Monday, June 24, 2019

CMMI User Story #6: Does your maturity level rating differentiate you from competitors?

Welcome back to Ask the CMMI Appraiser for today’s installment of CMMI User Stories! We’ve been sharing excerpts from our recent study of what CMMI users really think about the CMMI. If you're just joining us, or would appreciate a recap, below are the first five questions we explored, followed by today's question.

Question #1: “Are projects more predictable with the CMMI?

Question #2: “Did you experience an increase in quality or performance?

Question #3: “Did you experience a decrease in defects?”

Question #4: “With the CMMI, are customers happier with your performance?”

Question #5: “Did you experience an ROI?”

Today we're highlighting Question #6:

Does your CMMI maturity level rating differentiate you from competitors?




74% of respondents felt that the CMMI differentiated them from the competition.

Likewise, there are many who adopt the CMMI for the marketing value of standing apart from the competition. We sought to understand the experience versus expectation of those who adopted the CMMI, relative to its ability to help them differentiate.

This question was asked for the first time in the current survey. Close to three-quarters of the respondents said yes, they felt having a maturity level differentiated them from their competitors.

Be sure to check back regularly as we share results of the CMMI User Story Report right here on Ask the CMMI Appraiser.

We’ve also made the information available in an eBook. If you would like to receive the complete set of user stories in the final Report, click here to access your free* copy.

*$9.99 on Amazon

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 training classes 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.

Friday, June 14, 2019

CMMI User Story #4: With the CMMI, are customers happier with your performance?

Dear Readers,

Welcome back to Ask the CMMI Appraiser for today’s installment of CMMI User Stories! We’ve been sharing excerpts from our recent study of what CMMI users really think about the CMMI.

Question #1: “Are projects more predictable with the CMMI?

Question #2: “Did you experience an increase in quality or performance?”

Question #3: “Did you experience a decrease in defects?

Today we're highlighting Question #4:

With the CMMI, are customers happier with your performance?


In a strong indicator that the CMMI is delivering on a core promise, sixty-one percent said yes, customers are happier with performance with CMMI, while only ten percent answered in the negative. We wonder whether those who “neither agree nor disagree” have taken any steps to gauge customer satisfaction.

Be sure to check back regularly as we share results of the CMMI User Story Report right here on Ask the CMMI Appraiser.

We’ve also made the information available in an eBook. If you would like to receive the complete set of user stories in the final Report, click here to access your free* copy.

*$9.99 on Amazon

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 training classes 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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

CMMI User Story #8: Was your SCAMPI Lead Appraiser easy to work with?

Welcome back to Ask the CMMI Appraiser for today’s installment of CMMI User Stories! We’ve been sharing excerpts from our recent study of what CMMI users really think about the CMMI.

Question #1: “Are projects more predictable with the CMMI?

Question #2: “Did you experience an increase in quality or performance?

Question #3: “Did you experience a decrease in defects?

Question #4: “With the CMMI, are customers happier with your performance?”

Question #5: “Did you experience an ROI?”

Question #6: “Does your maturity level rating differentiate you from competitors?”

Question #7: “Does your maturity level rating help you win new business?”

Today we're highlighting Question #8:

Was your SCAMPI Lead Appraiser easy to work with?



Organizations often report different experiences with different lead appraisers. We wanted to understand the level of satisfaction with the lead appraiser experience.

As in the previous survey, very few responded that their Lead Appraiser was not easy to work with, or did not know.

Be sure to check back regularly as we share results of the CMMI User Story Report right here on Ask the CMMI Appraiser.

We’ve also made the information available in an eBook. If you would like to receive the complete set of user stories in the final Report, click here to access your free* copy.

*$9.99 on Amazon

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 training classes 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.

CMMI User Story #9: Was your experience with the CMMI harder than you expected?

Welcome back to Ask the CMMI Appraiser for today’s installment of CMMI User Stories! We’ve been sharing excerpts from our recent study of what CMMI users really think about the CMMI.

