Friday, July 27, 2012

What are the roles and responsibilities of a CMMI sponsor?

Dear CMMI Appraiser, I work in health care support services in Maryland. Our two biggest clients are requiring us to adopt the CMMI, and guess who got picked to lead the effort? Can you tell me, what are the roles and responsibilities of a CMMI sponsor? ~ Paula R.

Paula, as more companies are responding to client demands that they adopt the CMMI, the CMMI Appraiser has received a steady stream of questions about managing this change. One of the leading experts on this topic is Julie Calfin, a Senior CMMI Consultant with Broadsword. Julie does amazing work with companies who are undergoing large scale business transformation. Take it away, Julie! ~ The CMMI Appraiser

Thank you, CMMI Appraiser!

Paula, congratulations on being selected to lead the transformation of your company! That’s a big vote of confidence. Adopting the CMMI is a change that will affect everything – process, technology and people – and you are wise to seek out information about the roles and responsibilities that will help you architect that change.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Organizational Change Management (OCM) techniques are there to help. Like an architect’s blueprints, OCM principles guide the process of changing behavior throughout the company, and allow you to make the changes quickly, with minimal disruption on the business.

What are the roles and responsibilities of a CMMI Program Sponsor?

The company should establish the governance of the CMMI-based process improvement program at the beginning of the program, and provide you with training to perform your role as the CMMI Program Sponsor. You may find it helpful to think in terms of the behaviors you need to exhibit as a program sponsor:

• Serving as the “champion” of the program and its results

• Aligning the goals and objectives of the program to the organization’s vision and strategic business objectives

• Allocating resources to the program, including people, equipment, and tools

• Reviewing the actual performance of the process improvement program against its plans and estimates

• Removing obstacles that may hinder the program from achieving its goals and performing according to its plans

• Providing authority for the policies that require the organization’s process assets to be followed by their intended users

• Overseeing the performance and maturation of the organization’s processes, and ultimately, the optimization of these processes

The good news is, your behavior is under your control. By exhibiting effective behaviors, you can lead a successful process improvement program, and help transform the company.

I’m excited for you, Paula! Please check back and let us know how you are doing.

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

Julie Calfin is a Senior CMMI Consultant with BroadswordSolutions Corporation. She has years of real world experience using OCM strategy and tactics to help her clients achieve their goals. Julie also uses the CMMI, in partnership with her clients, to set-up, monitor, and sustain process improvement programs.

Visit for more information about running a successful CMMI program.

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