Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Which book is a good start on CMMI, coming from a Scrum/agile background?

Which book is a good start for learning about CMMI coming from a Scrum/agile background? ~ Quora User

Dear Readers – We've been having a lot of fun on Quora.com recently. For those who are new to the social media platform, I've found it to be a place for high-level discourse about (among other interesting topics) engineering strategy and software process improvement. Below is today's response. Enjoy! ~ the CMMI Appraiser

Dear Quora User,

If you’re looking for the definitive “CMMI-Scrum” book, commissioned by the CMMI Institute, you can download my book “The Guide to CMMI and Scrum” free from the CMMI Institute site, or from the Broadsword web site.


Here’s a review with links to a free download: A GUIDE TO SCRUM AND CMMI®: IMPROVING AGILE PERFORMANCE WITH CMMI.

It’s filled with tables and examples for all types of Agile ceremonies and techniques.

Have fun!

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software leader!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Using Agile on a Waterfall project – What are the challenges?

What are the main challenges of using an Agile methodology on a Waterfall project? ~ Quora User

Dear Readers – Below is my response to a question posted on Quora.com by an Agile Leader who is thinking about using Agile methods in a "waterfall" environment - which can mean different things to different organizations, which I detail below. Regular users of Quora.com know this social media platform as a place for high-level discourse about engineering strategy and software process improvement, and the conversation has been especially thought-provoking recently. Enjoy! ~ the CMMI Appraiser

Dear Quora User,

The agile community has done a great job at defining and branding agile frameworks like Scrum and XP, although technically, they’re not methodologies. But they do provide great guidance for how to do things, what the roles are, and in what sequence actions are to take place.


“Waterfall,” is more ambiguous. There really isn’t a “waterfall community,” or a methodology that is called waterfall - although it is generally thought of as phased, task oriented, and planned for the project duration. Because of its use of project managers, strong oversight, metrics, and reporting, it’s often thought of (by agilistas anyway) as “low trust,” where “agile” is thought of (by agilistas) as “high trust,” due the the focus on self-organization and relying on the people who are doing the work to make important decisions.

A lot of people think they are implementing “agile” by adopting some techniques (ceremonies) such as the daily standup, or using a structure like a backlog for requirements. Some implement a tool like Jira (Atlassian), or TFS (Microsoft) and then call themselves “agile.” In the real world, “Agile” is a philosophical approach to running an organization based on a set of core values that include things such as “Transparency,” “Collaboration,” “Fail-fast” and others. Once an organization establishes their values (and people subscribe to them), then a set of methods, tools, and frameworks are established that align or trace to them.

For instance, “daily standup” traces to transparency and collaboration. “Sprints” trace to “fail-fast,” and so on. Scrum and XP are good examples of frameworks that have done a good job of aligning with agile values. Opinions vary, but there a some people who say SAFe (Scaled Agile) doesn’t do as good a job - one reason it is resonating so well with the government!

So, if by “waterfall” you mean “low trust” and “command-and-control,” you can use all the agile ceremonies you want, but you’ll struggle and not get a lot of value from them. If you mean that your work is “phased” with project mangers, and you have a strong culture based on agile values, you “are agile,” although you are not using Scrum or XP (for example). It’s possible to use waterfall techniques and still be agile, although it’s not very common in the industry. It’s also important to realize that Scrum does not equal agile, although it is a manifestation of agile values, if implemented properly.

If you choose to run a project using “waterfall,” but you want to encourage teams running their sub-projects to use Scrum, you are free to do that (in fact, I recommend it), but it all starts with leadership, who need to demonstrate a culture of agility and ensure the values are adopted by the organization - regardless of the techniques you use.

Good luck!

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software leader!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Where can I get CMMI V2.0-related content for studying?

Where could I get CMMI V2.0-related content for studying? I can’t get it because it is paid. I am working as a CMMI implementer in an IT company. ~ Quora User 

Dear Readers – recently I've been answering questions about performance improvement, CMMI, and Agile from engineering and software professionals and leaders, on Quora.com. Below is my response to a CMMI adopter who wants to be understand the new Model upgrade, CMMI V2.0. Enjoy! ~ the CMMI Appraiser

Dear Quora User, the only place to get the new version of CMMI V2.0 in online format. There is no longer a book that you can purchase or download. Neither are there CMMI-DEV or CMMI-SVC "constellations," just one model with different “views." These are some of the many changes you'll find in the new Model upgrade.


The reason for this is because the CMMI Institute has moved to an online subscription model, where you can only see the detailed content if you have an annual license. The price on this has been fluctuating as they experiment, but it’s somewhere between $400-1500US per user, depending on what you are buying.

