Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Are there special rules for an Ohio CMMI appraisal?

Dear CMMI Appraiser,

I’m leading a new Ohio CMMI appraisal effort for a large nationwide insurance company, and I have a question.  Our CMMI Consultant told us there are there special rules in the CMMI about providing resources for an Ohio CMMI appraisal.  Can that be true? ~ Al C.

Dear Al,

No, there are no special rules in the CMMI about providing resources from Ohio in an CMMI appraisal. In fact, there are no rules in the CMMI at all. The CMMI is a set of guidelines, not a rule book.  To be fair, such a rule may someday be part of the SCAMPI Method Definition Document, but it's very unlikely.  That's because SCAMPI is a set of rules . . . not guidelines.

Are you relieved? I’m guessing that insurance companies in Ohio, or anywhere else, don’t need any more rules.

But I think I know what you’re referring to. The CMMI does offer guidelines on providing resources – everywhere, not only for Ohio. It is the third Generic Practice, also known as GP 2.3.  And GP 2.3 applies to appraisals as well as projects.

The GP 2.3 guides us to provide adequate resources for performing the process, developing the work products, and providing the services of the process.

What it means is pretty simple. Give your team the stuff they need. Give them the tools and environmental resources they need for the processes to be useful, and for their efforts to be successful.

No problem, right? But what if you ignore the guidance from GP 2.3?

That would be like telling your engineers, “My policy is that you stay in the conference room for a working lunch,” then not giving them access to lunch.  Or a conference room.  Or chairs.  Or the Internet so they can post nasty things about you on Twitter..... but I digress.

Nice guy! I had a boss like that once. He turned his SEPG into a ghost town pretty quickly.

If you did that, you wouldn’t be performing this Generic Practice very well (and you would be at risk of being growled at by angry stomachs). If you don’t give your people any lunch, you can’t expect them to adhere to the policy of having a working lunch. Grrrrrrr.  I HATE when that happens!

Send in the sandwiches, boss!

Notice, this GP has nothing to do with how well the process is performed. There are other GPs that monitor how well the process is being executed. Also notice there are no rules that govern providing resources in an Ohio CMMI appraisal, or anywhere else.  You're welcomed to bring in some North Dakotans if that makes you happy!

The GPs really can help guide you and your hearty appetite to continuous performance improvement.

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 www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about running a successful CMMI program.

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