The gateway to CMMI assessment

CMMI Assessment is the process for evaluating compliance and measuring the effectiveness of Specific Practices (SPs) and Generic Practices (GPs) of Process Areas (PAs) in the CMMI Framework. Every assessment process starts with scope definition and finally leading to assessment and sustenance. These common procedures are well explained in Stages in an assessment/certification process .

In additional to this common procedures, there are certain specific points to be ensured if an organization is seeking for compliance to CMMI model. These are detailed below.



Organization needs to have two separate teams- Functional Area Representative (FAR) Team and Assessment Team. These members are elected from/by the organization.

FAR team is further subdivided to multiple sub teams based on their roles in the organization/ functions they perform. Say for example, there could be a project management FAR (who will be mainly interviewed on the project management process areas like PP, PMC etc.), testing team FAR (who will be mainly interviewed on the process areas like VER, VAL etc) at the time of assessment.

Assessment Team Members (ATM) are professionals with the proper skills, experience and knowledge in order to draw logical conclusions regarding the implementation of the model. Successful completion of CMMI Introduction training is a pre-requisite for each ATM. Normally this Intro. Training is covered by the lead Appraiser before starting the formal assessment.

ATM member can’t come in FAR session. Both teams are separate and independent. . FAR team is interviewed by the ATMs during CMMI assessment.



Practice Indicator description Document (PIID) is a reference document filled in by the organization. In this document evidences to satisfy the implementation of SPs and GPs are shown. Even though filling PIID is optional now, it is helpful for the organization to understand any gaps in PA mapping. Some assessors are using the PIID document for assessments too.


Documents reviews and interviews

Documents reviews as well as interviews are conducted normally during a CMMI assessment.

  • Document Review – This includes checking the procedures/formats (OSSP- Organizational Set of Standard Process) to ensure their compliance with CMMI requirements
  • Document Review – This includes checking the project documentation to ensure their compliance with organizational procedures/formats (and hence with CMMI)
  • Interview – This includes interviewing organization personnel in several groups (FAR interview) and individually to ensure compliance with CMMI requirements


CMMI Assessment

CMMI Assessors (Appraisers) works with Assessment Team Members (ATMs) during SCAMPI Assessments. These ATMs support the appraisers in gathering and validating evidences for document review, interviews and preparation of other important artifacts.

The Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) is the officially accepted method to provide benchmark-quality ratings relative to Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) model. It determines capability and maturity level ratings.  To maintain the level of performance, SCAMPI is performed once in every three years.

There are two guiding documents for CMMI assessments:

  • Appraisal Requirements for CMMI (ARC)
  • Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI)

ARC specifies three levels of formality for appraisals: Class A, B, and C. Formal (Class A) SCAMPIs are conducted by CMMI institute-authorized Lead Appraisers or High Maturity Lead Appraiser depending on the maturity level to be assessed i.e. Low Maturity (2 and 3) or High Maturity (i.e. 4 and 5). Appraisers use the SCAMPI A Method Definition Document (MDD) to conduct the appraisals.  The final assessment report is shared to CMMI institute by the Lead Appraiser. Then, this report is verified by CMMI institute. During this period CMMI institute can even ask/check for further evidences if required.   After verification, CMMI institute will get back on final result through the Appraiser and the favourable results will be published in