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Innovative CMMI Solutions
Trinity Management Consultants - A CMMI Institute Partner
Worldwide Providers of CMMI Consultancy, CMMI Training and CMMI Appraisal Services.
CMMI Appraisal Services
Why Conduct Appraisals
Everyone has their own idea of how their organisation's processes can be improved.  Because of this there can be disagreement about how to proceed; this in itself hinders progress.  In order to improve processes within your organisation we strongly recommended that you first establish the actual status and identify the gaps between where you are and where you want to be. 

A CMMI appraisal provides focus on the process strengths and critical areas to improve and the results from your appraisal will help you identify weaknesses against the CMMI , as well as business opportunities outside of the model, and help you prioritise these findings into a workable improvement programme.

Unless you measure your organisation's process strengths and weaknesses you will not know where to focus your process improvement efforts. By knowing the actual strengths and weaknesses it is easier to establish an effective and more focused action plan. Appraisals also help you in prioritising your areas for improvement and facilitate the development of a strategy for consolidating your process improvements on a sustainable basis.

A CMMI appraisal provides focus on the process strengths and critical areas to improve and the results from your appraisal will help you evaluate your organisation's current position against stated business objectives and identify areas of risk to your business. 

Following your appraisal you will have:
  Trinity's SCAMPI Appraisals
Trinity's appraisers are all SCAMPI qualified by the CMMI Institute and we offer a variety of appraisal options based on the SCAMPI Class A, B and C methods.  Our appraisal technique is to establish a "Process Baseline" and evaluate progress by a series of "mini" appraisals.  All of which will evaluate your organisation's current position against stated business objectives and provide you with an action plan that both provides for progress to the next level as well as mitigates the business risks identified during the appraisal.

Our SCAMPI Class C appraisals range from a "quick look" by a single objective consultant to a rigorous but cost effective examination of your processes and their assets (documentation, tools, templates, etc.) by an appraisal team of 3 to 7 members, including the Lead.  SCAMPI Class A and B appraisals are more formal and require a team of 5 to 7 (or more) with the SCAMPI Class A being used to provide your organisation with either a Capability Level or Maturity Level rating against the CMMI.  For more about SCAMPI Classes of appraisal click here.
CMMI Training and Consultancy Providers   An organisation-wide consensus on the strengths and critical areas to improve through the participation of managers and practitioners in determining key issues.
CMMI Training and Consultancy Providers   A common framework for both managers and staff to improve your processes within a workable improvement programme.
CMMI Training and Consultancy Providers   The foundation for an effective and focused improvement plan designed to raise the level of your productivity, performance, and quality.

Set out below are the steps that we take in conducting a successful SCAMPI appraisal of your organisation.

1. Preparation
preparation for your appraisal always plays a big part in its success.  Since a CMMI appraisal can be used to evaluate the processes associated with systems engineering, software engineering, acquisition and service delivery the definition of the scope of the organisation is probably the one decision that most affects the time to complete the appraisal itself.  The broader the scope of the organisation the more people will be involved in the appraisal; a broader organisation, or an organisation now looking at including more "disciplines," takes more time to appraise.  We will provide you with the advice you need to ensure the scope of the organisation is appropriate for the aims and objectives of the appraisal.

In addition we will complete
as much work as possible before the "on-site" period of the appraisal.  This may include mapping your organisation's processes to the CMMI , gathering and/or reviewing evidence, distributing and completing CMMI based questionnaires, and developing interview questions for use during the appraisal.  The better the data your appraisal team starts with, the less time it will take to complete and the more accurate the result.

Our appraisal teams are usually comprised of knowledgeable "insiders" and objective "outsiders" and led by an appraiser qualified in the SCAMPI method appropriate for the type of appraisal conducted.  Therefore probably the biggest contributor to the success of your CMMI appraisal will be in providing your appraisal participants with the proper level of education.  We will ensure that the appraisal sponsors have realistic expectations concerning the scope of the organisation, the number of appraisal participants and their areas of expertise, and the use of each of the appraisal classes.  The appraisal team and the supporting staff responsible for the appraisal pre-work need to understand the CMMI, the requirements and methodology for the appropriate class of appraisal, and how to map or translate the work being performed in the organisation to the CMMI. The remainder of the appraisal participants most likely will not need any special CMMI training.