Question #1: “Are projects more predictable with the CMMI?

Question #2: “Did you experience an increase in quality or performance?

Question #3: “Did you experience a decrease in defects?

Question #4: “With the CMMI, are customers happier with your performance?”

Question #5: “Did you experience an ROI?”

Question #6: “Does your maturity level rating differentiate you from competitors?”

Question #7: “Does your maturity level rating help you win new business?”

Question #8: “Was your SCAMPI Lead Appraiser easy to work with?”

Today we're highlighting Question #9:

Was your experience with the CMMI harder than you expected?

Many organizations report that adoption of the CMMI can be quite complex and difficult. We wanted to understand if that difficulty exceeded the expectations of the organizations that adopt the CMMI.

This year there was a dramatic increase in respondents reporting that the experience of adopting CMMI was harder than expected – 74% (up from thirty-nine percent in 2012).

Be sure to check back regularly as we share results of the CMMI User Story Report right here on Ask the CMMI Appraiser.

We’ve also made the information available in an eBook. If you would like to receive the complete set of user stories in the final Report, click here to access your free* copy.

*$9.99 on Amazon

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 training classes 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.

How CMMI can Rock your Career

Most of you know that I'm passionate about CMMI, but did you know it can have an astounding effect on your career?

Think about it. If a young PM or Engineer, right out of college, walks into a company on his first day, what does she know about the most important things? Nothing.  And a veteran of a few years may be an expert in his or her own area, but what about the others?  Probably not.

I'm not talking about coding  or creating a workplan.  Those are easy. The hard part is dealing with requirements, validation, code reviews, design, training, and, most of all, culture.  Those make a professional.  And the CMMI has all that.

The CMMI is a great reference for all of those.  And it provides a solid framework, with examples and samples, for the TOTAL set of skills required to deliver a product or service.

Estimating, planning, risks, issues, requirements elicitation and management, validation, design, coding, testing, code reviews, code control, integration, and managing all of that process - whew!  That's a lot.

In fact, you might say he'd end up being a "CMMI Badass" if he gets enough CMMI Training and becomes an expert.  Check out the video here:


For more on becoming a CMMI Badass, check out www.cmmibadass.com

Jeff Dalton is the author of The Guide to Scrum and CMMI and Great Big Agile: an OS for Agile Leaders.  He is also a CMMI SCAMPI Lead Appraiser and CMMI Instructor.





Monday, May 20, 2019

What are the continuous assurance auditing activities that the organization will need to implement to help achieve CMMI Level 3

What are the continuous assurance auditing activities that the organization will need to implement to help achieve CMMI Level 3



The word "auditing" doesn't appear in the model, other than "configuration audits."

The CMMI’s Process Area “Process and Product Quality Assurance” in v1.3, and “Process Quality Assurance” in V2.0, provide the primary guidance in the CMMI for continuous quality evaluations.

PPQA/PQA calls for “Objective Evaluation” of Processes and Work Products
(SP1.1 and SP1.2), and then management of the remediation, data collection, and corrections (SP2.1 and SP2.2).

In addition, the CMMI calls for a clear policy, resources, training, metrics, improvement, tailoring, and evaluation of the process/performance itself.

In this context, “Process” is behavior, and “Work Products” are artifacts/systems. You can’t perform these activities by just looking at documents - you’ll need to observe, interview, or talk with people.

As to scope, frequency, and duration, it depends on the context. Complex, high-risk projects should have broad, frequent evaluations, whereas long-term static programs probably can do something lighter.

The key to success on this is to focus on “how” people are doing their work. This is the most likely thing to help you success (or fail).

Good luck!

Jeff Dalton is author of Great Big Agile: An OS for Agile Leaders, and is a CMMI SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, AgileCxO Assessor, and Leadership Coach.

What are the most important interpersonal skills needed for working on an Agile team?


[Dear Readers, I've been having fun on Quora lately participating in community discussions, and reposting responses to my blog.  Enjoy!]

What are the most important interpersonal skills needed for working on an Agile team?


