CMMi SCAMPI

An overview of SCAMPI, Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement.

Article Purpose

The purpose of this article is to present a summary of the SACMPI evaluation methods. SCAMPI is the official appraisal methodology for determining a given organization’s CMMI maturity (or capability) rating.

This article focuses on the assessment portion of SCAMPI and is derived from the SEI official SCAMPI documentation.

The intent of this summary is to help an organization make a preliminary self assessment and to provide an overview of the SCAMPI evaluation methods.

If the reader is unfamiliar with the CMMi terms then an introduction to CMMi should be read first.

Introduction to SCAMPI.



In order for an organization to be officially appraised for CMMI, and (if required) have their rating published, an external certified team of appraisers must conduct a review of the objective evidence that would support the CMMI Practices and Goals required for the given certification (rating). Typically this is a major undertaking with a small team of external auditors collecting information (via interviews and reading documentation etc.) then analyzing this information to produce an appropriate rating.

In addition to the actual rating the appraisal team will make recommendations on which process areas have deficient evidence that support the presence of a given Practice or Goal. The team would also advise the organization on how to make up such deficiencies for future appraisals. One major benefit of such an extensive external appraisal is to give the organization an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of their current processes.

The main purpose of the official SCAMPI documentation is to be a training aid for team members of a full CMMI appraisal. As such the document contains chapters on How to manage the Appraisal project, although this information is vital for an appraisal it is not documented here as only the key points of the evaluation it's self are outlined.

Concepts for evaluation.



Practice Implementation Indicators (PII) is pieces of evidence that a given CMMI Practice (that supports a Goal) has indeed been implemented. The idea is that performing a Practice will leave a “footprint” or evidence that the practice has been performed. A PII could be a document (for example a Requirements Traceability Matrix, RTM) that is directly produced from a Practice, i.e. within the Requirements Management process area for the RTM.

What the appraisers are looking for, in order to make an assessment, is objective evidence of the Practice Implementation Indicators (PII). There are three basic types of PII listed in the SCAMPI documentation, table (Table I-8) is reproduced here.

Table I-8: Practice Implementation Indicator Types



Indicator Type Description Examples
Direct artifacts The tangible outputs resulting directly
from implementation of a specific or
generic practice. An integral part of
verifying practice implementation. May
be explicitly stated or implied by the
practice statement or associated
informative material.
Typical work products listed
in reference model practices

Target products of an
Establish and Maintain specific practice

Documents, deliverable
products, training materials,
etc.
Indirect artifacts Artifacts that are a consequence of
performing a specific or generic practice
or that substantiate its implementation,
but which are not the purpose for which
the practice is performed. This indicator
type is especially useful when there may
be doubts about whether the intent of the
practice has been met (e.g., an artifact
exists but there is no indication of where
it came from, who worked to develop it,
or how it is used).
Typical work products listed
in reference model practices

Meeting minutes, review
results, status reports,
presentations, etc.

Performance measures
Affirmations Oral or written statements confirming or
supporting implementation (or lack of
implementation) of a specific or generic
practice. These statements are usually
provided by the implementers of the
practice and/or internal or external
customers, but may also include other
stakeholders (e.g., managers and
suppliers).
Instruments

Interviews

Presentations,
demonstrations, etc.




When the Objective evidence has been collected and examined a Characterization of the extent to which the Model practices are implemented, can be made.

The Model practices are characterized as:-



Label Meaning
Fully Implemented (FI)
  • One or more direct artifacts are present and judged to be adequate,

  • at least one indirect artifact and/or affirmation exists to confirm the implementation, and

  • no weaknesses are noted.
  • Largely Implemented (LI)
  • One or more direct artifacts are present and judged to be adequate,

  • at least one indirect artifact and/or affirmation exists to confirm the implementation, and

  • one or more weaknesses are noted.
  • Partially Implemented (PI)
  • Direct artifacts are absent or judged to be inadequate,

  • one or more indirect artifacts or affirmations suggest that some aspects of the practice are implemented, and

  • one or more weaknesses are noted. OR

  • One or more direct artifacts are present and judged to be adequate,

  • no other evidence (indirect artifacts, affirmations) support the direct artifact(s), and

  • one or more weaknesses are noted.
  • Not Implemented (NI)
  • Direct artifacts are absent or judged to be inadequate,

  • no other evidence (indirect artifacts, affirmation) supports the practice implementation, and

  • one or more weaknesses are noted.
  • Not Yet (NY)
  • The project or support group has not yet reached the stage in the lifecycle to have implemented the practice.
  • Generating Appraisal results



    Following the collection and evaluation of objective evidence supporting the implementation of Practices, the extent to which the Goals (of a given CMMi Process Area) are being met can be accessed.

    Goal satisfaction is based on the extent to which the practices associated with that goal have been implemented. This determination is made using the concepts outlined in the previous section.

    For Example:-

    SG 1 Develop Customer Requirements (a goal within the Requirements Development Process Area) has a Specific Practice of Elicit Needs.

    An appraiser would look for evidence that the SP Elicit Needs was implemented (using the previously described concepts). Then make a determination as to whether or not the related Goal (Develop Customer Requirements) is satisfied.

    The goal is rated Satisfied if and only if
    • all associated practices are characterized at the organizational unit level as either Largely Implemented or Fully Implemented, and
    • the aggregation of weaknesses associated with the goal does not have a significant negative impact on goal achievement.
    When a given Goal is determined to be either Satisfied or not, then a Capability Level (for the continuous representation) can be derived as:-



    Capability Level Process Areas
    0 Default Rating
    1 Generic goal for capability level 1 is rated Satisfied.

    All specific goals are rated Satisfied.
    2 Generic goals for capability levels 1 and 2 are rated Satisfied.

    All specific goals are rated Satisfied.
    3 Generic goals for capability levels 1, 2, and 3 are rated Satisfied.

    All specific goals are rated Satisfied.
    4 Generic goals for capability levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 are rated Satisfied.

    All specific goals are rated Satisfied.
    5 Generic goals for capability levels 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are rated Satisfied.

    All specific goals are rated Satisfied.


    Conclusion.


    The above description is only a very high level description of the SCAMPI Appraisal process, clearly judgment and experience play a major part in an effective evaluation.

    The above outline, however, should help anyone performing an initial self appraisal, as well as providing an introduction to the CMMi Appraisal process.

    No guarantee (or claim) is made regarding the accuracy of this information. Any questions or comments should be sent to:-