Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Can the Director of Quality be on a SCAMPI Appraisal Team?

We are preparing for a SCAMPI ML 3 Appraisal and the appraising company says that "the Quality Head of a company cannot be an Appraisal Team Member, due to the objectivity and interests attached." I'm not convinced. What do you think?

The SCAMPI Method Definition Document outlines the requirements for Appraisal Team Members, and it doesn't speak to whether ANY particular job function is excluded. It does, however, urge us to avoid real and perceived conflicts of interest, and specifically to avoid "chain of command" conflicts. What this means is that if you're a SW Development VP and everyone being interviewed works for you, you "shouldn't" be an ATM. I say "shouldn't" because I have observed situations where it works, it's just not that common or easy to do.

The problem, for those who have not had the experience, is that if your boss is in the room you are more likely to say what he/she wants to hear, instead of what actually occurred. And that taints the outcome of the appraisal.

You didn't say how your company was organized, but if you're the head of a quality department and you have several people on your team who may be interviewed, you can always leave the room and abstain from providing any input to that practice being evaluated. On the other hand, if you're the "author" of all of the processes, and you are the individual being measured on whether the appraisal is successful, I would discourage you from participating.

The two questions that the appraisal company should be concerned with are: 1) will you be interviewing people who work for you (not recommended); and 2) will you be in a position to evaluate your own work?

If the answer to both of these questions is "no" then I don't see a problem with it as long as you can show that objectivity is maintained. And the SCAMPI MDD has no issue with it either.


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