One of the reasons “Agile” has grown so quickly is because companies, especially in IT, were heaping processes and oversight onto knowledge workers so heavily that it caused a backlash. People were anxious to throw off that oppression, and the popularity of agile represented an opportunity to really change - for the first time.

Managers have been preaching about “empowerment” and “pushing decision making down” for decades, but the processes they have been mandating had the opposite affect.

When Agile started to become popular in the early 2000s, it was because people were hungry for an environment that focuses on people over processes, and part of that was an acknowledgment that certain behavioral characteristic were critical towards achieving a vision of empowerment, autonomy, and self-organization.

Some of those characteristics are:
  • Trust people’s good intentions
  • Every interaction is about learning
  • Do what you have to do to please the customer
  • Support your other team members and help them be successful
  • Don’t manage people, collaborate with them
  • Succeed in small increments
  • Be willing to change everything you thought you knew when you learn

So, the interpersonal skills should align with the list above - be a trusting, supportive, and learning team members that doesn’t dig in and insist they know everything. You’ll be fine if you do that!

Jeff Dalton is author of Great Big Agile: An OS for Agile Leaders, and is a CMMI SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, AgileCxO Assessor, and Leadership Coach.

What is SSOT in Agile Software Development?

[Dear Readers, I've been having fun on Quora lately participating in community discussions, and reposting responses to my blog.  Enjoy!]

What is SSOT in Agile Software Development?

SSOT = Single Source of Truth. 
It’s not an Agile thing, it’s a data warehousing/DBMS concept that has been around for decades, although lately we’ve been seeing Agile practitioners referring to it as “agile.”  While the creation, maintenance, and operations of the SSOT could be performed in an agile way (and should be), SSOT was not borne Agile movement.
It’s simply the “trusted data source,” or the source data for an organization’s various databases that is subject to a sufficient level of scrutiny, process, and testing to ensure reliability.  In the SSOT, each data element can only be stored one time, eliminating redundancy and chance for errors.
Like good leadership, team cohesion, good customer relationships, and experimentation, it’s been around a lot longer than the Agile manifesto has been around.

Jeff Dalton is author of Great Big Agile: An OS for Agile Leaders, and is a CMMI SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, AgileCxO Assessor, and Leadership Coach.

Friday, April 19, 2019

CMMI User Story #3: Did you experience a decrease in defects?

Welcome back to Ask the CMMI Appraiser for today’s installment of CMMI User Stories!

If you missed the previous posts about the new CMMI User Stories Report, we took a different approach to measuring the success of CMMI adoption. We asked: What do potential adopters and end-users really want to know? What perceptions do adopters, stakeholders, sponsors, shareholders, and customers have? What was their experience with the CMMI?

In the end, over 70 CMMI Users told us what they really think about the CMMI. Their stories are below.

Question #1: “Are projects more predictable with the CMMI?

Question #2: “Did you experience an increase in quality or performance?

Today we're highlighting Question #3:

Did you experience a decrease in defects?


The CMMI provides guidelines for deploying processes and improvements that lead to improving product quality and reducing defects. We wanted to understand whether organizations actually experienced these benefits through their adoption of the CMMI.

Over two-thirds of the respondents said yes, defects had decreased. Fewer than ten percent said, no, defects had not decreased. Twenty-two percent neither agreed nor disagreed. Surprisingly, the ambivalent response was selected three times more this year than in 2012.

Be sure to check back regularly as we share results of the CMMI User Story Report right here on Ask the CMMI Appraiser.

We’ve also made the information available in an eBook. If you would like to receive the complete set of user stories in the final Report, click here to access your free* copy.

*$9.99 on Amazon

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 training classes 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.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Did you experience an increase in quality and performance?

Welcome back to Ask the CMMI Appraiser for today’s installment of CMMI User Stories!

If you missed the previous posts, we’ve responded to the demand for information in the industry ("What does the market think about the CMMI today?") by sharing our study of what CMMI users really think about the CMMI. The first question was: “Are projects more predictable with the CMMI?

