Thursday, February 15, 2018

Doin' the SCAMPI Shuffle: Hello Benchmarking!

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

Doin' the SCAMPI Shuffle!

What happens to SCAMPI in CMMI v2.0?


CMMI v1.3

If you're a follower of my blog, you know (and love) SCAMPI - the "Standard CMMI Method for Process Improvement," the globally adored standard method for conducting CMMI Appraisals resulting in a Maturity Level (or Capability Level) rating (ex. "ML4").

Actually, there are three different flavors of SCAMPI.  The best known is the SCAMPI A, or "Class A" appraisal.  This is the most rigorous appraisal, has a high evidence requirement, and is the only appraisal that can result in a Maturity Level Rating.

The other two are:

  • Class B, a less rigorous cousin of "A's" that is often used as a Readiness Appraisal or "system test" prior to conducting a Class A.
  • Class C, which is often used as an early gap analysis tool.  Both have their place, but don't result in a maturity level.

The entire objective of a SCAMPI appraisal, regardless of type, is to evaluate the process improvement infrastructure that an organization has deployed, and to identify, using evidence-based methods, opportunities for improvement.  As they say, "SCAMPI without Process Improvement is a SCAM."  Or something.

At some point, our friends in the government (followed by many commercial enterprises) started to require a successful SCAMPI A ("get a level") as part of their selection process, and that put the industry on a trajectory towards growing the number (and cost) of SCAMPI A Appraisals.

In fact, cost, primarily the internal kind, has become the #1 impediment to companies adopting CMMI, and since they don't adopt it, they often can't bid. See the problem?  Thanks, government.

Enter CMMI v2.0

Join us for CMMI v2.0 Training!

CMMI v2.0 is an entirely new, downsized, and improved model along with a shiny new (yet to be named) appraisal methodology.  All we know now about the name is that it won't be named "SCAMPI."

Instead of a SCAMPI A there'll be a "Benchmarking" appraisal.  That appraisal, like a CMMI v1.3 appraisal, will have a shelf-life of three years.

Then comes the "Sustainment" appraisal.  If the organization hasn't changed much, and they conduct one of there babies prior to expiration, they get to conduct a smaller, more efficient appraisal that is good for TWO years.  This is similar in concept to the ill-fated "SCAMPI-E" that never really got much traction in v1.3.

After that, we have the "Evaluation" appraisal.  This is similar to a Class C, or even a Class B, in that it doesn't result in a maturity level, but is open to tailoring, unlike the Benchmarking appraisal.

There are quite a few other changes - including how the sample will be generated, requirements of appraisal team members, 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.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Is CMMI still popular?

Hey, CMMI Appraiser – We've been discussing adopting a process model to help guide us while improving our software development organization's performance. Is the CMMI still popular among large organizations, and would this be the best framework for what we are trying to do? ~ Sanjam S.

Hey, Sanjam, thank you for your questions! The answer to both is “Yes!”

Yes, the CMMI is still extremely popular among companies of all sizes. CMMI adoption continues to expand, both in the USA and worldwide. Check out the new data released by the CMMI Institute:


The CMMI Institute's 2017 Annual Report to Partners analyzes the worldwide market to determine the adoption of the CMMI. As you can see, the 2,632 appraisals conducted in 2017 represents a new high water mark. Adoption continues to increase, 17% overall and 3% in the United States.

2017 was a great year for CMMI. More organizations than ever got CMMI appraisals, and satisfaction has strengthened with end-users giving CMMI a world-class Net Promoter Score of +44, up three points from 2013.

Another interesting statistic from the Report, as it pertains to your goal of becoming a Fortune 500 company:

The Report states that an examination of the recent list by Fortune magazine of the 500 largest companies in the world revealed that 34 Fortune 500 companies have received CMMI appraisals. In addition, 14 of the Top 50 Most Admired companies by Forbes have active CMMI appraisals.

Those 14 companies are: Microsoft, General Electric, Honeywell, IBM, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrump Grummond, Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton, McKesson, Raytheon, Cognizant, Aetna, and Insight.

To answer your second question, based on what you’ve shared here, yes, an evidence-based model like the CMMI is the best framework for what you are trying to do.  It's both broad and deep, and assuming you don't over-do it, it should fit your need quite nicely.