The new CMMI is separated into two sections - protected content (anything that describes the meaning of the practices, including examples) and un-protected content (names of the Practice Areas (new terminology) and Practices. So you can see the list - just not what THEY think the meaning of each item is! For that you must buy a license.

Here are a couple of new things to get you started:

  • Process Areas are now Practice Areas
  • The sub-Practices have been eliminated
  • The Generic Practices have been eliminated
  • There are new Practice Areas for Governance and Implementation Infrastructure to replace and enhance the content from the Generic Practices
  • New CMMI appraisals will see the CMMI Institute determining the sample, not the Lead Appraiser or Sponsor
  • Each Practice Area has multiple levels within it (Practice Groups)

I’ve written pretty extensively on CMMI V2.0 here my blog, and have also done a number of videos (including interviews with the CMMI Institute’s Chief Architect) at CMMI-TV.com.

For more in-depth learning about CMMI V2.0, check out our upcoming CMMI V2.0 webinar, "CMMI V2.0 Is Here! Why It's the Best CMMI Yet.

Also consider signing up for a CMMI V2.0 Training class (where you will get the license as part of the training).

Good luck!

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software leader!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Large organizations adopting agile: How well is it going?

Jeff, in your exploration of over 300 organizations, a lot of them are the very big ones. When we look at the adoption profile, it's the late majority, the laggards, that are getting into Agile now. How well is that going? ~ Shane H.

[Editor's Note: During the coming weeks, this CMMI Appraiser will share excerpts from a recent conversation with Shane Hastie, Lead Editor for Culture & Methods on the “Engineering Culture by InfoQ” podcast about leadership, and the kind of leadership that is needed in today’s Agile world. Today’s blog post is the first installment. Listen to the full interview at http://bit.ly/infoqpodcast]

Well, Shane, this isn't a popular opinion, but based on the empirical data we've collected, it's not going well. The marketing of agility is doing far better than the reality of agility, for a lot of different reasons. I always say it's the early adopters who kind of set the tone for adoption.

Of course, the early adopters of Agile tended to be smaller, more compact organizations, and subsections of companies or organizations that were trying Agile. They had great success with Scrum and XP and some of those things. But as Agile has scaled, and as more and more big companies have adopted Agile, it hasn't been as successful.


The reason? Start with the culture. It’s the culture of the company that drives the behaviors of the people. Small startups, small subsections of teams, tend to have very collaborative, transparent cultures. But look at large organizations like General Motors, the Department of Defense, Lockheed Martin, and Nationwide Insurance. All of these organizations have 300 or 400 teams working together, and the culture of those teams is the culture of their organization.

I’ll use General Motors as kind of a metaphor because there are a lot of big companies like them. Why are General Motors’ software teams very document-heavy and very process-heavy with lots of low trust oversight? Because that's how the company operates. It has nothing to do with their software teams. It has everything to do with the culture of the company.

The same has been true with the CMMI. The CMMI has a reputation of being kind of a heavyweight process-burden model. But the only reason people think that is because the early adopters were General Electric, General Motors, Lockheed Martin and the DoD. These are organizations were already heavy, overburdened, over-processed companies, so when they adopted CMMI, they made it a process-heavy model. And when they adopted Agile, what do you think they did? They made it heavy, and over-burdened.

In my work assessing the agile performance of large organizations like these, I’ve found that they all have Project Managers that do tasking. They use Microsoft Project. They do a lot of things that you would think were Agile anti-patterns, or antithetical to agile values. They all do them!

It's only the smallest companies that are running Scrum projects using the Scrum roles as defined in the Scrum Guide. Most larger companies have Project Managers, Architects, Directors, Process Quality, and audits. They have all the things that you would say agile teams would never have. I observed this early on, and said, “Hey, there's a culture clash.”

I'm sure your audience knows what a “type mismatch” is in software, Shane. We call this phenomenon an “organizational type mismatch,” when the values and philosophy of the company are at odds with the values and philosophies of Agility.

When you look at the core agile values – collaboration, transparency, fail-fast, and so on – you see they are directly antithetical to the corporate philosophies of a company like General Electric, for example, and other large organizations that are very much command-and-control, low-trust, document-focused, audit-focused, etc. We noticed right away that senior management -- CIOs and CTOs especially -- were keen on becoming more Agile. But they weren't so keen on changing the corporate culture. That itself was an impediment to their success, and continues to be today. That's why I say it's not going well.

