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Jun 30 2012

CAR and OPM – Can they be rearranged?

Don’t let the specific terminology get in the way.

Develop your processes such that they support the way you wish to work. A client of mine has subject matter experts in analysis (e.g. RCA) and other subject matter experts in process performance/improvement We divided up the similarities in CAR and OPM and reorganized them in the way the client works.

We ended up with a set of processes focused on analyzing how things got to be the way they are; both the good and the bad. Combination of CAR & OPM.

We have a set of processes focused on determining whether something has to be done to effect the current state or desired future state. This set of processes considers organization business objectives, project objectives, process performance objectives, etc.. Combination of CAR & OPM.

We have a set of processes focused on making things different (changing processes for the better) than they were/are. Combination of CAR & OPM.

The types of things you do at ML5 are similar to the types of things you do at ML3 with respect to process development and improvement; however, you must remember that the attainment/achievement of ML4 gives you the quantitative basis for doing so.

There’s nothing in the model that requires you to twist yourself into some funny CMMI shaped pretzel.  You should be able, however, to map your processes to the CMMI so you don’t miss out on any of the best practices.

Jun 06 2012

CMMI Training, How to Train, When to Train, Whether to Train

by David in Blog

Each organization, project and role has its own requirements as to levels of mastery (Master, Competence, Conversational Familiarity, Awareness, Unawareness) or the like. You’d like access to (employee, consultant) a Master for pretty much every job role, with other levels of mastery as required by your organization.

There are different training responsibilities throughout the organization (Organization Level training, Resource Pool (SME) training, Project Level (special tools) training, and Individual Responsibility for skills maintenance and enhancement.

There are many ways to deliver training (formal instruction, coaching and mentoring, read the manual, distance learning, etc.) The guidance is that the level of sophistication of training should match the level of complexity of the subject matter when compared to the likely student’s current knowledge base. That way you can tailor training to match the students’/projects’/organization’s needs. We’re not trying to turn flower vendors into computational fluid dynamicists, but rather ensuring that relatively skilled people can perform their jobs efficiently and effectively.

Finally there is the crux of the problem. Although not exactly the way it’s stated, the CMMI/SEI seem to focus on required training. I think the issue is that the SEI is located at a University and people at University’s seem to concentrate on training as that’s what they get paid to do.

I prefer to focus on the skills required to perform a given task at a desired level of mastery. In fact, this topic is the only real alternative practice I’ve ever come across that I like.

If you require (mandatory) training then you’ll get lots of requests for training waivers from those who believe they should be exempted from training. Or, people will refuse to take the mandatory training as they don’t see the benefit.

On the other hand, if you require demonstrated skills (as an alternative practice to training) you can state that all staff must possess the skills to fulfill a role or they must get training. Skills can be demonstrated in many ways, other than a certificate that says they’ve taken the mandatory training.

If your practice is to focus on skills and not training you can solve many of the issues associated with required training.

Jun 01 2012

Can Process Improvement Using the CMMI Really Be That Simple

by David in Blog
Call me old fashioned, but I think all of this is covered in the Continuous Representation and the Generic Practices.
  • CL0 – Smart people doing some of the good stuff (SPs) – INCOMPLETE
  • CL1 – Smart people doing all of the good stuff – PERFORMED
  • CL2 – Smart people doing all of the good stuff in an organized way (all GP2.x) – MANAGED
  • CL3 – Smart people doing all of the good stuff in an organized way and such that similar projects do similar things similarly (GP 2.x and 3.x) – DEFINED
  1. Select the PAs and SPs that are relevant to your ability to successfully deliver products and services to your clients.
  2. Develop processes that address those selected SPs.
  3. Use the GPs to establish your desired level of capability in those relevant areas.
  4. Implement all of the above.
  5. Win all the business, take all the money.
May 27 2012

Uptick in CMMI-SVCs Information Requests

by David in Blog

I’ve recently seen a big uptick in information requests for CMMI-SVCs consulting, training and appraisals. I’m scheduled to teach this class 3 times over a 5 week period, with attendant consulting and a potential appraisal. I’ve also been receiving more RFPs. People are starting to see the light.

Mar 07 2012

The SEPG is Just Around the Corner

Lead Appraisers, Instructors, and Process People from around the world will gather in Albuquerque, NM next week for the annual SEPG. We’ll be there with our new website, new booth, new team, and new ideas. We hope to see you at booth 15.