Software process improvement projects often start from analysis of current organizational processes in relation to a reference model. Organizations tend to make first assessments of CMMI® compliance themselves. During our independent audits we noted large deviations in understandings of compliance to the model. Some organizations believe they are far away from CMMI® when in fact they are not. Other believe they are ready to be appraised when in fact they are years away. After several consulting projects we started to note common indicators, patterns and misconceptions which we’d to share in this work.