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CMMI Appraisal Classes

The SCAMPI family of appraisals includes Class A, B, and C appraisal methods. All result in findings that describe the strengths and weaknesses of your organization’s process based on CMMI best practices. If you know these classes, you can make better decisions about which type of appraisal to use for your process improvement program.

SCAMPI Appraisal ClassesSCAMPI A is the most rigorous method and the only one that can result in a rating. It is usually conducted for a formal benchmark when a significant number of processes have been implemented. SCAMPI A requires a certified lead appraiser to manage the appraisal team at the organization’s site.

SCAMPI B is less formal and requires fewer activities than a SCAMPI A. It helps an organization to understand, with a relatively high degree of confidence, its progress toward a target CMMI maturity level or target capability profile. It can be used to predict the likelihood that the evaluated practices will be rated as “satisfactorily implemented” in a SCAMPI A appraisal. Model scope is not limited to the process areas but could include sets of related practices.

SCAMPI C is shorter, more flexible, and costs less than SCAMPI A and B appraisals. It is used to assess the adequacy of planned approaches to process implementation and to provide a quick gap analysis between the organization’s processes and CMMI practices. SCAMPI C can be scoped at any level of granularity and the scale can be tailored to the appraisal objectives, which might include the fidelity of observed practices to model or goal achievement or the return on investment to the organization from implementing practices.

Reliability, rigor, and cost may go down from A to B to C, but risk may go up.

 

Characteristic

Class A

Class B

Class C

Amount of objective evidence High Medium Low
Ratings generated Yes No No
Resource needs High Medium Low
Team size Large Medium Small

 

For benchmarking against other organizations, appraisals must result in consistent ratings. The SCAMPI family of appraisals is based on the Appraisal Requirements for CMMI (ARC), which defines the requirements for appraisal methods intended for use with CMMI and People CMM reference models. The ARC may also be useful when developing other appraisal methods that are compatible with the CMMI Product Suite or appraisal methods that are compatible with other reference models.

The ARC defines a set of appraisal method classes based on years of experience in the process improvement community. Requirements for each class are based on the attributes associated with that class. Thus, a particular appraisal method may be declared to be an ARC Class A, B, or C appraisal method. The ARC describes a full benchmarking class of appraisal as Class A. Other appraisal methods are more appropriate to other needs, including self-assessments, initial appraisals, quick-look or mini-appraisals, incremental appraisals, and external appraisals.

More about how these different classes of CMMI appraisals are conducted are in the SCAMPI Method Definition Document and the Handbook for Conducting SCAMPI B and C Appraisals.