Tag Archives: SVC

SCAMPI(sm)-A Enhanced with APR – Action Plan Reappraisal

Situation before APR option was available

Prior to the December 2014 release of APR, if a SCAMPISM-A resulted in an unsatisfactory rating(s) (e.g., a lower maturity level than the target maturity level), the organizational unit had to address the issues that had negatively impacted the rating and then do a new appraisal to achieve the target level. They did not receive any credit for the first (failed) appraisal.

Organizations obviously did not want to risk the chance of a failed appraisal, because in addition to correcting the identified negative issues, they would have to do the entire planning, scoping and sampling, artifact collection, artifact review, affirmations,  characterizations, ratings, and so on. Doing another appraisal was very time-consuming and expensive.

To play “safe” and avoid any chance of failing, organizations tended to postpone their appraisal till they were absolutely sure of achieving their target rating(s). This often led to delays in initiating the SCAMPISM-A. Organizations  also conducted excessive and unnecessary mini-appraisals in different avatars (pre-appraisal, SCAMPISM-B, SCAMPISM-C) to be doubly sure.

To address this, the CMMI Institute has enhanced the SCAMPISM-A method (released in end-Dec 2014) to allow for delta appraisals, within a limited time-frame, where the ‘failed’ SCAMPISM-A can be extended. This enhancement is called APR (Action Plan Reappraisal) and is built into the SCAMPISM-A, as an additional, optional phase.

More Details on the APR (Action Plan Reappraisal)

Before the APR option was available, the SCAMPISM-A had 3 phases, namely:

  • Phase-1: Plan and Prepare for Appraisal
  • Phase-2: Conduct Appraisal
  • Phase-3: Report Results

The new, optional phase, Phase-4 added in end-Dec 2014 is:

  • Phase-4: Action Plan Reappraisal

Action Plan Reappraisal

Here are some important aspects of the APR:

  • The APR (i.e., Final Findings of the APR) must be completed within 120 days of the Final Findings of the main SCAMPISM-A.
  • Only one APR can be conducted for a SCAMPISM-A.
  • The sponsor decides whether an APR is to be conducted or not (the appraisal team may advise the sponsor, but the final call is the sponsor’s). The APR is not mandatory, even if the target rating(s) has not been achieved.
  • The same ATL (Appraisal Team Leader) should continue in the APR (the method includes ways to handle exceptions to this).
  • The same ATMs must participate in the APR. There are some additional rules which require ATMs to examine the objective evidence related to the goals being re-investigated. If all ATMs are not available for some reason, the method includes ways to handle that situation.
  • At a minimum, all practices of the goals that were rated as Unsatisfied or Not Rated must be covered in the APR. More goals can be added if the appraisal team feels that the corrections to the weaknesses may impact other goals. However, the sponsor can explicitly reduce the model scope, and exclude some maturity levels or process areas from the APR.
  • The same basic units and support functions (from the original appraisal) need to be picked up in the APR. However, the sponsor can explicitly reduce the organizational unit, and the appraisal team can investigate additional basic units (from within the organizational unit).

Listing in PARS

If the APR option is chosen, no new listing will be made in PARS till the APR is completed.

After the APR is completed, the ratings achieved (as a result of the original SCAMPISM-A and the APR) will be listed in PARS (subject to sponsor’s permission).

The date of the appraisal result will be the date of the Final Findings of the original SCAMPISM-A (not of the APR). The three year validity will start from the date of the Final Findings of the original SCAMPISM-A.

PARs will NOT indicate whether the APR option was used or not.

PARs will show the final scope for which the appraisal was successful. If the scope was reduced during the APR, the PARS will show this reduced scope.

More Material

Links with more material:

  • The APR has been explained in simple, lucid terms by Pat O’Toole and Jeff Dalton. It is hosted on Jeff Dalton’s Blog – Ask the CMMI Appraiser. Read it!
  • The SCAMPI Method Definition Document (also called MDD) V1.3b, Dec 2014 includes the APR phase. Register and download the pdf from here (if you like to wallow in legalese)
  • Discussions between lead appraisers on the positive and negative aspects related to APR on a LinkedIn Group

By the way, this provides an opportunity for organizations and lead appraisers to be first in something 🙂

  • First successful APR
  • First unsuccessful APR
  • First APR with reduced model scope
  • …. and many more… 🙂

SM-SCAMPI is a service mark of Carnegie Mellon University.