I appreciate your comment that you are considering achieving a CMMI Maturity Level in the spirit of trying to do the right things to improve. It’s also useful to keep in mind that this discussion is also about risk management. The way you do things – the way you drive software process improvement in your firm, for example – is in itself, a risk-avoidance technique. You can keep items off your risk list by learning to adopt an evidence-based model like the CMMI to guide the behaviors of the people who are doing the work.

Going forward, I would say that the adoption of CMMI by organizations like yours is the trajectory the industry is on. It’s all part of a widespread movement by companies large and small in North America to put themselves on the path to greatness and compete in the global market.

The CMMI supports your intention to do things the right way by keeping you focused on the right behaviors. Not only will you achieve CMMI Level 2 or CMMI Level 3 (the most common CMMI maturity levels) as a natural result … not only will you drive the software process improvement results you are looking for … but you’ll be on the path to greatness, whether you ultimately make the Fortune 500 list or not.

Now that’s what I call doing things the right way!

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.

CMMI V2.0 is coming! Are you ready?

Dear, CMMI Appraiser, I just found out that an all new version of CMMI coming out soon. We were recently re-appraised for CMMI-DEV v1.3, and we heard nothing about this at the time. What secret changes are coming for me and my company? ~ Jay H.

Dear Jay,

I understand that the CMMI 2.0 news may have caught you by surprise -- but don't let it throw you off your game. In CMMI, as in life, there is really only one real secret: Change happens.



To help you learn about CMMI 2.0, I will be writing about it this month, and also will be leading one of the first public CMMI 2.0 Training Classes, on May 7-9, 2018, in Washington, D.C. You are personally invited to attend.

There is a lot to learn - new language, new practices, and a brand new appraisal methodology.

Click here to learn about registering for “CMMI v2.0 Training” 

A ton of value is packed into this class (actually, it's two classes - Foundations of Capability + Building DEV Excellence). Since you're already thinking about your next appraisal, you'll appreciate knowing that the this class will take you inside the changing Appraisal process. You will be introduced to the new concepts in the latest release of the new CMMI model, and you will see how these changes impact the way CMMI Appraisals are conducted.

Here's a preview:  SCAMPI is going away!  So are Specific Goals....

But you don't have to wait until May to start learning about CMMI 2.0. Over the coming weeks, we'll explore the nuances of the changing CMMI model and appraisal method right here. So stop back soon -- and bring a friend!

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

Jeff Dalton is a Certified CMMI v2.0 Lead Appraiser and Instructor, as well as a CMMI v1.3 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, December 14, 2017

A Whole Lotta CMMI Going on for 2018!

Hey, CMMI Appraiser - we are a fast growing Detroit-based engineering supplier to the automotive industry with an agile approach to software development. We recently achieved a CMMI Level 2 and are looking for ways to get our new hires up to speed on using CMMI and Agile together as we grow. What are our options for early 2018? ~ Lucas L. 

Hey, Lucas,

Thanks for submitting your question. Broadsword is offering quite a few opportunities for your new teammates to learn about CMMI, Agile and organizational performance innovation. Below is a slate of upcoming Keynote presentations, training classes and webinars. Check them out!


WEBINARS:

December 15th @2PM – CMMI: Everything You Need to Know!
January 26th @2PM – CMMI: Everything You Need to Know!

TRAINING CLASS:

February 6-9, 2018 in Washington, DC area – Introduction to CMMI-DEV v1.3 with optional 1-day CMMI-SVC supplement

KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS:

March 19-20, 2018 in Boston, MA – ASQ BOSCON 2018 Conference
May 24, 2018 in San Antonio, TX – QUEST 2018

As an Agile shop that has become a CMMI-focused organization, Lucas, you will find that these Keynotes, training classes and webinars will give your new hires all the information they need to help address persistent problems, and improve upon what your company is ALREADY doing.

We hope to see your organization represented at one or more of these events!

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.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

We need CMMI training FAST. Where can we find it in early 2018?

Dear CMMI Appraiser,

Several of us are going to be on a CMMI Appraisal Team, and we need to get up to speed with CMMI Training FAST, like, yesterday! Where can we get this training? We want something a little more than a "lecture." ~ Lou B.


Lou,

Wow, that’s quite a request! The only way to get to yesterday’s CMMI training class is to climb in to a Delorean.


Don't have one sitting in your driveway? Maybe I can help you get to a class in the future.

