The Future of CMMI Appraisals

For over 30 years, CMMI has been the go-to framework for improving process capability and organizational performance. Software and technology companies have been the biggest adopters of CMMI as it aligns with their technical and engineering processes.


The CMMI framework has undergone significant updates and revisions to meet changing market needs. The latest version, CMMI V3.0, was released in 2023 with a more flexible and agile

approach to process improvement.


With the continuous evolution of technology and business processes, the future of CMMI appraisal is expected to be even more dynamic.


Let’s explore CMMI appraisal in more detail and its future implications.


What is (Capability Maturity Model Integration) CMMI Appraisal?

What is CMMI appraisal

CMMI appraisal is a process evaluation method that assesses an organization’s adherence to the CMMI framework. It assists organizations in identifying their process strengths and weaknesses, comparing them to industry best practices, and providing recommendations for performance improvement.


The actions and practices of an organization are evaluated against the CMMI process areas to determine its level of maturity. The higher the level of maturity, the better an organization is at managing its processes and delivering quality products or services.


The CMMI Institute provides a detailed guide on the appraisal process. A lead appraiser and appraisal team members are responsible for conducting the appraisal. They use a collaborative approach to ensure the objectives of the appraisal are met and accurate feedback is provided to help the organization improve its processes.


CMMI appraisal is not a pass-or-fail exercise but rather an opportunity for organizations to identify opportunities for improvement. It is a continuous process that can be conducted at any stage of an organization’s maturity journey.


What is the Purpose of CMMI Appraisal?

The primary purpose of a CMMI appraisal is to assess an organization’s process capabilities and identify areas for improvement. Benchmarking against industry best practices and standards helps organizations understand their strengths and potential areas for improvement.


Additionally, the appraisal also helps organizations in the following ways:


  1. Identify process gaps and
  2. Determine if process changes have been
  3. Provide organizations with a roadmap for process
  4. Validate the organization’s credibility and reputation in the
  5. Improve overall organizational performance and customer


The purpose of CMMI appraisal goes beyond just obtaining a maturity level rating. It helps organizations become more process-oriented and deliver better products or services to their customers.


What are CMMI Appraisal Methods?

Software Engineering Institute (SEI) provides 2 methods for CMMI assessments:


Appraisal Requirements for CMMI (ARC)


Appraisal Requirements for CMMI (ARC) is a method that outlines the requirements and procedures for conducting a CMMI appraisal. It provides organizations with guidance on preparing for an appraisal, selecting the appropriate appraisal team, and conducting the process evaluation.


ARC defines the requirements for three classes of appraisals: Class A, B, and C. These classes differ based on the appraisal’s scope and the required level of effort.


Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI)


The Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) is a more

comprehensive and in-depth method of conducting CMMI appraisals. The requirement for ARC is incorporated into SCAMPI, making it the preferred method for conducting CMMI appraisals.


SCAMPI has 3 classes: Class A, B, and C, each with specific requirements and processes. The organization undergoing the appraisal must select the appropriate class based on their needs and goals.




SCAMPI Class A is the only approved class for conducting CMMI appraisals that result in a rating of maturity or capability. Companies invested in obtaining a maturity level rating usually opt for this class. The outcomes of this appraisal are the maturity level rating, detailed findings report, consensus and appraisal summary reports, and a recommendation for improvement.




SCAMPI Class B is a less intensive version of Class A and is typically used for assessing progress toward achieving a specific maturity level. The cost and effort required for this class generally are much lower than Class A. The strengths and weaknesses of an organization’s processes are evaluated. The FIDO database report is the primary outcome of this appraisal.




SCAMPI Class C is the most basic and least intensive class. It is often referred to as a “gap

analysis” appraisal as it identifies gaps between an organization’s processes and those specified in the CMMI framework. The outcome of this appraisal is a list of areas for improvement and recommendations for addressing them.


What are the Different Types of CMMI Appraisals?

