I've been preparing for the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) level 3 audit along with my team for the last year and a half.
Though we were quite comfortable that we would clear the audit, we were still apprehensive when the time finally came. You can never predict the mood of the examiner. He or she may ask some unexpected questions and you'll fail.
The project team was excited before the audit and the process kicked off with a short opening ceremony. But the next five days were eye-opening.
It was like the auditor was showing us a mirror--where we stand, where we need to improve. It forced us to look at our understanding of the fundamental concepts on the software processes and the metrics we utilize.
For instance, he discussed the interdependencies across metrics. When it comes to software defect density, the value is determined by dividing total defects by actual effort. To keep defect density low, the auditor discussed that we would have to put in more time and effort. But that would increase the effort variance of the defect density formula. And it gave us something to consider.
Audits by independent people or groups help us find our weaknessess, areas of improvement and strengths. I also do audits for our internal projects and highly recommend having an audit process every month or at least every quarter.
Have you ever been audited by anybody? Please share your experience.