The "Introduction to CMMI" course is an excellent course for anyone who is tasked with, or interested in, transforming their organization into a high-performing, lean, and productive team. Beginning with the WHY to use CMMI, then followed by the WHAT you need to do, and finally the HOW to do it, the Intro to CMMI class is a great place to begin for any project manager, engineer, software developer, line manager, analyst, tester, or process or quality professional.

Since you intend to participate in a SCAMPI Appraisal team, CMMI training is required. But while it may be too late to sign up for CMMI training class in 2017, you definitely have options for 2018. 

While you can always take a course at the CMMI Institute, but you might consider taking it from a CMMI Institute Partner, like Broadsword Solutions Corporation (www.broadswordsolutions.com). They'll fill in the gaps with stories, examples, exercises, and case studies as they go. It’s all based on their real-world experience. They even cover CMMI and Agile.

Broadsword just happens to be running one of these "Introduction to CMMI" Training classes February 6-9 in Fairfax, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC. The first three days of this particular class are focused on CMMI-DEV. Also available is a one-day supplement on CMMI-SVC.

You can register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/february-6-9-2018-introduction-to-cmmi-dev-training-woptional-svc-supplement-fairfax-va-tickets-38638711426

Good luck - and enjoy your 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 Is the SDCA and How Does It Help FCA Suppliers Win More Business?

Dear Jeff, we received a notice from Fiat Chrysler that an SDCA appraisal has been scheduled for us. As a new supplier to FCA, we know they use it to determine whether we will be a long term supplier, and we're excited about the opportunity. What is the SDCA, and how does it help us win more business? ~ Paul A.

Dear Paul,

Great questions! The Supplier Design Capability Appraisal (SDCA) is a engineering performance model that was established to provide an intuitive and flexible framework to be used for evaluating the engineering and project management capabilities of suppliers.


The goal of the SDCA is to determine if a supplier demonstrated high performance their work with Fiat Chrysler. From the suppliers’ perspective, the goal is much larger. The SDCA is a model for improving service and product delivery. By following its guidance, suppliers can put themselves on the path to becoming not just a better company, but a great company that earns the long-term business that FCA is able to provide them.

Here are three ways the SDCA can have a positive impact on your ability to win more business:

Reason #3: Marketing

There is no inherent value in having a high SDCA score. The real value comes from making it your goal to improve and change the way your entire organization behaves, so that you deliver a work product of greater value to the customer. As a by-product, you will be able to demonstrate a higher level of technical and process capability, which will become what you are known for, i.e., your “Way” of doing business, your brand.

Reason #2: Customer Mandates

FCA wants you to be a high performer for reasons that should inspire you to want to be better. They think the SDCA is important because it is important.

You seem to get this, Paul, but some suppliers really don’t yet. They call us and say, “What do I need to do to get a high score?”

I always respond by asking, “Is that really why you are doing this? I understand that you want to stay in your client’s good graces. But the SDCA is so much more valuable and useful than that. Let’s talk about things like how well you are running your operation, how well you are delivering, how happy your customer really is with your service and delivery.”

For anyone who is passionate about improvement, these kinds of questions will get your heart thumping. These are the kinds of things you WANT to be asking, because learning is your goal, not merely getting a high score, and because asking the right questions is what great companies do.

And that brings me to …

Reason #1: To Be a Great Company

I find that more and more organizations understand the value of process improvement and performance innovation. Suppliers are approaching the SDCA as one of the tools that can help them learn how to behave like a great company. And while they know it won’t be easy to do the work necessary to learn the behaviors and transform their culture, they willingly take on the challenge, knowing that the journey can be its own reward.

I appreciate your taking the time to send in your question, Paul. With a little context and creativity, the SDCA is a powerful solution for any supplier that plans, designs, and delivers any type of product or service for the FCA. As long as you focus on setting the right goals and objectives, and asking the right questions, you are going to be a great company, and your business will grow.

Good luck!

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 trainings and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Visit http://my-broadswordsolutions.com for more information about running a successful SDCA program.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving, CMMI Style!

Dear friends,

This Thanksgiving, we are thankful for YOU! Your focus on using the CMMI and Agile to pursue organizational excellence has helped transform the industry and raise the standard for everyone.



Thank you for understanding that the CMMI is a journey, not a destination.

Thank you for continually learning to make your company better.

Thank you for setting goals and objectives in your organization.

Thank you for asking the right questions.