Please feel free to to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available.
You may also forward the link to this post to your friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, country, government, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author of this post :-).

 


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

HMBP Conference 2013 on 24th Sept in Pune and 27th in Bangalore, India

The HMBP Conference (an annual event in its 4th year), showcases what leading organizations are doing and are planning to do in their implementation of high maturity practices.

This year, the HMBP Conference theme is “High Maturity Impacts: Interweaving Services and People” and it is also being held in two cities.

  • at a new venue – Pune on September 24th, 2013
  • in its regular den – Bangalore on September 27th, 2013

Since nobody could figure out the difference between a “Colloquium” and a “Conference”, I believe the organizers decided to stick to the more traditional word. 🙂


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

Quiz Book: CMMI® – SVC (V1.3) available on Amazon Kindle – with 3 Quizzes of 35 questions each

Quiz Book: CMMI® - SVC (v1.3) Book Cover

Title: Quiz Book: CMMI® – SVC (v1.3)

Authors: Rajesh Naik and Swapna Kishore

ASIN: B00EIC3WEW

This eBook includes 3 tests, each with 35 objective-type questions.

These quizzes are suitable for:

  • Process/ Quality Assurance/ EPG/ PEG professionals
  • CMMI® – SVC specialists, consultants, and trainers
  • Appraisal Team Members (ATMs)
  • Candidate lead appraisers and instructors
  • Process compliance auditors

The Kindle eBook is available here: Amazon.com and Amazon.in

Note: You can read Kindle eBooks on laptops, tablets, and phones by installing free apps available from Amazon .

[These quiz products have been built with valuable inputs from Prakash Hegde, Atanu Das, D Sankararaman, Neha Chouhan, Chinmay Pradhan, Channaveer Patil, and V Seshadri]

 

Use the Look Inside! feature at Amazon for a sample.

 

Please feel free to to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available.
You may also forward the link to this post to your friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author of this post :-).


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

Try this Quiz and Test Your CMMI® – SVC Knowledge

Test Your Knowledge: CMMI® - SVC (v1.3) Book CoverTest Your Knowledge: CMMI® – SVC (v1.3)

This free sample quiz contains 35 objective-type questions for persons who wish to test their knowledge of CMMI®-SVC (v1.3). A booklet with the correct answers (for scoring) and guidance for improving model knowledge and understanding is also available.

Click here to download the free sample quiz (a PDF document).

This quiz is suitable for:

  • Process/ Quality Assurance/ EPG/ PEG professionals
  • CMMI® – SVC specialists, consultants, and trainers
  • Appraisal Team Members (ATMs)
  • Candidate lead appraisers and instructors
  • Process compliance auditors

The quiz contains questions on:

  • Structure of the CMMI® and CMMI® – SVC
  • Definitions and acronyms for commonly used terms
  • Purpose and practices of various process areas in the model
  • Relationship and commonalities across process areas
  • Application of the understanding to a given situation by identifying the most relevant process area

Click here to download the free sample quiz (a PDF document).

You can also use this free sample quiz to see the typical components of a quiz (questions, answers, explanations, and guidance) and evaluate the suitability of the other quiz products:

[These quiz products have been built with valuable inputs from Prakash Hegde, Atanu Das, D Sankararaman, Neha Chouhan, Chinmay Pradhan, Channaveer Patil, and V Seshadri]

Please feel free to to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available.
You may also forward the link to this post to your friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author of this post :-).


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

CMMI® Explored – HM’s Fourteen: Essential Beliefs for Effective High Maturity Implementation – a Presentation

Over the past few years many organizations have progressed to implement high maturity (HM) practices of the CMMI®. Many have been appraised and rated (please note: Not certified :-)) at ML4 and ML5. The model and the appraisal method has also evolved over these years and with high maturity practices changing significantly.