Today we're highlighting Question #2:

Did you experience an increase in quality or performance?


The great strength of the CMMI is that it provides organizations with guidelines for increasing performance and improving the quality of product and services. With a market that often focuses on achieving a “level,” we sought to understand whether organizations actually achieved improvements in performance and quality.

A healthy eighty-four percent of respondents said they improved in these areas (up from eighty percent in 2012).

Be sure to check back regularly as we share results of the CMMI User Story Report right here on Ask the CMMI Appraiser.

We’ve also made the information available in an eBook. If you would like to receive the complete set of user stories in the final Report, click here to access your free* copy.


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 training classes 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.

Monday, March 25, 2019

How do we get teams to embrace CMMI and Agile?

Hey, CMMI Appraiser, we are looking at ways to use the CMMI and Agile to make software and engineering performance even better. This will be a big change for us. What’s the best way to get our folks to buy in? ~ Don V.

Hey, Don,

Great question! Most companies don’t realize that the biggest hurdle to success is how you deploy improvements to the community. It's critical to think about what you're going to do to get people to embrace it and actually use it.


In my experience, the place to start is with training. Upgrade yourself to the latest version of CMMI and Agile, while learning about the intersections between Agile and CMMI, so you can understand how to combine the two and get the best results.

Then let them run with it. Buy-in comes from overcoming obstacles together, having success, and developing a team identity. When people apply what they've learned, and help free the organization from burdensome process debt, unhappy customers, overhead, and compliance ... we call that "being a CMMI Badass."

There are many training options in the marketplace offering to help you. But software and engineering executives and professionals regularly tell us there's something different and unique about our CMMI and Agile training classes. Instead of some of the standard exercises, they participate in things like playing Planning Poker, using Fibonacci sequencing for their estimates, doing Agile program planning, conducting performance retrospectives, and practicing many of the hands-on Agile ceremonies and activities.

For some, the experience can be transformative.

So I'd suggest starting where you'll see the biggest immediate impact on performance, Don. Get your team registered for the latest training in CMMI V2.0 and Agile. They’ll come away knowing how to use CMMI and Agile together, freeing your organization to be great as you know you can be.

Join the CMMI Gang!

April 1-3, 2019: CMMI V2.0 Training

April 4-5, 2019: Agile/CMMI Integration Workshop

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 training classes 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.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Are projects more predictable with the CMMI?

Welcome back to Ask the CMMI Appraiser for today’s installment of CMMI User Stories!

In response to the demand for information in the industry (What does the market think about the CMMI today?) we are sharing our study of what CMMI users really think about the CMMI.

The study consists of surveying over 70 CMMI users and asking them about their experiences with the CMMI, good and bad. Here’s our first question:

Are projects more predictable with the CMMI?



As more organizations around the world pursue the value that frameworks like the CMMI and Scrum are intended to provide – higher quality products, faster delivery, and predictable, repeatable results – it is not always clear that the benefits are being realized. Measuring a quality such as predictability can be an inexact science.

In our survey, eighty-two percent of respondents indicate that projects are more predictable with the CMMI (up from eighty percent in 2012).

Be sure to check back regularly as we share results of the CMMI User Story Report right here on Ask the CMMI Appraiser.

We’ve also made the information available in an eBook. If you would like to receive the complete set of user stories in the final Report, click here to access your free* copy.

*$9.99 on Amazon

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 training classes 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.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

My Book "Great Big Agile" spotted at South-by-Southwest 2019!

Attendees at SXSW2019 got to check out my new book, Great Big Agile this week, courtesy of my great publisher Springer Apress!




Tuesday, March 12, 2019

What does the market think about the CMMI today?



What does the market think about CMMI?

Yes, that’s still the million dollar question, isn’t it?  Since the last time we did this survey seven years ago, we’ve seen a spin-off to the CMMI Institute, new leadership, new staff members, a fresh marketing approach, and the introduction of the Model upgrade, CMMI V2.0.