Thank you for choosing the CMMI to put your company on the path to greatness.

As a different kind of performance innovation firm, we’re thankful for the chance to help companies like yours use the CMM and Agile to get even better.. So whether you are traveling or staying local this holiday season, we wish you abundant health and happiness in your ongoing quest to be kind of organization you’ve always wanted to be.

From our family to yours - Happy Thanksgiving!

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.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

“Introduction to CMMI-DEV” Class (includes optional CMMI-SVC Supplement)

Dear friends,

As organizations all over North America are starting to look ahead to setting performance improvement goals for 2018, many are considering the advantages of getting CMMI training for their executives and teams.

We'd love for you to join them (and us) for "Intro to CMMI-DEV" with an optional 1-day CMMI-SVC Supplement. See details below. 


Registration is open for the CMMI Institute-authorized “Introduction to CMMI-DEV” class on February 6-8, in Washington, DC, and tickets are in limited supply. The class includes an optional one-day supplement for CMMI-SVC on February 9th. Reserve your seat today!

“Introduction to CMMI-DEV” Class (includes optional CMMI-SVC Supplement)

The CMMI is designed to give you proactive control over Project Management, engineering, and process management, and to provide you with an architecture for improving performance.

Federal and State governments use the CMMI as a tool to evaluate contractors and suppliers, and thousands of companies around the globe use this set of best practices as a model for internal performance improvement.

If your company is conducting a CMMI SCAMPI A Appraisal, this is a required course for Appraisal Team Members.

What will you learn in the CMMI training class?


In the class, you’ll learn how to use the CMMI as a guide to help you …

  • Establish a useful level of control over your processes
  • Improve the speed of software delivery, engineered products, and technology services
  • Change and improve the behaviors within your company needed to deliver high-quality services and products

What’s in it for you?

  • Learn about ways to improve performance and remain agile
  • 21 PDUs towards your PMP certification
  • More than a 30% discount
  • Fun and entertaining learning experience with hands-on games, exercises, and lectures

What do you get to take home?

  • CMMI Institute Authorized training materials
  • Broadsword exclusive training materials
  • A copy of CMMI: Guidelines for Process Integration and Product Improvement
  • CMMI v1.3 quick-reference card
  • CMMI v1.3 Reference Poster
  • Certificate of Completion

In “Introduction to CMMI” you will not only learn, but learn to apply what you’ve learned, so that you always know how things are going and how they can be made better.

Will you join us?


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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Subscribe to my CMMI-TV YouTube channel!

Dear Readers,

Happy Halloween!

As you sit at home this evening, waiting for the trick-or-treaters to appear in their costumes at your door, here's a great way to spend the in-between time .... watching CMMI-TV on your phone!



Subscribe to my mobile-friendly CMMI-TV channel on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/asktheCMMIAppraiser

Enjoy the show, and have fun passing out the Halloween goodies!

ABOUT CMMI-TV: CMMI-TV is a place where we can add value to the engineering and software development community by offering advice on engineering strategy, performance innovation and software process improvement. If you find this useful, please forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

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, October 25, 2017

CMMI SCAMPI: where do we start?

Hey, CMMI Appraiser, 

One of our government customers has been urging us for years to adopt CMMI and do a SCAMPI A Appraisal.  Well, I’m not proud to say we have been putting it off. But now two other customers are saying we have to do this if we want to keep their business. OK, so, we’re ready! Where do we start? ~ Ryan S.


Ryan, one place to start would be to thank your customers for pushing you to be a great company. It sounds like they are trying to get you to do the things you’ve known you should do anyway. I suppose it's human nature to put up resistance at first. I notice the same dynamic with my personal fitness trainer – except your customer is paying you!



The personal trainer is a pretty good analogy. In many ways, the journey to adopting the CMMI is similar to the journey to becoming physically fit. Companies that choose to work with Broadsword go through a detailed progression on their way to CMMI Maturity Level 3, for instance, and put themselves on the path to becoming a great company.

There's an old adage that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. To keep you moving in the right direction, here are the first five steps:

Step 1: Class C Appraisal (Gap Analysis) is first and foremost a way for your company to find out about itself and how your performance aligns with the CMMI model. It’s also an opportunity for your CMMI Appraiser to learn as much about your company as they can, and for your company to learn about the CMMI Appraiser. This is important because you will be spending a lot of time together, generally a year or two, making decisions that will have an serious impact on the behaviors of your people. And so, helping both sides feel more comfortable with each other is one of the most beneficial aspects of the SCAMPI C.