# # #

I hope my readers have enjoyed this segment of my interview with Shane Hastie on the InfoQ podcast. We'll be talking more about leadership, and whether leadership is more or less important in today’s Agile world, in the next segment. Please check back soon.

http://bit.ly/infoqpodcast

For those interested in a deeper dive into learning about Agile Leadership, please visit agilecxo.org for white papers, blog posts, podcasts and performance models to help software and engineering executives guide their organizations to be more agile, from top to bottom.

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software leader!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.





Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What's the best way to provide guidance for Scrum teams?

What's the best way of making sure that teams working on different projects follow the same Scrum process? Would you use a rigid approach or allow a degree of flexibility for each team? ~ Quora User

Dear Readers – Engineering strategy and software process improvement are popular topics on Quora.com, and I try to go in and answer questions as frequently as I can. Below is my response to an Agile Leader who wants to be more successful with Scrum. Enjoy! ~ the CMMI Appraiser

Dear Quora User,

Scrum, one of several popular frameworks that fall under the “agile” umbrella, is an “empirical process model.” This means, for this context, that teams learn and improve as they go, and may end up with different approaches over time, as compared to other teams.

Providing Scrum teams with guiderails 

The very nature of empirical models means that a “rigid” approach is not acceptable, and would corrupt the very architecture you’ve adopted - probably leading to negative results.

That doesn’t mean teams shouldn’t be provided with guidance (sometimes called "guiderails" in the community) on how the company expects them to perform.

Like a great musician, artist, or writer, the best performing scrum teams have MASTERED the art of scrum before they go off an make a lot of changes, versus the worst garage band, that just turns up the volume and celebrates their rebelliousness.

One performance model that is gaining in popularity is the Agile Performance Holarchy (APH) from AgileCxO.org. This set of guiderails is intended to influence leadership to set expectations of performance using a very disciplined approach, but then encourages teams to improve, adjust, learn, and modify based on their needs - but only AFTER mastering the craft. Makes sense.

Good luck!

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software leader!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Why is there such a disconnect in how Agile is marketed and how Agile is adopted?

Dear CMMI Appraiser,

For defense industry CMMI organizations like ours, why does there seem to be such a disconnect between the way Agile is marketed and the way it is actually adopted by teams? ~ Quora User

Dear Readers – Because there is often a high level of discourse at Quora.com about engineering strategy and software process improvement, I try to go in and answer questions as frequently as I can. Below is my response to an engineering professional in the defense industry who wants to be more successful with agile. Enjoy!

Dear Quora User,

Because reality is a harsh teacher.

Agile: why is there a disconnect?

When you consider that most marketing is about the “happy path,” and by its very nature doesn’t advertise the complexity of the product or service, or its potential points of failure, it makes more sense. Agile is complex, hard, and fraught with risk. It’s also rewarding.

Agile is popular because it espouses self-organization, collaboration, transparency, optimism, trust, rapid delivery of value, and celebrating early failure (among other things). These are all things that, in theory, produce more value, more quickly than what we sometimes call “waterfall,” or “traditional” project management techniques.

Then comes the reality. Companies, customers, teams, and humans are often NOT collaborative, optimistic, trusting, or willing to celebrate early failure. This is especially true in the government, health care, and aerospace industries. If they naturally were all those things, it would be simple to adopt and embrace agile values, ceremonies, and techniques, and everyone would happily march down the path to a more agile future. But they’re not - almost never.

For instance, as a reaction to top-down, command-and-control approaches to managing projects, Scrum doesn’t identify “project manager” as a role. After all, a Scrum team is self-organizing. Why would they need a manager? That sounds great - except there are MANY things a project manager needs to do related to product development that have nothing to do with tasking and oversight, and of the over 200 agile organizations I’ve assessed, 100% have project managers. Some are good at it - they limit the PM's role to ensure it aligns with agile values. Some are terrible at it, and have PMs that can’t resist being dictators.

The other problem is that leaders often don’t even know what agile “looks like,” and they go about the process of “agile transformation” without any attempt on their own part to change and become agile themselves. This creates immense friction in the organization and makes “real” agile adoption (as opposed to just adopting some techniques) almost impossible. AgileCxO’s model, the “Agile Performance Holarchy,” is the defacto standard for agile leaders who are serious about this, and AgileCxO’s research has shown that leaders, not teams, or the largest impediment to agile adoption.

So, the bottom line is that Agile is hard and requires very strong leadership - although not the kind we’re used to. Try marketing that!

