Abstract: Companies invest much time and resources in CMMI Appraisals and often get only formal certificate for marketing and sales purposes. Sometimes that certificate turns out to be too expensive to be repaid by business benefits. At the same time, a company may consciously control the cost of the CMMI Appraisal as a project and get mutual benefit both from the Appraisal process and business results. Being thoughtfully organized and planned, the Appraisal procedure may result in valuable process improvement opportunities provided by the Appraisers external view, and higher process awareness and culture within the company.

Luxoft has gained a wealth of 7-year experience in SEI CMM, CMMI v1.1, and CMMI-Dev v1.2 successful Appraisals. The article summarizes lessons learnt by Luxoft on its way to CMMI excellence and warns of the typical problems with the first and the following CMMI Appraisals.