CMMI Appraisals

SysDevCo recommends that you first identify the gaps between where you are and where you want to be by performing a CMMI appraisal.

The following represents SysDevCo’s standard application of the official SCAMPI method.

The SCAMPI comprises three phases: Plan and Prepare for Appraisal, Conduct Appraisal, and Report Results. The Plan and Prepare Phase requires the most significant time investment among the three phases, and therefore has been most extensively elaborated in the SysDevCo approach, seen below.

During initial planning, meetings are held with the Appraisal Sponsor and the Site Coordinator to establish the business and appraisal objectives. Prior to moving forward with the appraisal’s first phase at least one meeting between the Appraisal Sponsor and the Lead Appraiser  for the purpose of reaching a consensus on the fundamental goals and objectives of the appraisal, is necessary. SysDevCo will work with the Appraisal Sponsor and Site Coordinator in defining the appraisal requirements including organizational scope, appraisal constraints, Class A tailoring, and the expected and required appraisal outputs. This stage requires a significant investment of effort and time on the part of the Appraisal Sponsor, Site Coordinator, and Appraisal Planner. All results are documented in the Appraisal Input Record, which will be placed under change control and will be used by the Appraisal Team Leader (ATL), Site Coordinator, and Appraisal Sponsor. The Appraisal Input Record will ultimately be submitted to the CMMI Institute as part of the Appraisal Submittal Packet.

After establishing the basic elements of the appraisal requirements, appraisal planning begins in earnest. SysDevCo will assist the Appraisal Sponsor and Site Coordinator in identifying needed resources, candidate projects, logistical issues, and risks (with mitigation strategies). This detailed planning also results in the detailed Appraisal Schedule.

The ATL and Appraisal Sponsor, with the assistance of the Site Coordinator, will identify candidate Appraisal Team Members (ATMs). Each candidate will undergo a qualification review in order to establish a qualified CMMI Appraisal Team. SysDevCo, Inc. prefers that candidate team members have significant experience working with the model. ATMs are required to have taken Introduction to CMMI for Development, Version 1.3. It is important to note that the organization identifies candidate projects (with summary sheets), but the ATL selects the projects to accurately represent the organization and lifecycle. The same holds for ATMs: the organization proposes potential Appraisal Team Members but the ATL selects the team members to meet SCAMPI requirements. Planning also includes finalization of interview lists.

While the organization collects objective evidence, the ATL will monitor the progress of the Data Collection Plan. Included in the monitoring of the Data Collection Plan is at least one 4-6 hour Interim Readiness Review of organizational materials to ensure the correct data is included in the Practice Implementation Indicator Description (PIID). This review will be scoped to balance cost and risk mitigation.  If the Organizational Unit (OU) is determined by the ATL to not be ready for appraisal, adjustments to the Data Collection Plan and to the overall Appraisal Plan may be made and the OU can carry on the Appraisal Readiness Process. In the worst case, the appraisal may be rescheduled or cancelled, or other contingency plans may take the place of the Appraisal Plan. The Interim Readiness Review should also verify the organizational and project briefings for the Appraisal Team, and finalize any issues with interview lists.

The Appraisal Team, in its entirety, is required to perform Appraisal Training and Readiness Review at a time to be determined during appraisal planning. During the Appraisal Training and Readiness Review, the Appraisal Team will be trained in their roles during the SCAMPI Class A Appraisal, and will perform an initial check of the PIID. If the objective evidence is not complete, accurate, and ready, the appraisal may be delayed or cancelled at the discretion of the ATL.

CMMI training, if required, is outside the scope of Appraisal Planning and Preparation.

During the SCAMPI Class A Appraisal, the Appraisal Team will review the objective evidence provided by the organization in the PIID, as well as conduct interviews to gather additional evidence. The team will examine and categorize this evidence based on the CMMI Process Areas, verify and validate the evidence using the SCAMPI Class A rules, and capture the information learned from this review. This information is then presented to the organization in a series of draft findings reviews to allow the organization a chance to verify the information, and potentially provide additional objective evidence for the Appraisal Team to review.

Using the information collected, the Appraisal Team uses a team consensus method to perform goal and Process Area ratings based upon the rules required by the SCAMPI Class A Method and the appraisal scope defined in the Appraisal Inputs Document. The last event in the SCAMPI Class A Appraisal is a final presentation of weaknesses and final ratings, formally presented to the Appraisal Sponsor and other invited participants.

The SCAMPI Class A Appraisal is only completed when the data has been packaged and delivered to the CMMI Institute and qualified users. Confidential data unnecessary for submission to the CMMI Institute must be disposed of in a confidential manner. Lessons learned from the experience are collected and used to improve the appraisal process both from the perspective of the organization, SysDevCo, Inc., and the CMMI Institute.

The CMMI Institute is the steward of the model and requires that a subset of the appraisal data be submitted for recognition and for improving the model.

The following deliverables may result from planning, performing, and reporting a CMMI appraisal:

  • Appraisal Preparation
    • Meetings, Teleconferences
    • Document Reviews
  • Presentation of Weaknesses
    • Supporting information from the review of process documentation
  • Appraisal Plan
  • Appraisal Disclosure Statement (ADS)