Thursday, January 5, 2012

Are We Ready to Do CMMI Training?

Dear CMMI Appraiser,

We are a large government contractor with processes that are poorly controlled and unpredictable. We need to be more productive and profitable, and are considering adopting CMMI as a framework to improve our operations. Would it help us to do a CMMI training, even if we haven’t decided on doing CMMI yet? Who in our organization should we send? Where do we get CMMI training? ~ Andres M.


Before we answer your questions about CMMI training, we need to make an important distinction: You can do all the CMMI trainings you want, but it would not help you to try to “do” the CMMI, because that is impossible.

Why? Because the CMMI is a model for organizational improvement. The CMMI is a framework to help provide guidance on overcoming the challenges you’ve mentioned. But the CMMI is not a process. In other words, you can conduct a CMMI training class, but you cannot “do” the CMMI. It’s like making a commitment to getting stronger. You can “do” a series of workouts, but you cannot “do” strength. Not even Mr. Muscle-Head here:

Now to your question: should you do CMMI training?

Absolutely. Taking an Introduction to CMMI training course is an excellent choice for anyone who is tasked with, or interested in, transforming their organization into a high-performing, lean, and productive team.

The right CMMI Instructor will not only focus on CMMI - but real process improvement for your company, independent of the process model.

Good CMMI training teaches you WHY to use the CMMI. Good CMMI training instructs you on WHAT you need to do to be successful with the CMMI. Finally, good CMMI training shows you HOW to use the CMMI in a way that is appropriate for your organization.

Who should do the CMMI training? Any executive, project manager, engineer, software developer, line manager, analyst, tester, or process or quality professional would benefit.

As far as where to do your CMMI training, you could take the course at the SEI, or consider taking doing it with an SEI Partner, like Broadsword Solutions Corporation ( They'll fill in the gaps with stories, examples, exercises, and case studies as they go - based on their real-world experience. They even cover CMMI and Agile.

Boadsword provides custom Introduction to CMMI Training for organizations, on site. You can find out more at

So, yes: get better.  Get stronger, faster more productive and profitable.  Do your CMMI Training as you would do any work-out – just don’t overdo it!

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 for more information about running a successful CMMI program.

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