2. Appraisal Planning
To ensure the appraisal is correctly scoped and planned, all the logistics managed, the team adequately trained and the organisation suitably prepared we have devised our own toolkit based around the SCAMPI method that we will make available to you.  Our toolkit ensures that:
CMMI Training and Consultancy Providers   Senior management is involved in the appraisal process to ensure buy-in of the results.
CMMI Training and Consultancy Providers   Each appraisal is scoped to meet the needs of the organisation in terms of organisational size, the relevant areas of the CMMI , and appraisal method to be used.
CMMI Training and Consultancy Providers   All appraisal pre-work is completed in preparation for, and prior to, the appraisal.
CMMI Training and Consultancy Providers   An appraisal team is formed and trained in the appraisal method to be used (e.g., SCAMPI Class A or mini appraisal).
CMMI Training and Consultancy Providers   The appraisal participants are briefed on the appraisal method and the activities in which they will be involved.
CMMI Training and Consultancy Providers   The findings of the appraisal are developed during the appraisal period with significant involvement of the organisation's managers and staff.
CMMI Training and Consultancy Providers   The final appraisal results are discussed with the management team and presented to the appraisal participants and (optionally) the staff of the appraised organisation.
CMMI Training and Consultancy Providers  
Focus is placed on the organisation obtaining the intended benefit from the CMMI practices.

Using our appraisal planning and tailoring checklists to ensure nothing is forgotten we will work with you to establish the type (Class) of appraisal to be undertaken, the projects or services that will be appraised, the model practices that will be used and the operational and management infrastructure.  All of this will be used to create a plan for the appraisal which will serve as the key appraisal management document.  It is broken down into sections that are established and maintained over time as planning data becomes available, is clarified and finalised.

In order to assist the plan's author(s) an appraisal tailoring checklist is included and this should be used in conjunction with the task breakdown to ensure that all the tasks relevant to this appraisal are identified and planned.  For ease of use each section in the plan contains a reference to the relevant task; this is not an exclusive list and other tasks that have not been included may contribute to the appraisal planning activities.  "Boiler plate" text is provided in most sections; this should be adapted to reflect the activities of the appraisal and may be removed if not applicable.

For all SCAMPI appraisals that are to be registered with the CMMI the appraisal's lead will need to complete a record in the CMMI Appraisal System (SAS). For this he will require much of the data included in this plan.

During the planning of the appraisal the activities need to be co-ordinated between the appraisal's sponsor(s) and the appraisal team leader. Our associated Appraisal Progress Tracker should be used to track and report progress against these planning activities.

On completion the plan is to be signed off by the relevant approval authorities, including but not limited to the appraisal sponsor and appraisal team leader.

3. Training
A CMMI appraisal is a collaborative exercise with Trinity's lead and, if required, consultants, working in conjunction with your team members to obtain consensus on the process strengths and gaps against the CMMI practices.  For you to obtain maximum benefit from the appraisal and accurately interpret the results into a meaningful improvement plan we will train your staff as appropriate in the aspects of the CMMI that is important to them and the team members in the appraisal method itself.  We have a number of courses available from the CMMI's three day Introduction to the CMMI (Services or Development) to short overviews and briefings.

4. Conducting the Appraisal
This step is performed on site and comprises the following activities.
Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI)
The Appraisal is a collaborative fact finding, not fault finding, exercise with the focus on the process and not the people.  Evidence to confirm implementation of the process such as process descriptions, project or service plans, measures, audit reports and customer deliverables are gathered and evaluated against the CMMI.  This can be by interview, document review or both with the team looking to discover firsthand how work is performed and managed and to provide supporting information to ensure a factual basis for their observations and findings.

To encourage openness from the interviewees all appraisal details are confidential with no attribution being given to the source of the finding.

Once the evidence has been evaluated the team 'score' the CMMI practices; for each practice that they deem does not meet the model the team must provide supporting evidence.  Finally the findings are presented to management and, if required, to the appraised organisation.

5. Analyse Risk
Finally we will work with you to analyse the results of the appraisal and establish the amount of business risk that each finding presents. We will also help establish work packages of findings with a common theme ensuring that the maximum number of findings are resolved with the minimum number of activities.

Trinity's SCAMPI appraisals are delivered through our licensed partner Agreement with the CMMI Institute.