Step 2: Training – There are a number of training courses that need to take place on your journey to CMMI ML3. First is the Introduction to CMMIhttps://broadswordsolutions.com/products-and-services/training/ training course, followed by training on how to become expert process engineers. We teach you how to execute our AgileCMMI methodology, and how to design and develop processes. Your entire appraisal team goes through the training, plus anyone who plays a key leadership role in the company in terms of how they want the work performed, such as project managers, program leaders and line managers.

Step 3: Tune-up – After the Class C, and often concurrently with the training, we will provide you with a plan that identifies all the tuning up or development of processes that must occur in your company. The plan includes everything you need to do in the context of AgileCMMI, the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to be created, as well as all of the releases and iterations that must take place between now and your SCAMPI B Appraisal.

Step 4: SCAMPI B – After you’ve done the training and the tune up, you are ready for the SCAMPI B Appraisal. The SCAMPI B is an formal appraisal that serves as a tool to give you the information you need to completely understand your current state in relation to the CMMI. It gives you the information you need to determine whether you will succeed in the formal SCAMPI A, as planned.

Step 5: SCAMPI A –After you’ve satisfactorily completed your SCAMPI B, you are ready for a formal SCAMPI A appraisal, and you’ll want do all you can to assure a positive result. If your SCAMPI A is successful, congratulations!

But don’t make the mistake of thinking you've arrived, and can just drop everything you’ve learned. To return to the fitness metaphor, once I’ve achieved my target weight, I don’t want to celebrate by eating a gooey chunk of chocolate cake. Getting in shape and becoming a CMMI Maturity Level 3 doesn’t make you a great company. It just means you are sufficiently equipped with the infrastructure and tools you need to become a great company. Whether or not you make the changes in your company – and make the commitment to long-term health as an organization – is up to you.

If you would like gain a deeper understanding of CMMI, we’ve just announced the dates for our next "Intro to CMMI-DEV" class (February 6-8, 2018), which includes an optional 1-day CMMI-SVC supplement. for CMMI-DEV (February 9, 2018). Join us in the Washington, DC area for a practical, fun, fast-paced and interactive classroom experience! Sign up here.

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, October 19, 2017

Pavlov’s Dog versus Schrodinger’s Cat

Dear Readers: This week we're lucky enough to have a new guest blogger - please welcome Eve Keller!  Eve is a Project Manager and has been a SCAMPI Appraisal Team Member.  She can be reached for comment or spirited debate at: slipperyshots@gmail.com.


Pavlov’s Dog versus Schrodinger’s Cat

I’m going to completely judge your prior knowledge of my subject matter with one joke: A man walks into a library, and says to the Librarian, “I'm looking for a book that's been recommended to me… It's about Pavlov’s Dogs and Schrodinger’s Cat… Do you know it?” The Librarian answers, “well, that rings a bell, but I'm not sure if it's here or not.”



In the early twentieth century, Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov did Nobel prize-winning work on digestion. Pavlov called the dogs' anticipatory salivation "psychic secretion", thus, proving Classical Conditioning. This created an automatic unlearned response. Wouldn’t you love your employees to have an automatic, and positive, unlearned response to systemic process methodology?

Well, we can’t talk about Pavlov without tipping our proverbial hat to B.F. Skinner. Skinner used experiments with mice to demonstrate Operant Conditioning: an association made between a behavior and a consequence. Skinner believed that effective teaching must be based on positive reinforcement which is more effective at changing and establishing behavior than punishment. Even if you really want to punish those that do not adopting CMMI, it won’t help much.
Beyond Pavlov and Skinner, a third type of learning directly affects culture in your organization. Observational learning is also called “vicarious conditioning” because it involves learning by watching others acquire responses through classical or operant conditioning. A new employee discerns your corporate culture and adapts to it by watching peers and leadership.


So, what about that cat? Schrodinger’s thought experiment demonstrated the influence of an observer in quantum mechanics. Will your company succeed with a SCAMPI A Appraisal or not? That must be observed consistently through your PPQA evaluation process. Providing positive reinforcement and modeling of the desired processes will touch each person in your organization. You will develop better people with intrinsic motivation, spreading to others naturally and gain bigger contracts that you can actually sustain.

