Monday, October 29, 2012

5 Minutes with the CMMI Appraiser, Fifth Question: What is the CMMI Appraiser’s mission?

[Over the past several days, the CMMI Appraiser has been sharing snippets from a conversation with Bill Fox on 5 Minutes to Process Improvement Success™. Bill interviewed the CMMI Appraiser about how the CMMI can be used to create resiliency in the agile method. Here’s “An Iterative and Incremental Approach to Process Improvement with Jeff Dalton.”]

Hey, Jeff, you are addressing typically unseen issues that are below the waterline of the iceberg that, so often, many organizations seem to learn the hard way. How would you describe the mission of your company? ~ Bill Fox, 5 Minutes to PI Success

Hey, Bill, Broadsword’s mission is simple. We want to help people understand – really understand – that this discussion is about culture. It’s not about CMMI certification.

That’s the big message that I most often deliver to clients. As a matter of fact, I’m on my way to give a CMMI training in Dayton, Ohio on this subject. I will tell them that process isn’t overhead. Process is the definition of how we do work every day. That’s our mission.

At conferences, I use a little trick to shake people out of their old way of thinking. I talk about how I have a new way to spell “process.” Then I bring up on the screen a phonetic spelling of the word “engineering.” I let people look at it for a minute and decode it. Ultimately, you hear some folks say, “Ah-ha!” along with some laughter.

CMMI, CMMI Appraiser, CMMI Consultant, CMMI Certification, CMMI Training, CMMI and Agile

Why do I do this? I think it really makes the point that process isn’t this thing we do that adds overhead, time and energy. No, if you do it that way, then you did it wrong. Process is about how we perform engineering tasks every day.

Is that hard to accept? Not at all. Every engineer in the world, if he thinks about it and it’s presented to him the right way—and we think our agileCMMI method is that right way—any good engineer who hears this argument will be in agreement and will embrace it.

That’s the mission we’re on at Broadsword. That’s what we’re all about. We invite folks to learn more at our web site,

Five minutes with the CMMI Appraiser is up.

And this concludes our “Five Minutes the the CMMI Appraiser” series. Please check back soon for information on downloading the free eBook, “Five Minutes the the CMMI Appraiser”. 

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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