by , Appraisal, No Comments

May 6

How to Prepare for a CMMI Appraisal – Planning

What is CMMI?

by Kevin Cotherman, Appraisal, No Comments

May 6





How to Prepare for a CMMI Appraisal – Planning

In a prior blog I wrote about picking a CMMI SCAMPI Lead Appraiser.  Let’s assume you picked a lead appraiser and have been working with him/her to implement the CMMI.  Let’s also assume that you have a target date of when you’d like to have your appraisal completed.  You need to be aware of some facts that may impact your appraisal target date.

Many organizations need to have a CMMI maturity level to bid on a proposal.  Your organization cannot publicize your appraisal results until the CMMI Institute has accepted your appraisal.  In other words, you cannot submit a proposal with your maturity level until the CMMI Institute has accepted your appraisal.  The CMMI Institute has up to 30 days to review and accept your appraisal after it is submitted.  So if a proposal is due on October 1, then you should have completed your appraisal by August 30 just to be safe.

Your appraiser must agree on a target date as well.  If your appraiser has been involved with your CMMI implementation then he/she has probably conducted several reviews, so he/she will know if your target date is feasible.

As you begin planning for the appraisal, you will need to provide your appraiser with some information.

Sampling factors.  These factors are what differentiate your projects and allows your appraiser to group your projects.  The most common sampling factors are:

  • Locations: work that is performed differently in different locations (e.g., countries, cities, sites or installations)
  • Customer types: work that is performed differently depending on the customer served by that work (e.g., commercial, government)
  • Project Size: work that is performed differently based on the size of the basic unit or support function (e.g., large >50 people; medium <=49, >=11; small <=10)
  • Duration of Work: How long the work is to be performed. (e.g., Long >1 yr; Medium <1 yr, >3  months; short <3 months)
  • Type of Work: work that is performed differently based on the type of work (e.g., system integration, software development, IT-support services, or help-desk)
  • Organizational Structure: work that is performed differently in different parts of the organizational structure (e.g., different divisions as depicted on an      organization chart)

You will need to work closely with your lead appraiser to finalize an accurate list of sampling factors.

After the sampling factors have been finalized, you will provide a list of the projects (basic units) within your organization that is going to be appraised, and which sampling factors apply to each project.  From this list your lead appraiser will determine the minimum number of projects to be sampled for the appraisal.

Another item that must be considered early in the planning phase is the appraisal team.  An appraisal team must have at least four team members, of which one is the lead appraiser. The number of team members will depend on the maturity level and number of projects being appraised.

The team members can be internal to the organization or external.  All team members must have attended the official Introduction to CMMI 3-day course for the constellation being appraised.  You have a decision to pay the expense of internal personnel attending the course, and for them being unavailable for company business during the appraisal, or pay for qualified external team members.  In any case, all team members must be reviewed and accepted by the lead appraiser.

You must work closely with your lead appraiser in the early planning for your appraisal.  Each appraiser has their own planning documents, but I have a SCAMPI planning worksheet and an ATM document that I will send to you if you are interested in seeing what is typically required. 

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.

My next blog will be on the next step in preparing for your appraisal – completing the PIID.

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