I have seen many organizations going through the high maturity journey. For some it is like going to the dentist to have their teeth pulled. They want to be implementing high maturity practices, while not necessarily having to go through the painful process of learning, trying, failing and improving. In such organizations, as soon as the attention is divreted, the HM practices start to crumble, or worse go into a mechanical implementation mode. And then they complain that they do not get any benefits from HM practices.

On the other hand, I have been fortunate to see many organizations get significant benefits through HM practices and sustain these, even when other initiatives grab the attention of the management.

So, I started documenting the characteristics that separated the two types of organizations (according to me). I ended up with a list of fourteen characteristics, which I think can be classified as organizational beliefs.

The result was a presentation, a truncated version of which is available here.

In case the presentation does not load, use the link http://www.slideshare.net/AlignMentor/cmmi-explored-hms-fourteen-essential-beliefs-for-effective-high-maturity-implementation

If you want a copy of the full presentation, please send an email to naik.rajeshnaik@gmail.com

Other presentations covering CMMI®., People CMMI, Balanced Scorecard, Strategy Maps and Competency Frameworks on AlignMentor are available here.

Please feel feel to share your views, experiences or queries, using the “comments” feature available.

Also, let me know what kind of other slide sets you would like to see in this blog.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author 😉

You may also be interested in the following posts uploaded on the same blog:

Please feel feel to share your views, experiences or queries, using the “comments” feature available.

 


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

Book Review – “Fooled by Randomness” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

I picked up Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, on the recommendation of a mathematician (Vipul Naik, my son). I was expecting a heavy treatise on economics and statistics. It was however a very engrossing book written in a lucid and conversational style, with historical events and everyday situations used freely to provide insights.

Here is the book summary/ key insights (that I picked up from the book):

1)      Human beings are wired in a way that they are unable to intuitively handle randomness and chance.

2)      We are adept at explaining everything through a cause-effect; because we just can’t handle uncertainty. And a statistical correlation does not necessarily mean one causes the other.

3)      Ignoring rare events (outliers) in building prediction models is fooling ourselves – rare events are a part of the process and environment, and their impact is rarely understood or considered by people.

4)      We try to explain extraordinary successes as the result of brilliant strategy or business model or formula or leadership skills or intelligence; while it is often just dumb luck. This is more so of domains like stock trading, marketing, and running a business. We try to learn from and emulate the “winners”, without much success ourselves (by trying to implement the so-called strategies of successful people). Basically, according to the book, many of the winners are just lucky fools :-).

5)      Nice symmetrical probability distributions cannot be expected of any human endeavor (symmetrical distributions may be used to understand controlled situations like gambling – toss of a coin, or rolling of a dice). When we simplify probability distributions and approximate them to neat curves, the results that we get are unreliable.

6)      Though Monte Carlo simulations are looked down upon (“that is cheating, it is not statistics!”) by purists, it is still be the best way to model complex, real situations and understand the potential randomness of the outcomes, and can be used for informed decision making.

7)      Past performance cannot be blindly used to predict future performance. Hence, we should not overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs just because we have been successful in the past, we should reexamine our beliefs based on logic, and always have a backup plan.

One of issues with the book is that it lacks structure and tends to jump from topic to topic. The tone is also snobbish and contemptuous at places, and it may make some people (who are secretly think that their success may be attributable to luck :-)) annoyed or even angry.

The author Nassim Nicholas Taleb is Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute. He has been a mathematical trader, essayist, philosopher, and researcher. He specializes in understanding uncertainty, luck, probability, knowledge, and decision making. Taleb has been described as a dissident thinker, maverick, irreverent, iconoclastic, and unconventional.

Another book by Taleb in a similar vein is The Black Swan – this is an earlier book, and again very interesting to read. Taleb has also authored AntiFragile, The Bed of Procrustes and Dynamic Hedging.

I recommend this book very highly for anyone involved in high maturity implementation of the CMMI®/ People CMM® models.

For people who are looking for quick-fix templates and control chart macros, this book is not for you (as if high maturity practices can be implemented using quick-fix solutions :-).