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software leader!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

CMMI in Aerospace - some things to think about

Dear Appraiser - we're a large aerospace engineering company, and we're just not sure how CMMI fits into our company. Give me some ideas please! ~Paul G Cincinnati, OH.

Paul - CMMI and Aerospace? it's a great question because it opens up the idea of multi-dimensional process deployment - something I'm super passionate about.



You see, we tend to think about process in a single dimension - we plan, we estimate, we design, build, test, and deploy.  But no!  It's much more interesting and cool than that.

In a typical aerospace, defense, or aviation organization, there are many sub-organizations that execute a process, but they each need to do it differently.  On size does not fit all.  And then after they are done their pieces, they need to do it together. So there isn't ONE process - there are many.

Even though the CMMI has one "Project Planning" process area, and one "Technical Solution" process area, they are MANY instantiations of it within a large aerospace organizations - and each one is different - because each one has different goals, objectives, and needs.

For instance, the software teams may be using a product backlog, planning poker, and an entire set of agile frameworks, methods, and techniques.  The Systems Engineering team may be using MS Project, Gantt charts, and a set of waterfall techniques.  Yes - they're both executing Project Planning.

Take this organization that I work with in Mason, OH.  They design and build cameras and other optical equipment that goes in to space.  They have the following types of independent engineering organizations.:

Systems Engineering
Design Engineering
Software Engineering
Hardware Engineering
Validation Engineering
....and more.

Each one of these groups has to 1) estimate the work, 2) plan the work 3) understand the requirements, 3) design the solution 4) integrate the solution design with the OTHER engineering disciplines, 4) build the solution 5) integrate it with the OTHER engineering disciplines and 6) test both the individual and integrated solutions and finally, implement the overall solution.

Each one of them is very different - with different goals and objectives, and a flexible set of processes is needed.  The CMMI does a great job at providing the architecture for this.

How does CMMI play into this?

CMMI helps us create an architecture that aerospace, defense, and aviation companies can use to develop a flexible and tailorable process that makes sense to all of the sub-organizations. The opposite of "everyone doing everything the same," the CMMI enables a process that is modifiable and flexible enough to meet the needs of all of the various engineering disciplines.

So take a look.  At its core, the CMMI is not a process (or really even a process model), it's a flexible, agile, and modifiable architecture that let's you apply different processes and behaviors at all levels, in multiple dimensions, to deliver high quality products.

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software leader!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

How do Maturity Levels work in CMMI V2.0?

Dear Appraiser, it seems like Maturity Levels are different in CMMI V2.0.  Can you tell us what's up? ~Miriam

You're right!  It's very different.

If you recall from v1.3, we had the "Staged Representation" and the "Continuous Representation."  In the staged, you were told which process areas had to be successfully appraised in order to reach a certain maturity level (7 in ML2, 11 in ML3, and 2 each in ML4/5).  If you chose to go the "continuous" route, you could get a "Capability Level" in any one Process Area, up to Capability Level Three by applying the corresponding Generic Practices and Goals.

CMMI V2.0 semi-conflates these two concepts.  There are no Generic Practices anymore, but each Practice Area has a set of "Practice Groups," which are a little like Capability Levels from v1.3, and all Practice Areas, except Configuration Management,  have at least three of these (CM has two).  Some also have four practice areas, and a couple have five.

In order to achieve a maturity level, you need to successfully satisfy all the practice groups (there are no more goals) in all of the pre-determined Practice Areas to achieve a given level.  Here is the list:


The following Practice Areas must be rated at Practice Group 2 (think of a practice group like a capability level):

Managing Performance and Management
Supplier Agreement Management
Process Quality Assurance
Configuration Management
Monitor and Control
Planning
Estimating
Requirements Development and Maintenance
Governance
Implementation Infrastructure



The following Practice Areas must be rated at Practice Group 3, with the EXCEPTION of CM, which only goes to Level 2


Managing Performance and Management
Supplier Agreement Management
Process Quality Assurance
Configuration Management
Monitor and Control
Planning
Estimating
Requirements Development and Maintenance
Governance
Implementation Infrastructure
Causal Analysis and Resolution
Decision Analysis and Resolution
Organizational Training
Risk Management
Process Asset Development
Peer Reviews
Process Management
Verification and Validation
Technical Solution
Product Integration


The following Practice Areas must be rated at Practice Group 4, in addition to everything above


- Managing Performance and Management

- Planning

- Governance

- Causal Analysis and Resolution

- Process Management




The following Practice Areas must be rated at Practice Group 5, in addition to everything above


- Managing Performance and Management


- Causal Analysis and Resolution


So that's it!  EZPZ!

