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The CMMI represents a process meta-model in two different ways:

As a continuous model

As a staged model.

Each process area is formally assessed against specific goals and practices and is rated according to the following capability levels.

Level 0: Incomplete. The process area is either not performed or does not achieve all goals and objectives defined by CMMI for level 1 capability.

Level 1: Performed. All of the specific goals of the process area have been satisfied. Work tasks required to produce defined work products are being conducted.

Level 2: Managed. All level 1 criteria have been satisfied. In addition, all work associated with the process area conforms to an organizationally defined policy; all people doing the work have access to adequate resources to get the job done; stakeholders are actively involved in the process area as required; all work tasks and work products are ―monitored, controlled, and reviewed;

Level 3: Defined. All level 2 criteria have been achieved. In addition, the process is ―tailored from the organizations set of standard processes according to the organizations tailoring guidelines, and contributes and work products, measures and other process-improvement information to the organizational process assets.

Level 4: Quantitatively managed. All level 3 criteria have been achieved. In addition, the process area is controlled and improved using measurement and quantitative assessment.Quantitative objectives forquality and process performance are established and used as criteria in managing the process‖

Level 5: Optimized. All level 4 criteria have been achieved. In addition, the process area is adapted and optimized using quantitative means to meet changing customer needs and to continually improve the efficacy of the process area under consideration.

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