Here are some details of the book, in case you want to get your hands on it:

By the way, you DON’T need a Kindle device to read a Kindle ebook.

Fooled By Randomness Book Cover

 

Title: Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Publishing Date: First Version Around 2001

Publisher: Random House/ Penguin

Available at: Amazon.com, Amazon.in, and Flipkart

Available as eBook in Amazon Kindle.

 

By the way, you DON’T need a Kindle device to read a Kindle ebook.

Please feel free to share your views, experiences or queries, using the “comments” feature available at the top of this article/ post.

Also, please add other insights that you may have got from the book, using the “comments” feature available at the top of this article/ post.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, or association.

Other book reviews uploaded on the same blog:


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

CMMI® -SVC Explored – Process Area Overview — a Presentation

In the last few months, the traction for the services constellation of CMMI® has increased significantly. The discouraging news is that the model has not yet caught the fancy of non-IT organizations. Most of the organizations investigating and adopting the model have been those already familiar with the DEV version (they not only know the models, but also seem to know the history of the models :-)).

So, explaining the Process Areas is not very difficult to the staff of IT organizations – all one has to do is focus on the delta (services specific PAs, and how some of the common PAs play out in a services scenario).

However, to help explain the PAs to non-IT organizations in a simplified manner, I have created a set of slides. These slides focus on providing a high level overview to all the 24 PAs. Other slides may be required to explain the purpose, benefits and structure of the model, and further set of slides may be required to explain the detailed practices of each PA.

A truncated version of the presentation is given below.

In case the presentation does not load, use the link http://www.slideshare.net/AlignMentor/cmmi-svcpaoverview

If you want a copy of the full presentation, please send an email to naik.rajeshnaik@gmail.com

Other presentations covering CMMI®., People CMMI, Balanced Scorecard, Strategy Maps and Competency Frameworks on AlignMentor are available here.

Please feel free to share your views, experiences or queries, using the “comments” feature available at the top of this article/ post.

Also, let me know what kind of other slide sets you would like to see in this blog (related to the services model ).

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, or association.

You may also be interested in the following posts uploaded on the same blog:


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

HMBP (High Maturity Best Practices) Colloquium – 2012 proceedings are now available for download

The HMBP Colloquium (an annual event in its 3rd year), was held in Bangalore on September 7, 2012. This year’s theme was “High Maturity – Beyond Statistics & Quantification”.

Full details of the colloquium are available here.

The presenations of the day are put up on a page at the site here. To get the presentations, you will need a login id and password – which you can get by writing to conferences@qaiglobal.com .


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

How Mature is High Maturity Implementation of CMMI®? – Find out at the HMBP Colloquium on 7th September, 2012 in Bangalore, India

Over the last few years the implementation of high maturity practices has evolved significantly. Some of the evolution has been driven by changes to the model, but most of change is driven by sophisticated interpretation by LAs, and through the HMLA qualification/ certification program.

To “having a few control charts”, we have added “tests of hypotheses”, “regression equations”, “Monte Carlo Simulations”, “Comprehensive PPMs” to the pot churning out HM practices.

The HMBP Colloquium (an annual event in its 3rd year), showcases what leading organizations are doing and are planning to do., This year’s HMBP Colloquium is in Bangalore on September 7, 2012. It is aptly titiled “High Maturity – Beyond Statistics & Quantification”.

I am looking forward to understand the emerging direction. And meeting all of you.

I also hope to figure out the difference between a “Colloquium” and a “Conference”. 🙂

This Colloquium  was held on Sept 7, 2012 at Le Meridian, Bangalore.


I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

Multi-Model CMMI® Appraisals – Factors to Consider

In the last few months, I have been frequently asked the question, “Should we do our DEV and SVC appraisal as a single multi-model appraisal?” This question is posed usually by large IT organizations in India. These organizations have already been appraised at ML5 of the DEV model (maybe more than once). And they now are on the verge of their first SVC appraisal in 2012. I guess the issue of multi-model appraisals will become more important in another 1-2 years, when the next round DEV and SVC appraisals are due for many organizations.

Well, the answer is “it depends”:-).