Don't forget, all appraisal team members must now also be CMMI V2.0 Certified Associate!  In order to do that, we recommend you sign up right now for one of our CMMI Development V2.0 classes.

Looking forward to seeing you and learning about this, and many other topics, in the new CMMI V2.0 class!

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI training classes and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

What’s different about the new CMMI V2.0 Training classes?

Hey, CMMI Appraiser, I took your “Introduction to CMMI-DEV v1.3” training in Detroit, Michigan.  Now we’re looking at a 2020 appraisal, and want to get our Lead Appraisal Team together for CMMI 2.0. What’s changed in the CMMI 2.0 Training class? ~ Mitch M. 

Mitch, thanks for staying in touch. As I said in class, the CMMI is 100% about solving business problems. It’s not about documents, ratings or certificates. That’s one thing that will never change. In fact, CMMI V2.0 focuses even more on that.

But you’re right – just about everything else changes with the CMMI 2.0 upgrade, including the way the CMMI Training class is conducted.


To begin with, there no longer will be a 3-day “Introduction to CMMI” class.

It’s still a 3-day commitment for you though. But instead of one class, there are two classes. The first class, “Foundations of Capability,” is two days, followed by a one-day “Building DEV Excellence” class.

FOUNDATIONS OF CAPABILITY

Many significant changes occur in the two-day part of the class.

CMMI V2.0 Associate Exam Included 

Included in the price, and as part of the class, you get the CMMI V2.0 Associate Exam. Now, everyone who takes the class will have an opportunity to become certified, but you don't HAV to take ik - unless you want to be on an appraisal team.  Which brings us to . . .

New Appraisal Team Requirements 

Everyone who will be on your Appraisal Team for CMMI V2.0 will need to complete the CMMI V2.0 Associate Exam successfully. Previously, it was only necessary for them to complete the class. Now, you also have to take the test and pass it.

You Get Access to a Model Viewer 

During the CMMI V2.0 training class, you will be given a license to use the Model Viewer. As the name implies, the Model Viewer is your view of the Model, replacing the old “constellations” such as DEV, SVC and ACQ. You’ll be able to use the Model Viewer in class, as you’re learning, and for up to thirday days afterward for the test.

So that's the required two-day class. It is followed by the required one-day class.

BUILDING DEV EXCELLENCE

This class is your one day add-on if your organization is interested in an appraisal for CMMI Development, or if you just want to learn about CMMI Development.

Think of it as a supplement class, like the ones available today for SVC or DEV. The one-day CMMI V2.0 class serves the same function. You can take the DEV supplement, and in the future take a SVC or the People or a Cyber Security supplement – whatever you choose to add on to your basic Foundations of Capability certification.

My classes take place three days in a row. We administer the CMMI Associate Exam on the third day, so that everyone gets the benefit of all three days before they have to take the test. You can sign up for one here: https://broadswordsolutions.com/events/category/classes/

Just remember that your team must complete the CMMI certification exam before they can sit on an appraisal team.

Looking forward to seeing you in the new CMMI V2.0 class!

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI training classes and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

What Training do I need to be a CMMI V2.0 ATM?

Dear Appraiser,

My company just told me I was slated to be a CMMI V2.0 Appraisal Team Member next year, and they asked me to go get trained.  What do I need to do?  ~Manny

Thanks Manny.  Congratulations?



Being on an appraisal team is a great experience no matter what Jimmy Stewart thinks!  But, there are some pre-requisites.

All CMMI V2.0 Appraisal Team Members must now be "Certified CMMI Associates."  Here's how you make that happen:

If you have NEVER taken the official CMMI v1.3 Introduction to CMMI Class:

- Sign up for the 3-day set of classes, now called "Foundations of Capability" (2 day) and "Building DevExcellence" (1 day)

- Use the 30-day license you get before class for the  CMMI Viewer tool to study up on the model

- Attend the 3-days of training

- Sit for, and pass, the CMMI V2.0 Associate Exam


If you HAVE taken the official CMMI v1.3 Introduction to CMMI class

-either take the class (above) or sign up for the online CMMI v1.3 to CMMI v2.0 transition course at http://CMMIInstitute.com.  (3 day V2.0 class is recommended)

- Sit for, and pass, the CMMI V2.0 Associate Exam


Once you've completed one of these options, you'll should purchase an annual license to the model viewer for $400 in order to have access during the appraisal.  Your appraisal is a long time out, and there could be changes between now and then. 

Good luck!

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software leader!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI training classes and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.






Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Is there a video that gives an overview of CMMI 2.0?

