Question: How many artifacts do you need for a CMMI appraisal?
What is the minimum number of Artifacts needed for a CMMI Appraisal?
Here’s the answer to another question that was asked during an “Ask the Lead Appraisers” webinar. The actual answer is there is no minimum months required for artifacts to be in existence. With that said, there are guidelines that are followed for each level of appraisal.
I’m going to answer this in a couple parts. I’ll start with the Class C appraisal which is usually conducted as a gap analysis to determine gaps the organization has in relation to the CMMI model. The organization either has the artifacts or they don’t and the analysis will identify that. The gap analysis is normally conducted from a fairly high level so even if an artifact has just recently been created, as long as it is identified and the appraiser can see it’s being used, the gap analysis results would not specify a weakness finding. The nature of the Class C is to stay at a high level and not delve deeply into each individual practice like a Class B and Class A appraisal requires.
When a Class B or Class A appraisal is conducted, the artifacts are looked at a bit differently than they are for the Class C. There are certain practices that specify “age” of the artifact(s) in that the practice may state that a plan with periodicity be developed – like “periodic objective evaluation of a process.” The appraisal team will be looking for the definition of the periodicity for the evaluations and enough artifacts to determine the practice is being performed according to that planned schedule. There are other practices that would have no weakness findings even if the artifact was created just prior to the start of the appraisal. As an example – it is always my recommendation that the organization document a process as they are currently performing it and then determine the gaps in the process’ “as-is” compared to the requirements of the CMMI model. If there are no gaps – then the process documentation may be fairly recent when the appraisal is conducted while the actual performance of that process (and therefore the resulting artifacts) is very well institutionalized. And that brings me to the final point for my answer to this question.
Maturity Level 3 states that processes are institutionalized which means the organization has developed a culture of performing in accordance with the documented processes. This culture can only be seen via the age and number of artifacts created as part of performing the processes. So again, there is no actual age requirement for an artifact but it will be determined during the appraisal whether the processes are institutionalized. I know it’s the old – “It Depends” answer but hopefully I’ve provided enough information to help you determine for yourself what you need to know.
If you want to ask your own questions, you can ask in our contact us section. Kevin Cotherman and Debbie O’Grady will get them answered on the next ”Ask The Lead Appraisers” webinar – or if you wish to remain anonymous, just send us an email.