In this note we will try to understand the factors to consider (elaboration of what “it depends” on), so that you can take them into account when you face the situation. This note has been put together with a large dose of inputs from D Sankararaman, Mukul Madan, and V Seshadri. These were validated by Channaveer Patil and Dan He. However, they are not responsible for any errors that may have crept into this note.

Multi-model appraisals are covered in detail in Appendix G of the SCAMPISM A v1.3 Method Definition Document (MDD) downloadable from here.

One appraisal team’s experience on a multi-model appraisal (SCAMPISM v1.2 completed in 2010) at TCS is shared in a SEPGSM 2011 presentation by Ron Radice, et al, is available here.

Disclaimer – this note is not definitive, nor is it an “official” position paper of any organization or lead appraiser. However, it may be considered as one of the inputs while evaluating the option of a multi-model appraisal.

The current queries for multi-model appraisals are typically arising from organizations wanting to do DEV+SVC together, and hence we will use that situation as an example in this note. However, multi-model appraisals could comprise any combination of two or more of DEV, SVC, ACQ and People CMM®, and the factors discussed in this note apply to the other situations as well.

Here are the factors to consider.

Organizational Disruption. If you are a big organization, you could have either two (or more) long organizational disruptions, or one mega-ultra-long disruption. The choice is yours :-).

Number of ATMs. In multi-model appraisal you are likely to need lesser number of ATMs trained on the models. Assuming that you will try to keep a gap of a few months between the two appraisals (if done separately), the number of ATMs trained on the models may need to be higher, if you are doing the appraisals separately. During the interval between the two appraisals, the ATMs may resign, retire, go on leave, be allocated to some other useful work (assuming that they are still capable of doing some other useful work :-)), or just refuse to be ATMs again (“not another appraisal as ATM!”). So instead of training a bunch of 10-12 people on the models, you may have to train a higher number if you are doing the appraisals separately.

LA/ ATL requirements. For a multi-model appraisal, you will need to engage a lead appraiser appropriately certified as SCAMPISM-A LA for all the models (constellations, actually) covered in the appraisal. Therefore, the choice of LAs on multi-model appraisals may be significantly lower, especially if your appraisal is “high-maturity” (ML 4 or ML 5).

LA Willingness. The calendar time for the on-site activities for a multi-model appraisal is definitely going to be much higher than for a single model appraisal (this is also discussed as a separate factor later on). LAs may not be willing stay away from their families, pets and home city for such a long time. Or they may demand a fat sum as hardship allowance :-).

Sampling of Projects (or Workgroups). This does not change whether you are doing a single multi-model appraisal or two separate appraisals. If there were X projects selected for DEV and Y workgroups selected for SVC, then in the multi-model appraisal, the number of instances would be X+Y. Sampling will be done as if they were different appraisals.

Overall Effort. This is one area where there is a lot of misunderstanding. Note that the sample size remains the same (multi or otherwise). Hence, the effort for artefact collection remains similar, the effort for artefact review by the appraisal team is also similar and so is the effort for interviews and discussions. There could be some (a tiny bit) effort reduction in a multi-model appraisal due to the following:

  • Single batch ATM training (instead of possible two batches). However, one batch of ATM training can have a max of 12 participants, so with backup ATMs you may have to run two batches anyways, even for a multi-model appraisal.
  • Sponsor meeting (assuming the same sponsor for both the appraisals)
  • Opening meeting can be a single one instead of two
  • Some economies of scale (not a lot) on artefact collection, artefact review, interviews and preliminary findings for “Oh” areas – organizational PAs like OPD, OPF, etc. However, organizational PAs will have to be investigated from both (DEV and SVC) the contexts explicitly. So the saving would be more in terms of being familiar with the terminology, document architecture and names/ faces of people running the “Oh” processes, assuming that the people are the same in the DEV and SVC contexts.
  • General effort saved for the LA and ATMs due to familiarity with the layout of the office, the security procedure, the parking lot, the cafeteria food, the washrooms, the office furniture, the room freshener, the air-conditioning, etc. (this factor may be invalid, if the appraisal team has to constantly move across buildings and cities anyway).

