The quality of a product is only as good as the process used to develop and maintain it. Whether a development or maintenance organization is developing or maintaining products to compete in a marketplace or is developing or maintaining products to satisfy internal requirements, the development and maintenance processes implemented by the organization are critical success factors. Well-thought-out improvements to the process will significantly contribute to the organization's performance.

A process appraisal is a catalyst for initiating meaningful process improvement and can help your organization break through the barriers that constrain quality and productivity. It will allow you to establish and focus a process improvement program that will result in:

  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Lower development and maintenance costs
  • Reduced cycle time


    A process appraisal is an objective evaluation of an organization's software or system development or maintenance capability. We utilize the Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) methodology. It is based on the SEI's widely-accepted models for process improvement: the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), which characterizes how a development or maintenance organization matures, or improves, in its ability to develop software or systems (see figure) and serves as a framework for becoming a world-class provider of products.

    The appraisal is structured to ensure that aspects of systems or software development or maintenance that are unique to your organization or industry are addressed. For example, an appraisal in a small commercial development organization that has a relatively small number of projects having a very short development cycle will have different practices in place than a large development organization, having large projects with long development cycles. The appraisal methodology takes that into account.

    We conduct an appraisal as a collaborative effort, involving your organization's professionals in all appraisal activities so that all participants gain a common understanding of the current state-of-the- process and reach consensus on the critical process issues.

    After conducting training in the CMMI and the appraisal methodology, we will lead your appraisal team through an intense period of fact-finding, analysis and review of issues, and presentation of findings to senior management and participants.

    SECI consultants are certified SCAMPI Lead Appraisers and have been providing SEI appraisal services since 1990. The assessments are performed through an affiliated company, Process Strategies, Inc., an SEI Partner organization.


    At the completion of an appraisal, you will have:

  • Objective findings that identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current development or maintenance process.
  • A profile of the current process relative to the CMMI.
  • An SEI maturity level rating.
  • A sound basis for developing a strategic improvement plan.

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