Ken Orr wrote ( in Cutter IT Journal Vol.3, No. 7 ):

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The CMM Levels

CMM has five levels (see Figure 1):

        1.      Initial

        2.      Repeatable

        3.      Defined

        4.      Managed

        5.      Optimizing


Figure 1

Figure 1 -- The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) ladder.


Level 1: Initial

Level 2: Repeatable

Level 3: Defined

Level 4: Managed

Level 5: Optimizing

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Level 1: Initial

Level 1 is fundamentally a software process that is ad hoc. There is no specific methodology, and each project is more or less a new activity. The initial stage is the default in software management. According to Joseph Raynus, President and CEO of VistaPortal, "Unfortunately, the initial level processes are the most practiced processes in the software business" [6].

Ultimately, the most serious problem with most Level 1 organizations is that management doesn't realize it's at that level. Like an alcoholic who can't be helped until he or she admits the problem, Level 1 organizations typically can't be improved until management recognizes that it is, in fact, a Level 1 organization. In the real world, this recognition often occurs when the organization wants to market to another organization that insists its vendors have a CMM process in place.

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