Thursday, August 14, 2014

What are the warning signs that our CMMI program will fail?

Dear CMMI Appraiser – I really got a lot out of your Webinar last month, “Everything You Need to Know about CMMI.” For my boss, if we decide to take on a CMMI adoption, can you repeat the warning signs we need to watch out for? ~ Rajib D.

Dear Rajib,

Thanks for following up from the Webinar. You know, the question of CMMI adoption is a serious one – but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with the answer! In honor of David Letterman’s decision to retire next year, I’d like to answer your question with a Top 10 Countdown, CMMI-style!

Here are the Top 10 Warning Signs that your CMMI adoption will fail:

Top 10 Warning Signs that your CMMI adoption will fail:

10. You tell your team to go “get a level” by Tuesday
9. You say, “We need to go right to Level Five (or Four, or Three)
8. Immediately after achieving Level Two, you say, “How soon can we get to Level Three?”
7. You look for a consultant to “do CMMI” to you
6. Your so-called CMMI consultant says, “The CMMI Institute makes you do it.”
5. Your so-called CMMI consultant says, “The CMMI makes you do it.”
4. Your so-called CMMI consultant talks about “implementing” or “complying with” CMMI
3. No one has any idea why you’re “doing CMMI,” but you’re doing it anyway
2. No one can articulate what the company is trying to achieve with the CMMI

… And the Number One warning sign that your adoption is destined to fail …

1. You’ve bought a tool that promises “CMMI in six months or less”

There you go ladies and gentlemen!  Don’t go away. We’ll have more fun right here for you when we come back.

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 engineering strategy,performance innovation , software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

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