October 5, 2010

The Standard CMMI Based Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) version 1.3 is planned to be published in January 2011. There are some good things in the new approach which clarify and tighten the rules. Please note that the method is out for review and is not yet released. Changes will continue in the coming months, these comments and reviews are based on an intermediate release.

First of all, the selection of the projects or teams to be included in the appraisal is based on an understanding of the products and services provided by the organization in scope. The lead appraiser is required to understand the variations that exist, in terms of technology, location, customer, etc. Then, the projects to participate are selected to statistically represent the whole organization. This is performed through a methodology that is probably easier to apply than to explain; particularly for the moment, as the official explanation requires clarification of terms such as “basic unit”, “sampling factor” and “subgroups”. But it really is not as complicated as it sounds. For a diverse organization, this new approach will require that a larger number of projects participate in an appraisal, which would lead to more honest ratings for the unit. If the number of projects and teams to be reviewed exceeds the constraints of time and cost for the appraisal, the scope will have to be reduced. Now, the question is how will this be demonstrated on the PARS and official reports of the appraisal so as to avoid the advertising of an organization being Maturity Level x, when in fact only a reduced scope was considered.

As a consequence of this, the concepts of focus and non-focus projects have been removed from the method.

The requirement for “direct” and “indirect” artefacts no longer exists. Instead, there is a requirement for the lead appraiser to ensure that there is enough evidence, both written (artefacts) and “oral” (affirmations), to demonstrate that the practice is correctly implemented. I would assume that we still need to demonstrate that the practice is performed, used and understood.

Another change is the fact that lead appraiser’s experience may no longer count in calculating the experience of the team. The team members, excluding lead, will have to demonstrate an average of 6 years experience and a total of 25 years, at least. This may be a serious issue for some of the younger organizations, particularily when working in countries such as Romania or Ukraine. There is a waiver option for young organizations, but the SLA will have to make a specific request to the SEI each time, in time.

On the downside, the new licencing structure means that each Class A appraisal will require a $1000.00 charge, which will put up the cost of appraisals at a difficult time for most businesses.

Change requests can be send to “cmmi-comment{at}sei.cmu.edu” with “SCAMPI v1.3” referenced in the subject.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bill Smith and CMMI Appraiser, PeterLeeson. PeterLeeson said: Notes and comments on the new SCAMPI v1.3 at http://bit.ly/9hrgFn #CMMIWorkshop […]

  2. Since posting this, I have received a request to clarify a couple of points.
    The new SCAMPI focuses on ensuring that artefacts demonstrate that an activity is sufficiently implemented to satisfy the model’s expectations. There is no longer a requirement to have three (why 3?) proofs of implementation but enough – sometimes that is only 1 artefact, sometimes it is 10.
    The artefacts need to be identified without spending time trying to determine whether something is a direct or indirect artefact, just that it demonstrates correct implementation, usage and understanding. So the focus is on finding the artefacts and not classifying them for SCAMPI purposes.
    The additional $1000.00 SEI fee for each class-A SCAMPI is based on a previous suggestion that the fees should be adapted to the size of the partner rather than having the same size for all. The original proposal was to replace the yearly fee by a per-use fee. It seems that only half the message got across, but the SEI assures us that, in exchange of this new fee, they will not increase the yearly fee (this year)! The result of this will probably be a return to the CBA-IPI days, when many organizations requested a formal appraisal, but not to report it to the SEI in order to save the fee, it will be up to the LA to persuade customers to report from time to time in order to maintain the minimum requirements to maintain their certification. It also means that the SEI’s statistics will be incomplete and only show results for those willing to report.

  3. Hi Peter, Thanks for the clarification.
    I have futher query on following point:
    “The artefacts need to be identified without spending time trying to determine whether something is a direct or indirect artefact, just that it demonstrates correct implementation, usage and understanding”
    Doesn’t it create a room for presception to creep in. How and who will decide the shown artifact demonstrates correct implementation, usage and understanding. Will there be any guidelines for the same. If not then it will depend on what the LA ir HMLA perceives to be correct. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  4. Yes, it is the lead appraiser and the team to determine whether the artefacts are sufficient to make them feel comfortable that the practice is satisfied. As previously. What has changed is the checklist inventory of documentation is replaced by the concept of “necessary and sufficient”.

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