I often get questions about how to go about choosing a Lead Appraiser. LAs should be selected after a careful discussion of their experience, knowledge, culture, philosophy, and willingness to spend the energy to learn about your business before he/she waves his magic wand and proclaims you MLx (of course, it's more complex than that!).
By way of example, here is the worst possible thing you can do. I had an inquiry the other day that went like this:
Caller: “hi, we’re shopping for an LA to give us a maturity level.”
Me: “Wow. hmmm. Great. Well, uhh, ok... tell me, what are some the reasons you are interested in achieving a CMMI maturity level?”
Caller: “We don’t need to talk about all that. We have a company from India that says they can take us from ML1 to ML3 in three months for $15,000. Can you beat that?”
Me and my telephone: “click”