial level where the organization is mainly driven by individual initiatives rather than by institutionalized practices and standards. These types of organizations can accomplish a project but at a greater risk to the stakeholders. Normally, expertise on Level 1 organizations comes from individual champions or specialists.
CMMI Level 2 is called the repeatable organization. These types normally institute a certain amount of management in accomplishing projects and risks naturally are minimized. Level 2 CMMI organizations implement process standards.
CMMI Level 3 organizations have defined and institutionalized processes which can be implemented on their entire network and structures. Risk management is in place as well as efficient deployment of formulaic management solutions in order to deliver quality accomplishments and outputs.
CMMI Level 4 is also called managed organization. A company that belongs to this level uses scientific methods in managing projects. These methods include the utilization of data, information, and software to accomplish tasks in as little effort and resources as possible at a greater speed and fewer risks. Some say that organizations belonging to Level 4 CMMI are matured already. Stakeholders can be assured that their projects can be implemented on time, in budget, and at lesser risks.
CMMI Level 5 companies have the most highly optimized processes and standards which can be used over and over on similar project. Stakeholders of these types of companies can benefit from solid experience and expertise of staff and specialists.