Friday, October 23, 2015

Announcing the 2016 Capability Challenge! How do you know you’re good at what you do?

Hey, CMMI Appraiser, because we consider ourselves a great company, I decided to invest in capability improvement a few years ago. The data we are collecting now enables us to answer any customer that asks, “How do you know you’re good at what you do?” Why doesn’t everyone do this? ~ John E.

John, I love that you see yourselves as a great company, and are focused on becoming even better. It’s true that not everyone commits to continuous improvement – but plenty do. You might be surprised. Would care to find out how you stack up against other great companies by accepting the 2016 Capability Challenge?
Yes, the 2016 Capability Challenge is underway! This contest gives you the opportunity to tell the story of how you became a great company, in front of audiences of customers who care about performance improvement.

Click here for more information about the 2016 Capability Challenge!

You know, it’s interesting. As a CMMI Appraiser, I hear a lot of companies make comments like yours – “We’re a great company” – but have no metrics for understanding project performance. Unlike you, they are not ready to be asked, “Are you good at what you do?”

For different reasons, our customers want the same thing we want. They want to know how we know we are good at what we do. And that means you must communicate in THEIR language, not yours.

For example, let’s say your customer has asked you to do agile projects. They might sit down with you and say, “John, help us understand how your being agile helps us. Does the way you do your work enable us to receive better service?”

Regardless of the values, methods or tools you are using, customers want answers:

“How is it going? Are you any good at this? How do we know?”

Sounds like you can respond with confidence, John, so tell us your story! What business challenges or problems were you trying to solve when you launched your capability improvement program? Why should your deployment be considered successful or unique? What lessons can others learn from your approach?

This goes for YOU, too, Reader! Here's an opportunity to compete with other great companies, communicate your vision, reach new audiences and be recognized as an industry expert. Submit your bid for the 2016 Capability Contest ... and good luck!

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

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, ScrumMaster, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff pioneered agileCMMI, the leading methodology for incremental and iterative process improvement. He 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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