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.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

SPaMCast Interview: What would you change that is affecting agile leadership?

Jeff, if you woke up tomorrow morning, and somebody handed you your cup of coffee, a cup of tea, and a magic wand, and said, “You have the power to change any two things affecting leadership in Agile organizations. What would these two things be? ~ Tom Cagley, SPaMCast


[Editor's Note: During the past several weeks, this CMMI Appraiser has been sharing excerpts from a recent conversation with Tom Cagley on the Software Process and Measurement Cast (SPaMCast) about leadership, and whether leadership is more or less important in today’s Agile world. Today’s blog post is the final installment. Listen to the full interview at SPaMCast 456.]


Tom, the first thing I would do is I would bestow a complete understanding of the nine core Agile values on all leaders. I'd give them the ability to demonstrate them through the way they acted and the way they performed. That’s the first thing I would do.

The second thing I would do is give those Agile leaders an understanding of self-organization and the counter-intuitive nature of it, and to learn to trust the power of self-organization so that their teams and their organization underneath them can be successful. I would give them that trust of self-organization.

# # #

I hope my readers have enjoyed the transcribed version of my interview with Tom Cagley on SPaMCast #456. If you are interested in moving up in your organization that happens to be Agile, or are already leading an Agile organization, you are invited to take advantage of the free and open-space resources available at agilecxo.org, including “The Scrum Guide,” which you can use to help yourself understand how discipline can make Agile more powerful, as well as our model for agile leadership, the Agile Performance Holarchy.

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.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

SPaMCast Interview: Is leadership more or less critical in agile organizations?

Jeff, when an organization is embracing Agile, is leadership more or less critical than in an organization embracing some other fundamental model? ~ Tom Cagley, SPaMCast

[Editor's Note: Over the coming weeks, this CMMI Appraiser will be sharing excerpts from a recent conversation with Tom Cagley on the Software Process and Measurement Cast (SPaMCast) about leadership, and whether leadership is more or less important in today’s Agile world. Listen to the full interview at SPaMCast 456.]

agile leadership

Tom, Agile leadership is a lot like Agile itself. Agile is iterative, incremental and distributed. In an Agile organization, leadership is iterative, incremental and distributed. 

I have an article slated for publication next month in the Cutter IT Journal on this. I’m calling it the “Pedagogy Principal.” The notion of this article is that Agile leaders need to learn how to teach other Agile leaders, and those Agile Leaders need to teach other Agile leaders. In other words, what’s needed is a cascading leadership effect. The problem with agile organizations today is we are not teaching leaders how to teach other leaders. 

For your listeners, Tom, pedagogy is the science of teaching and teaching others how to teach. Short story: I come from a family of teachers. My brothers, sisters and parents are all teachers, and I was the renegade. I was the only who said, “I do not want to be a teacher.” I do a lot of teaching now. Go figure!

My father, who is 93 years old and is still doing his thing, still refuses to refer to what I do as teaching, because I was the renegade that didn’t get a teaching degree. He always asks me how my “seminars” are going. Let’s say I’m teaching a class at Carnegie Mellon this week. He will say, “How was your seminar Jeff? How did that seminar go?”

So I was brought up in this environment of education. As a result, I really believe that one of the things that we can address and fix with leadership is teaching them how to be teachers. Then they can get better at teaching their leaders, and understand how to cascade leadership down to the lowest levels of the organization by teaching them how to do it. Part of that is demonstration, and part is mentoring and coaching – and a big part is teaching. 

What I’m examining in this article is what kind of framework we can put in place to help leaders be teachers, and teach them how to teach others how to teach. I think that really is the opportunity: Teaching them how to teach other leaders.

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I hope my readers have enjoyed this segment of my interview with Tom Cagley on SPaMCast #456. 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.

For those interested in a deeper dive into learning about Agile Leadership, please visit agilecxo.org for white papers, infographics, podcasts, lighting lessons 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 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

Friday, September 29, 2017

SPaMCast Interview: How has adopting Holacracy changed your view on agile leadership?

Jeff, You recently leveraged, within your own firm, things like Holacracy. How has that changed your view on leadership? ~ Tom Cagley, SPaMCast


[Editor's Note: Over the coming weeks, this CMMI Appraiser will be sharing excerpts from a recent conversation with Tom Cagley on the Software Process and Measurement Cast (SPaMCast) about leadership, and whether leadership is more or less important in today’s Agile world. Listen to the full interview at SPaMCast 456.]