Hey, CMMI Appraiser,

I was looking for an overview of CMMI V2.0 on video.  Can you recommend something about CMMI 2.0 on Youtube? Thanks. ~ Scott B.

Hey, Scott! The best place to go for videos on CMMI 2.0 is CMMI-TV, our YouTube channel.

Check out my series of videos highlighting all of the CMMI V2.0 model on CMMI-TV:



If you are interested in learning more about using CMMI V2.0 to improve the performance, or just to get a rating for your company in this new model, we offer classes in both CMMI and Agile.  Go to cmmi2training.com for more information.

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software leader!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI training classes and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Moving from Retrospectives to Continuous Improvement

[Readers - we've been writing about the new version of CMMI lately, but today I'm happy to introduce our first guest blogger in a while, Leon Tranter.  Leon is an agilist and blogger from Sydney, South New Wales.  You can follow him on Twitter at: @LeonTranterEU.  Welcome Leon! ]


Moving from Retrospectives to Continuous Improvement


Retrospectives are one of the core ceremonies in Scrum, and considered an
essential part of Agile software development. They are even called out specifically
in the Agile Manifesto: At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more
effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

This regular "pause and reflect" activity seems to connect the Lean Manufacturing
idea of Kaizen or Continuous Improvement to the short time-frame iterative nature of
Agile software development.


Many people conclude from this that by performing Retrospectives, a team is thereby
doing Continuous Improvement. However, I would argue that this is not the case,
and that Retrospectives are in some way a move away from the Lean concept of Kaizen.


The main problem with Sprint Retrospectives is that they are by their nature done
every sprint (which is usually a two week iteration). This means that issues that come up
during the sprint have to wait up to two weeks before they are brought up at a retrospective.
This can make it hard for people to accurately remember the details of the issues, since
they are now dislocated from that incident spatially and temporally.


This also means that problems can go uninvestigated or unresolved for one or two weeks
during a sprint, further eroding the team’s effectiveness. A once per sprint event is not
“continuous”, it is in fact discrete - the opposite of continuous!

The true spirit of Continuous Improvement, from Lean Manufacturing, is that
improvement is something that is the responsibility of everyone in the company - not just
software developers everybody, from accountants all the way to the CEO. It is also something
that happens all the time - continuously.


When a problem happens, or someone notices a tool or process that is inefficient or not fit f
or purpose, they must stop what they are doing and call attention to it. And the organisation
must treat this seriously and resolve to fix it, ideally then and there.


As an example, Toyota car factories have something called “Andon Cords”, which are
cables hung from the ceiling over an assembly line. If a worker notices a problem, they pull the
cord - the entire manufacturing line comes to a halt and those in the area huddle around to
investigate and resolve the issue.


This behaviour is a true reflection of the meaning of Continuous Improvement, an idea
some call “Stop and Fix It”. This requires a significant change in the mindset and
behaviour of the organisation, which is usually focused on day to day operations, and
deferring non-urgent problems for another day. Retrospectives were designed with good
intentions but fit too easily into this mold. Moving to a true Kaizen organisation is a larger
shift but with potentially huge payoffs for those that can make the transition.

Leon writes about Agile and Lean at his blog www.extremeuncertainty.com. Why don't you check it out right now?

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software leader!


Jeff Dalton is Chief Evangelist at AgileCxO.org, and a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the Agile and CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in Scrum Master, Product Owner, and CMMI training classes, and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful Agile Transformation or CMMI program.



Sunday, March 25, 2018

Timeline for the release of CMMI v2.0 Components

Editor's Note: This is fifth in our series about the upcoming release of CMMI v2.0 [Jeff] -- updated.

CMMI v2.0 is HERE!!!!

The first release of the latest version of the CMMI, last updated in 2010, happened on schedule at the end of March, and we couldn't be any more excited!  

But, there are lot of components to be released, and they won't all come out at once.  Here's what we know for now:



Initial v2.0 Release - March 28, 2018

The initial release of the new model focuses, for now, only on the "Development View" (the closest thing to a "View," a new keyword in v2.0, is the entity formerly known as a "constellation").

The entire model related to Development has been released, along with a new online navigator - a database-driven tool that will allow users to login, surf the model, and look at it from different perspectives (Maturity Level, Practice Area, etc). 

They released the initial training for this View - a two day class called "Foundations in Capability" and a one-day class called "Building DEV Excellence."  This is roughly equivalent to today's "Introduction to CMMI" class, but will include a certification exam.  Successful completion of the exam is a prerequisite (among others) for serving on an Appraisal Team.