Organizations may opt for different CMMI appraisals depending on their needs and requirements. Here are the 4 main types of CMMI appraisals:


Benchmark Appraisal


The benchmark appraisal is the most common type of CMMI appraisal that organizations undergo. It evaluates an organization’s processes against the CMMI model and provides a maturity rating. This appraisal requires a team of at least four members, including a

CMMI-certified lead appraiser and three appraisal team members (ATMs). The results of this appraisal are valid for three years.


The benchmark appraisal identifies areas of strength and potential areas for improvement in an organization’s processes. It also serves as a benchmark against industry best practices and



Sustainment Appraisal


A sustainment appraisal confirms that an organization’s processes still comply with the CMMI model and its maturity level rating. It also determines whether any changes have been made to the processes since the prior appraisal and evaluates their effectiveness. This appraisal is usually conducted before a re-appraisal or when an organization wants to ensure its processes align with the CMMI model.


Sustainment appraisals require a smaller team of at least two members and a CMMI-certified lead appraiser. ISACA approves the appraisal, and is valid for three years.


Evaluation Appraisal


Evaluation appraisals are conducted when an organization wants to determine its process maturity level without obtaining a formal rating. These appraisals can be a benchmark for future improvement activities and to track progress toward achieving maturity levels.


Evaluation appraisals require a CMMI-certified lead appraiser and may involve a more minor team, depending on the scope of the assessment. The CMMI Institute does not officially recognize the results, but can be a self-assessment tool to prepare for a benchmark appraisal.


Action Plan Reappraisal


An action plan reappraisal occurs when an organization receives a rating below its desired maturity level. This appraisal aims to assess the organization’s improvement efforts and determine if it has successfully addressed the previously identified areas of improvement.


Action plan reappraisals offer a second chance to achieve the desired maturity level rating. They require a smaller team of at least two members and a CMMI-certified lead appraiser.


What is the Current State of CMMI Appraisals?

The CMMI framework and its appraisal methods have undergone several updates and revisions

since its inception. The previous version, CMMI V2.0, was released in March 2018 and has been well-received by organizations for its improved clarity and flexibility.


Now, CMMI V3.0 was released on 6 April 2023 and has been made available to the public. Organizations wishing to undergo a CMMI appraisal must use the updated framework and methods.


The new version incorporates modern practices and methodologies, such as Agile and DevOps, making it more relevant and applicable to current industry standards. It also aims to bring more value to organizations by focusing on measurable improvement rather than just obtaining a maturity level rating.


2024 Updates and Trends in CMMI Appraisals

CMMI Appraisal Trends

The release of CMMI V3.0 and its updated appraisal methods have brought about several

changes and trends for organizations undergoing CMMI appraisals. Some of these updates and trends include:


  1. With new content areas such as People Management, Data Management, and Virtual Delivery, CMMI 0 offers organizations more flexibility in addressing their specific needs and challenges.
  2. CMMI data and people modules provide a more comprehensive approach to improving organizational capabilities, including processes, skills, collaboration, and data
  3. The updated framework also incorporates best practices for virtual With the increase in remote work and distributed teams, this is a timely addition to help organizations adapt to new working methods.
  4. The release of the Certified CMMI Practitioner Certification offers individuals a way to showcase their expertise in capability improvement.
  5. The new Building Organizational Capability course provides organizations a foundational understanding of CMMI V3.0 and the necessary skills to improve their processes.


On 29 April 2024, American Systems announced that all its strategic solutions programs had been appraised at CMMI Maturity Level 3 for development and services. This expansion in

scope showcases the company’s commitment to continuous improvement and providing quality services to its customers.


How Can Organizations Prepare for a CMMI Appraisal?

CMMI appraisal preparation involves more than gathering evidence and documentation. It requires a thorough understanding of the CMMI framework and its appraisal methods and a commitment to improving organizational capabilities.


Sync Resource, a company specializing in CMMI appraisals and consulting, can assist organizations in preparing for a CMMI appraisal. We provide training and consulting services to help organizations understand the CMMI framework, identify areas for improvement, and implement effective processes.


Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your organization achieve its process improvement goals and prepare for a successful CMMI appraisal.

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