Wednesday, February 7, 2007

What is this SCAMPI thing and how many should I order?

Dear Appraiser,

What is this SCAMPI thing and how many should I order?

Yum! Just thinking about SCAMPI makes me hungry - especially when the shrimp are big and fat and .... hey wait a minute! We're talking about software here, not dinner at Buca di Beppos.

SCAMPI is a TLM for "Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement." It's the companion appraisal method to the Capability Maturity Model Integration, or CMMI. Think of it as a "User Acceptance Test" for your company's processes.

When an IT or engineering organization adopts a process for developing software, it's often difficult to gauge how effective the process is, and how well it has been adopted across the entire company. Enter SCAMPI - a method now at Version 1.2 that follows a structured pattern to evaluate the process and institutionalization that has been deployed in your company. It has some similarities with the ISO9001 Audit, but it is deeper in the technology space and more detailed.

There are three classes of SCAMPI - Class-A, -B, and -C with "A" being the most ridgid and C being the most flexible and informal. Have you heard of company reaching "CMMI Level 4?" Well, if they did, they executed AT LEAST one SCAMPI A, probably more than that.

A SCAMPI "A" is the only class of the method that results in a "maturity" or "capability" rating (like Level "2"). Running a Class-B appraisal is perfectly good, it just doesn't result in a rating.

It's a team-based event which is led by an external "SCAMPI Lead Appraiser" that has been authorized by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) to perform SCAMPI Appraisals.

To learn more you can go to


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