We're teaching Washington, DC's very first CMMI v2.0 class on May 7-9, along with our famous CMMI-Agile Integration Workshop on the 10th and 11th.  You can find more information about registering for both classes here.

Mid-Year 2018

A new version of the appraisal process AND appraisal system (the dreaded "SAS"), will be released.  I'll cover the new appraisal method in another post, but hold on - it's different!

January 1, 2019

New v2.0 Benchmarking appraisals (formerly called SCAMPI A appraisals) based on CMMI v2.0 will be accepted by the CMMI Institute.  So, if you plan on adopting CMMI in the next year, this will be available to you....BUT....

March 2020 (tentative): 

CMMI v1.3 appraisals will no longer be accepted and CMMI v1.3 will be sunset.

2019 - TBA

Release of the Services View, and potentially, a Cyber-Security View.  So stay tuned! 

A Lot of Changes Coming - But Not All at Once!

If you've been reading the blog, you know there are lot of changes coming.  But all of the fanfare for March 28 is only for the initial release of the new model, and a set of training classes.  Sure - it'll be awesome, but there is SO Much more to come!

There are quite a few other changes – including the new sampling rules, and more.  I'll be back in a couple of days to write about those.

Meantime, if you're interested in learning more about the set of in-depth classes we are offering on the subject in May, click "CMMI v2.0 Training."

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI training classes and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

CMMI v2.0: What is going on with the Constellations DEV, SVC, and ACQ?

Editor's Note: This is fourth in our series about the upcoming release of CMMI v2.0 [Jeff]

A lot of people have been asking, "What's happening with the Constellations?" Short answer - they're gone for CMMI v2.0!




Yes, that's right.  In v1.3 of the CMMI, there are 3.5 flavors, or constellations. What?  3.5?  Yes - that's right.  There are three "official" version of CMMI, known today as CMMI-DEV, for engineering, software, and other product development organizations, there is CMMI-SVC for those companies delivering pure services (staff augmentation, call centers, data centers, etc), and CMMI-ACQ for those organizations that "acquire" all of their products and services.  The .5 is People-CMM, or P-CMM, which isn't official CMM"I", yet, but is sometimes included in the set of constellations (but not officially) when people talk about CMMI.

All of this is going away in v2.0, to be replaced by "views."  This is exactly what it sounds like.  The new CMMI v2.0 will be a table-driven RDMS product (no book!), that will leave the door open for both real-time and long-term enhancements and changes without the need to re-artchitect the model and come out with a new book.

It will ALSO leave the door open for "build your own model," although that will not be part of the initial release in v2.0

In fact, the "initial" release on March 31 will only include what we know today as DEV, now called "CMMI Development."  The next release, date unknown, is said to be what we know today as SVC, now called "CMMI Services."  There is rumor of a really exciting cyber security model being added after that, but nothing has been officially announced. 

So, if you're familiar with the concept of "views" of a relational database, you'll see what they did. They've opened up the model for different views (queries), and they've predefined the first one for us and they're calling it "CMMI Development."  Who knows where this will lead?  But it reminds me of "Build a Bear Workshop."  Lots of potential!

We'll explore all of that in DC's first CMMI v2.0 training class here: CMMI v2.0 Training.

Overall, the approach seems solid.  An online tool is long overdue and will make moving about the model easier, as well as open it up for potential tool developers. I'm disappointed that they are not planning a book, though.  A big part of the new CMMI training will be teaching people how to use a database tool, and having them stare at the tool during class, and probably checking their email and doing work while they're at it.  That's what my experience teaching the class 129 times is - laptops are distracting, but the books gets them focused! We'll make it work though.

There are quite a few other changes.  I'll be back in a couple of days to write about more!

In the meantime, if you're interested in learning more about the set of in-depth classes we are offering on the subject May 7-9, click "CMMI v2.0 Training."

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI training classes and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

FINALLY!!! CMMI v2.0 addresses leadership and governance!

Editor's Note: This is third in our series about the upcoming release of CMMI v2.0 [Jeff]

FINALLY!!! CMMI v2.0 addresses leadership and governance!



"It's like pushing a rope uphill."

"My management only wants the CMMI certification."

"I care about the improvement, sure, but I really need the cert (wink wink)."

We've all heard it.  The CMMI, a performance model designed to help organizations improve, is often left in the hands of low-ranking, non-influential employees without authority to make change happen - and get little attention from senior management.

CMMI v2.0 is going to try to change that.

The new version, scheduled to be released on March 31, 2018, includes new Practice Areas (name change) for leadership.

