Friday, August 12, 2011

We want to start with the CMMI and we need a training program - Guest Blogger!

While I'm on vacation this month we're lucky enough to have a guest blogger! Shawn Rapjack is a CMMI and Process Improvement professional with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).  Shawn was on several of the appraisal teams I have led at SAIC over the years and he "knows the ropes" better than most.

Take it awaaaaaaaaay!


I’m establishing a training program in my organization.  We want to pursue CMMI!  What do I need to consider?

·       Strategic training needs.  Strategic needs are long term goals (2-4 years off) that your organization identifies.  The strategy aligns with your organization’s business goals. For example, you will address whether engineers need to be trained for future software releases in anticipation of contract wins.

·       Planning!  When employees, and SCAMPI Lead Appraisers, rate organizations - training is often a major negative.  It is the first item to fall to the wayside when budgets are considered and results in downbeat employee morale.   One way to mitigate this is to incorporate training line items (classes) in your budget estimates and document training resources (capability, teaching staff, workspace) in your project plans.  You will need to derive cost and schedule estimates and track these.

·       Types of Training.  Process training educates your employees about the awesomeness of CMMI [and it is awesome! Ed].  Employees need to be indoctrinated and educated about any tailored processes that have been adopted (How does that new workflow process go again?).  Technical training includes technical, engineering-oriented training (in software packages, perhaps).  Organizational training includes corporate-mandated training (security and ethics).

Remember, there are CMMI practices to ensure that staff is adequately trained for their roles – Do process managers have requisite CMMI training?  Have testers been educated in the right software packages?

·       Who is responsible? Decide who is responsible for your training and at what level.  Is your corporation responsible for CMMI process training and then individual departments responsible for technical training?

What’s in a Training Plan?

We spoke about your strategic training needs; the Training Plan discusses the tactical details of how that strategic vision will be delivered.  Organizational goals will be highlighted, budgets will be provided or referenced, and responsibilities will be documented. The means of training will be discussed (in-house, classroom, teleconference, mentoring). Methods to analyze training effectiveness will be considered.

What are in Training Matrices?

Training matrices supplement your Training Plan, providing tactical specifics of who needs and who has taken training. Specifically, they address:

·       Training courses by role.  What training do Requirements Managers need? 
·       Which employees fill what role? (Corroborated with organizational charts).
·       Whether training is required, optional, suggested or not required.
·       Who has taken requisite training and when?  This can be recorded through corporate database tools.

Remember, if you're planning a CMMI Appraisal, you'll want to address this right away!

Shawn Rapjack is an SEPG lead and process professional with SAIC.  He is guest blogging while Jeff is on vacation. 

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