There are five generic goals in CMMI. They are labeled Generic Goal 1 (GG1), Generic Goal 2 (GG2), Generic Goal 3 (GG3), and so on. The naming here is a little awkward. You can implement CMMI one of two ways: the Staged Representation or the Continuous Representation (more on this in the section "Implementing CMMI," at the end of this chapter). If you elect to implement the Continuous Representation, all five generic goals may be applied. That's what will get you to a specific capability level.
For example, if you wish to be known as a CMMI Capability Level 4 Project Monitoring and Control shop, you would need to meet all of the specific goals for the PM&C PA, as well as generic goals GG1 through GG4.
In the Staged Representation, the designation is really about maturity level. With the Staged Representation, you reach a maturity level by implementing a set series of PAs. For Staged, there are only two generic goals that need to be applied, GG2 and GG3. Generic Goal 2 is applied when an organization is building a Level 2 program; GG3 comes in when the organization moves up to Level 3, and then sustains the program through Levels 4 and 5. There are no other generic goals required for any higher maturity levels; GG2 and GG3 are it.
The generic goals play an important role in implementing CMMI. They define and support the framework each Process Area needs to operate consistently, predictably, and manageably. In the language of the SEI, the generic goals provide the ...