Staged versus continuous representation

Summary of staged and continuous representations

Staged and continuous representation comparison

Staged Representation Continuous Representation
Process Areas are organised by Maturity Level.Process Areas are organised by Process Area categories.
Improvement is measured using Maturity LevelsImprovement is measured using capability levels – i.e. a measure of maturity of a particular process across the organisation.
Maturity Levels range from 1 to 5Capability levels range from 0 to 5
There is only one type of Specific Practice. The concepts of base and advanced practices is not used. All Specific Practices appear in the staged representation except when a related base-advanced pair of practices appears in the continuous representation, in which case only the advanced practice appears in the staged representation.There are two types of Specific Practice – base and advanced. All Specific Practices appear in the continuous representation.
Common features are used to organise Generic Practices.Capability levels are used to organise Generic Practices.
Only the Level 2 and Level 3 Generic Practices are included.All Generic Practices are included in each Process Area.
There is no need for an equivalence mechanism back to the continuous representation because each organisation can choose what to improve (and how much to improve it) using the continuous representation.Equivalent staging allows determination of a Maturity Level from an organisation’s achievement profile.

Comparison of Capability and Maturity Levels

The table below shows the links between the staged and continuous representation. This is worth remembering as it could be a subject on which a question is asked in the exam. When looking at the names and levels, all models are quite similar.

Staged and continuous representation Levels comparison

Level Staged Representation Maturity Levels Continuous Representation Capability Levels
5OptimisingOptimising
4Quantitatively ManagedQuantitatively Managed
3DefinedDefined
2ManagedManaged
1InitialPerformed
0Incomplete