Much has changed. But have perceptions changed? To find out, we commissioned the second User Story study. Seventy-seven companies were randomly selected to participate rom the CMMI Institute’s Published Appraisal Results (PARs) All had achieved at least CMMI Maturity Level 2 between 2015 and 2017.

The reason we chose this timeframe was to give the CMMI users some period of time since adoption, allowing for more objectivity.

The survey went out to CEOs, VPs and Quality Assurance Managers of North American companies, large and small. Companies were in the aerospace, defense, finance, transportation, energy and manufacturing industries, and they were all using CMMI-DEV.

We listened to the stories they told about using the CMMI. We captured the data, and analyzed the results.

Like its predecessor, the second edition of the CMMI User Stories Report builds its case on anecdotal data from actual end users. We gathered stories about what’s working and what’s not working with the CMMI, directly from the users themselves.

We will begin posting the results later this week. You are invited to check back regularly as we share results of the CMMI User Story study right here on Ask the CMMI Appraiser.

We’ve also made the information available in an eBook. If you would like to receive the complete set of user stories all at once, simply click to download the free* version of the eBook.

*$9.99 on Amazon.

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.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

How can I become a CMMI Badass?

Hey, CMMI Appraiser, how can I become a CMMI Badass? ~ Joey T.

Hey, Joey - the latest class of CMMI Badasses is officially trained, certified, and riding to a town near you!



What is a CMMI® Badass?
  • A CMMI Badass knows the CMMI is a way to super-charge performance, not a test to be compliant with.
  • A CMMI Badass understands that CMMI give you more control over the way you do your work.
  • A CMMI Badass knows that changing your company can't be done with a tool that promises “CMMI compliance in six months or less."
  • A CMMI Badass doesn't care about certificates or "plaque buildup."  It's about the rush of high performance.
  • A CMMI Badass knows that "creating evidence to pass" is a huge waste of time
  • A CMMI Badass knows why the company is adopting CMMI
  • A CMMI Badass captures data about whether or the team is benefiting from the CMMI.

Want to become a CMMI Badass? For the latest training in CMMI v1.3 or CMMI V2.0, you can join the CMMI Gang by signing up for one of our high-speed training classes. Check out the CMMI Badass site here:

www.cmmibadass.com

See you in class!

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

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, Certified Agile Assessor, author, keynote speaker, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI training classes and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students. His new book, Great Big Agile: an OS for Agile Leaders (© 2018), is now available on Amazon.

Visit www.broadswordsolutions.com for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

What are Representations in the CMMI?

Dear Appraiser,

What are Representations in the CMMI?

A “Representation” in CMMI is a way of looking at the data in the CMMI model and using it to evaluate performance.

Currently, there are two such “representations.” Staged and Continuous.

The “Staged Representation” organizes the twenty-plus process areas in the model by “Maturity Level.” In other words, there is a pre-defined set of process areas that go together for each maturity level, starting with 2 and going through 5 (no, there isn’t a Level 1 in the Staged Representation).

If a company wishes to improve using the guidance from Maturity Level Two, there are seven Process Areas to choose from in CMMI-DEV, and 8 in CMMI-SVC, and an associated set of 10 “Generic Practices,” which you can think of as the “secret sauce” required for successful implementation. After that, the number of Process Areas and Generic Practices increases (the number is dependent on which version of CMMI you are using).

Using the Staged Representation allows an organization to achieve a “Maturity Level.”

The “Continuous Representation” doesn’t have Maturity Levels, and in this version the Process Areas are organized within categories (Project Management, for instance) instead of Maturity Levels. You can pick and choose the ones you want, and if you want to “get a level” you can do it in one (or more) process areas by coupling it with the Generic Practices.

Using the Continuous Representation allows an organization to achieve a “Capability Level” in one or more areas.

So the difference between the two is simply in 1) how they are listed in the book and 2) how you can “get a level.” Simple!

Enjoy - and check my site at www.broadswordsolutions.com