Appraise the organization’s processes periodically and as needed to maintain an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.


Process appraisals can be performed for the following reasons:
  • To identify processes to be improved
  • To confirm progress and make the benefits of process improvement visible
  • To satisfy the needs of a customer-supplier relationship
  • To motivate and facilitate buy-in

The buy-in gained during a process appraisal can be eroded significantly if it is not followed by an appraisal based action plan.

Example Work Products

  1. Plans for the organization’s process appraisals
  2. Appraisal findings that address strengths and weaknesses of the organization’s processes
  3. Improvement recommendations for the organization’s processes


1. Obtain sponsorship of the process appraisal from senior management.

Senior management sponsorship includes the commitment to have the organization’s managers and staff participate in the process appraisal and to provide resources and funding to analyze and communicate findings of the appraisal.

2. Define the scope of the process appraisal.

Process appraisals can be performed on the entire organization or can be performed on a smaller part of an organization such as a single project or business area.

The scope of the process appraisal addresses the following:

  • Definition of the organization (e.g., sites, business areas) to be covered by the appraisal
  • Identification of the project and support functions that will represent the organization in the appraisal
  • Processes to be appraised

3. Determine the method and criteria to be used for the process appraisal.

Process appraisals can occur in many forms. They should address the needs and objectives of the organization, which can change over time. For example, the appraisal can be based on a process model, such as a CMMI model, or on a national or international standard, such as ISO 9001 [ISO 2008c]. Appraisals can also be based on a benchmark comparison with other organizations in which practices that can contribute to improved organizational performance are identified. The characteristics of the appraisal method may vary, including time and effort, makeup of the appraisal team, and the method and depth of investigation.

4. Plan, schedule, and prepare for the process appraisal.

5. Conduct the process appraisal.

6. Document and deliver the appraisal’s activities and findings.