I have been hearing that the SEI has stringent rules stating that the consulting firm cannot perform a SCAMPI A appraisal as it results in conflict of interest and the appraisal may lose it's objectivity. Couold you please throw light on this issue and give me the correct information? It would be great if you can refer to any documents listing these rules e.g. SEI audit policies.
Yes, the same COMPANY and same LEAD APPRAISER can provide both CMMI consulting and SCAMPI A appraisal services to the same client. However, the Lead Appraiser and SEI Partner must notify the SEI if there is a Conflict of Interest. The situation to avoid is the Lead Appraiser appraising his or her own work in a SCAMPI A appraisal. The Code of Professional Conduct (CoPC) spells out the policy and the steps that must be taken if there is an indentified Conflict of Interest. http://www.sei.cmu.edu/partners/copc.html
The primary issue concerns the type of consulting provided by the Lead Appraiser. If the consulting consists of writing processes and process assets for the client, then there is a clear Conflict of Interest. But if the consulting consists of training on different ways to implement a Process Area, reviewing documents and identifying strengths and weaknesses, reviewing evidence for inclusion in the PIIDs, etc. then there is no Conflict of Interest.
So most Lead Appraisers will try their best to remain ethical and either just provide the hands-on consulting and have another Lead Appraiser lead the SCAMPI A appraisal OR lead the SCAMPI A appraisal and help the organization get prepared for the appraisal.