Tom, you and I have talked about our Holacracy journey before. Yes, we are still practicing and getting better at that. It’s a long journey, but one of the things that was really interesting in our embracing of Holacracy has been my realization that it’s so much like an orchestra. So I wasn’t shocked when I realized that we were starting to be successful with it. I said, “This really reminds me of something!” It really reminded me of when I was younger and making my living playing in orchestras. 



There are a lot of similarities. There are very clear role descriptions. People step up to the responsibilities that they have. There's a form of quasi leadership that’s helping you through the process. So many of the concepts in Holacracy are similar to being a professional orchestra musician. It really helped us reinforce the things that I wanted to do with the company, and gave me a language.

When I was introducing a lot of these concepts with my own company, I was having trouble expressing it. I often said to them, "You know, it's like an orchestra. It’s like you’re a section leader, and you’re practicing scales!" And they would all look at me, like, “I get it. Jeff is a little bit eccentric and he’s off on a music binge again.” 

But the cool thing with Holacracy is that it gives me a language that everybody understands. Now when I talk about accountabilities and roles and circles, it's a clear metaphor that makes sense. So I think Holacracy has really helped us establish a language, helped us with the discipline, and helped me get clarity around what I really wanted to do as a firm.

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I hope my readers have enjoyed this segment of my interview with Tom Cagley on SPaMCast #456. 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://spamcast.libsyn.com/spamcast-456-jeff-dalton-agile-leadership

For those interested in a deeper dive into learning about Agile Leadership, please visit agilecxo.org for white papers, infographics, 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 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, September 21, 2017

SPaMCast Interview: How did you develop your philosophy for successful Agile leadership?

Jeff, How has your personal journey informed what you’ve come to believe is important for successful Agile leadership? Tom Cagley, SPaMCast

[Editor's Note: Over the coming weeks, this CMMI Appraiser will be sharing excerpts from a recent conversation with Tom Cagley on the Software Process and Measurement Cast (SPaMCast) about leadership, and whether leadership is more or less important in today’s Agile world. Listen to the full interview at SPaMCast 456.]

Tom. I don’t know if we've ever talked about this, but I started my career as a musician. My first degree was in classical music. I started my career as a classical musician, and for the first ten years after college, I played in orchestras all around the world.


Playing orchestras, I learned a heck of a lot about self-organization. I learned about excellence, practicing, process, procedures, being Agile, using my ear to adjust constantly, and to improve myself iteratively and incrementally. I’ve given a couple of talks on this, about how having classical music training aligns so well with the current movement of organizational excellence.

Being in an orchestra was my first exposure to all of these things that I later came to know as agile values.

When I entered the computer science business, I almost forgot about my experience as a classical musician. I didn’t really make the connection at first, when I was 30 years old, about how these two things were so similar. But as my career progressed, I started to really make these connections and realized that this notion of self-organization and leadership were intertwined, and that iterative, incremental learning needed to be tied with discipline.

This is where I see a lot of Agile organizations missing the boat. They miss tying in with discipline. See, you’ve got this triangle of leadership, self-organization and discipline. These three things need together like a symphony, in a very orchestrated way, in order for a company to really see the all of the benefits of Agile and fly to the next level. The organizations that have this figured out really do experience success beyond what they ever imagined. 

So, Tom, I’ve come to where I am today because of those experiences. Starting out way back in 1980, when I graduated music school, and then when I went back to get a degree in Computer Science, I have been following this path in my career. It led me to become a leader in several software development organizations, and it taught me to focus on values and self-organization and real leadership.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t enjoy focusing on numbers and schedules and some of the more administrative things. I accommodate that by surrounding myself with people that are great at that. I think of myself as the conductor and they are the members of the orchestra that make things happen. I have this orchestral metaphor in my head all the time and I think that has had a lot to do where I ended up today.

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I hope my readers have enjoyed this segment of my interview with Tom Cagley on SPaMCast #456. 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.

For those interested in a deeper dive into learning about Agile Leadership, you are invited to join me and other Agile leaders at The 2017 Agile Leadership Summit, hosted by AgileCxO.org on September 22nd in Washington, DC. I look forward to meeting many of you in person for the first time!

Click here to register for The 2017 Agile Leadership Summit.

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.