Governance (GOV)

Governance will provide guidance and "appraise-able" practices for leadership, focusing on their efforts to improve performance.  That includes setting objectives (wow - seems obvious, yet...), prioritizing improvements, ensuring competencies, identifying Goals/Questions/Metrics needed to measure success, and providing the resources needed for improving performance.

Process Management (PCM)

Process management will provide guidance on developing a process performance architecture (again...seems obvious, but few do it because it's not specifically in the current model), keeping needs and objectives current, aligning improvements with objectives, implements, deploying, and sustaining, improvements, and more.

Not everything needed to improve performance is contained in GOV and PCM, but there will be a appraisal deliverable, a performance report, that will track improvements over time and be part of any re-appraisal. In other words....you need to at least TRY to improve.  Not just perform.

The Bottom Line

The inclusion of specific practices (see what I did there...) related to leadership, architecture, and actual improvement will go a long way to wake up absent leaders who think the CMMI is another plaque on the wall (we call that "Plaque Buildup") that is something they need to worry about every three years.  Oh yea...renewal period....we'll talk about that in another post!

There are quite a few other changes – including simplifying the model, reducing the cost, and more.  I'll be back in a couple of days to write about those.

Meantime, if you're interested in learning more about the set of in-depth classes we are offering on the subject in May, click "CMMI v2.0 Training."

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI training classes and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Bon voyage, sweet Generics, we hardly knew ya!

Editor's Note: This is second in our series about the upcoming release of CMMI v2.0 [Jeff]

Thirteen practices, eighteen process areas, and a whole lot of discovery goin' on! We've all just gotten used to it - now you can say goodbye to the Generic Practices....FOREVER!**




The CMMI's Generic Practices (GPs), the set of 13 practices that serve as the "secret sauce" for ensuring institutionalization and adoption across all of the process areas, have been part of the CMMI since the beginning. 

As I've taught in 100+ CMMI training classes, they are the definition of "goodness" for successful process implementation.

Currently, users of the CMMI model apply the following Generic Practices to every process thread:

GP1.1: Perform Specific Practices (show up, do your work, duh)

GP2.1: Establish an Organizational Policy (ensure everyone understands what is expected of them)

GP2.2: Plan the Process (plan out how the process will be executed, so everyone knows)

GP2.3 Provide Resources (make sure all the tools, funding, and other resources are provided to be successful)

GP2.4: Assign Responsibility (assign process roles, not job titles)

GP2.5: Train People: (yeah, yeah, yeah, no one does this...enough)

GP2.6: Control Work Products (don't be a jerk, save your work)

GP2.7: Identify and Involve Relevant Stakeholders (are people playing their process roles?)

GP2.8: Monitor and Control the Process (is it working as planned?)

GP2.9: Objectively Evaluate Adherance (are people using the process?)

GP2.10: Review Status with Higher Level Management (making sure they care)

GP3.1: Establish a Defined Process (the project gets to tailor the process)

GP3.2 Collect Process Related Experiences (long way of saying lessons-learned, metrics, retros)

I've long said that the GPs are the best part of the CMMI, and they are what really differentiates it from other models.  And they're going away.

In CMMI v2.0 there will be more Practice Areas [heads up: name change in v2.0]  focused on the process, and two of them, Implementation Infrastructure (II) and Governance (GOV), will serve a similar function to the GPs.  We'll do a direct mapping in a later post, but for now, the practice areas include:

Implementation Infrastructure (II)

II will include practices for performing the process, providing resources, training, using organizational assets, and collecting lessons and assets.  Sound familiar?

Governance (GOV)

GOV covers more ground than the Generic Practices, but it also includes setting of policies and expectations, providing resources for continuous improvement, and adhering to policies.

So, yeah, the Generic Practices.

It's my understanding that both II and GOV will need to be applied to ALL Practice Areas in scope for an appraisal, and the "level" of each must match the target maturity level (think "Continuous Representation" and you'll get the idea).  Of course - some of this might change prior to release on March 31, but this seems pretty well baked.  So, at least they've kept the functionality.

So, the days of using the Generic Practices as a handy "front-of-book, back-of-the-book" reference are over, and you'll no longer have them to kick around during appraisals.  But now we'll have II and GOV to look forward to - so onward!

There are quite a few other changes – including how CMMI Training has changed (next week), and more.  I'll be back in a couple of days to write about those.

Meantime, if you're interested in learning more about the set of in-depth classes we are offering on the subject in May, click "CMMI v2.0 Training."

** all of this could change before the release on March 31, although I doubt it will.

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI training classes and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.