The project-level (or work-group level) process areas will have to be investigated for each instance separately (either in the DEV or the SVC context). Since the sample size is going to be determined the same way (whether it is a two separate appraisals or a multi-model one), the effort to investigate instance level data is going to be same. This includes the effort for the preliminary findings (or equivalent).

With the above micro-savings, the overall appraisal effort savings (LA + ATMs) is likely to be in the range of 15%-20% (i.e., the total effort for a multi-model appraisal is likely to be around 15-20% less than the total effort for separate appraisals).

Calendar Time. With the large one-time effort for the multi-model appraisal, the calendar time for the onsite period is also likely to be higher (than that of a single model appraisal), because there is a limit to the number of ATMs that an LA can handle. Hence the ATMs will need to be out of their day-job for a longer period. The long drawn absence of the ATMs from their day job can be disruptive. A reported multi-model appraisal done had an onsite period of close to the upper limit of 90 days (see here).

ATM / LA Fatigue. This is where the multi-model (for high maturity, large organizational scope) becomes untenable. As the on-site period start crossing three weeks, the fatigue becomes obvious. In organizations that use standard processes, and have done this over many years, one can expect the documents to be similar. The responses during the interview sessions will also be similar.

For the ATMs, after the glamour of being ATMs, the novelty of PIIDs and Process Area Worksheets, and the thrill of FI-LI-PI-NI-(and NY, of course) wears out, it is an extremely boring, mind-numbing and dull exercise.

(Digression: This may be one of the reasons that LAs have become good storytellers and general entertainers. I know of a LA who sings to keep the ATMs entertained, another one tells jokes on a non-stop basis. Some LAs have started blogging. SEI may have to initiate a study to understand whether LAs have a higher tendency to ….whatever 🙂 End of Digression).

After around three weeks, the productivity, alertness, and eye for detail falls down steeply for the ATMs as well as the LA. The other issue is the stress on the ATMs of maintaining confidentiality. They cannot talk to their friends and colleagues, or smile at passing acquaintances, because they may be asked that dreaded question “and how are we today?” Those who have been ATMs know about this, others readers may ask their friends/ colleagues who have been ATMs to confirm this :-).

Target Levels/ Results. For the purpose of the results (ML/ CL), the multi-model appraisal will deliver two results, two different sets of ratings. Your target rating could be different for the two models and the appraisal result rating will also be different for the two models. This is the same as doing two separate appraisals.

Novelty / Publicity Value. “Will we be the first to do a multi-model appraisal?”; “No?”; “Okay, can we be the first do to it in this country?”, “How about this city?” and so on….

Well, if your organization is looking to announce itself as the first in something, we can surely work out some combination of conditions that you will be the first in. Not just the first, but maybe the only one. Ever.

===========================================================================

Having said all that, are there any conditions where it may be worth considering a multi-model appraisal? Yes, if you have the following it may definitely be worth considering:

  • Low number of Process Areas (ML2 kind of stuff) in both the models, and
  • Small organization (number of sampled instances are likely to be low)

Under these circumstances, the number of ATMs for each separate appraisal would be low (say 4-5), so one can increase the ATM team size to 8-10 and run the multi-model appraisal in the same number of days as a single separate one. So the organizational disruption time and LA cost can be much lower.  Also, ATM training can also be done in a single batch (max batch size is 12).

Finally, the issue is a complex one, and let us conclude by saying once again that “it depends” and that you should consult multiple LAs and take their opinions before coming to any firm conclusion.

Also refer to:

Thanks a lot to D Sankararaman, Mukul Madan, V Seshadri, Channaveer Patil, and Dan He.

Please feel feel to share your views, experiences or queries, using the “comments” feature available at the top of this article/ post.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, or association.

SM-SCAMPI and SEPG are service marks of Carnegie Mellon University.
LA- is a short form of SCAMPISM Lead Appraiser. (It is not a term of endearment like “da”, “pa”, “ma”, or “po” used in different parts of the world :-)).
ATM – Appraisal Team Member (not an Automated Teller Machine :-))

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I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.