Thursday, October 23, 2008

Can we "self-assess" and declare ourselves ML2?

We are currently working through the ISO 9000 registration process and are confronted with the additional need for CMMI Level 2.  I’m told by some of my peers that all I have to do is “self assess” and declare myself CMMI Level 2.  That seems sort of absurd.  I’ve been told by another friend that we need to self assess and have a SCAMPI from a certified assessor who in turn can issue a certificate.  What is the correct path?
Sure!  I declared myself a millionaire last week . . . .  as long as it's my own private fantasy that's no problem, but if others knew about it they'd start to question my sanity!
A CMMI SCAMPI Appraisal is a rigorous event that can only be conducted by an external licensed SCAMPI Lead Appraiser who is authorized by the SEI.  The appraisal is conducted with a team of people made up of both internal and external resources who must complete both the "Introduction to CMMI" class and the SCAMPI Appraisal Team Training class.
Typically organizations conduct a SCAMPI "C" appraisal to identify the gaps.  This is a "non-binding" event that does not become part of the public record.  Then a SCAMPI "A" is conducted.  The results of the SCAMPI A become public record regardless of the result.
Your ISO9000 prep will help a little - especially in the area of documented processes and policies.  But a CMMI SCAMPI appraisal is much more detailed than an ISO9000 audit, as we seek to verify actual process performance.
Your best bet is to start by contacting a licensed Lead Appraiser ( and engaging him/her for a consultation to help develop a plan for succeeding.
Good luck!

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