Cartoons on CMMI®, Novels with CMMI® as a Background?

When a concept is popular and touches many people, it also gets on the radar of popular cartoonists and is used by novelists as a background for their popular novels (e.g., the lead character being a CMMI® consultant/ appraiser – just like protagonists are sometimes salespersons or programmers or lawyers or stockbrokers or even accountants).

Alas, I have come across just one Dilbert cartoon (with CMMI® as the focus) by Scott Adams, dated 13th March 2013.

Here is the link to the Dilbert CMMI® cartoon (though it is a decent cartoon, it is not one of the best from the Dilbert stables – did CMMI® dampen Scott Adams’ humor quotient?).

Humor should be a prerequisite to life’s lessons. It helps keep us sane; keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously. It calms our apprehensions and puts life’s imperfections into perspective. Humor is the diversion we need to get us through the trials and tribulations of our lives.

The Importance of Humor, 24 Dec-15

There are some more CMMI® cartoons available, but they are created by  CMMI® consultants / appraisers to explain concepts of the CMMI® – and not really funny. I have not found any more in the ‘popular’ cartoon category meant for non-specialists.

I also have not found any bestseller fiction where any of the main characters is a CMMI® consultant / appraiser.

What does this mean? Is the field arcane? Is the CMMI® profession more boring than even accounting? Is there nothing funny in/ around CMMI® that common people will understand?


Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.

–Francis Bacon


Please feel free to to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available.

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Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, country, government, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author of this post :-).

I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here.

4 thoughts on “Cartoons on CMMI®, Novels with CMMI® as a Background?”

  1. You are provoking an interesting debate and of course passions.

    I believe that CMMI is more boring than accounting because:

    1. It requires a mention of copyright every time it is used (oops, missed indicating the small c above), whereas Accounting has no such hangups. Every one’s birthright.

    2. Because of the “maturity” connotation, higher the maturity, more seriously you are viewed as a “serious, seasoned” player. Serious players never joke, nor do they like to be joked upon.

    3. I have seen the generally happy -go- lucky and humorous types get bogged down by practices and sub practices over pre, final and re-appraisal cycles; harried by the prospects of facing grim looking Lead Appraisers, even the normally funny bones lose their mojo.

    4. With higher maturity, “predictability” of “seriousness and all hopelessness” kicks in; when one grapples with the enormity of change involved in making delivery folk understand the geeky stuff around models and sub-process controls.

    5. Lead Appraisers with their officious looking demeanour add to the grimness of the environment. Relief and not fun and euphoria, is a predominant feeling when you come out of the appraisal ordeal. No scope for fun /humour here really.

    6. Clouds of Dark Humour face consultants in case there are adverse observations.

    7. The “ladder” like approach to maturity seems to symbolize hard, sweaty labour of transformation; not very conducive to harbouring humorous thoughts.

    8. Maturity , Change Management all sound like HARD WORK; seeing anything funny here might mean the person is frivolous, not in the same league and not up to it really.

    9. Trying to figure out the mocktails of “CMMI+ Agile”, “CMMI-Dev plus SVC for the multi model types” can turn a do-good change evangelist’s life sour.

    10. Usage of acronyms like SCAMPI (SCAM OF PI) and CMM-I (“I” with what?), FAR group (why not NEAR?) can give you a sense of alienation.

    11. The motions leading to the final appraisal seem to indicate a sense of urgency (Readiness Review); with no time to stand, stare, laze and laugh.

    12. Quality Heads (the main protagonists) generally find themselves buttressed between the needs of a demanding Management team, Delivery folk who do not humour them with implementation, Mirthless consultants who raise red flags and the ruthless Lead Appraiser who is always “partially satisfied” (ever wondered as to what this state of “partial satisfaction”means in real life?). Quite a boring existence, actually.

    13. Marrying the rule of law with objective evidences is more interesting in a court of law than in the life of the ATMs; imagine poring over reams of spreadsheets for the PIIDs. Dreadful, actually.

    14. And just when you feel you have figured it all over 2 re-appraisals and start doing the high fives and crack the funny ones, news comes in that the “new version” of the CMMI has been published, And the wheel of agony starts all over again as one tries to decipher the world that has changed.

    15. In a sense, through a series of appraisals, “seriousness ” gets “embedded” into an organization’s quality fabric, which while not bad from an operations perspective, leaves the folk associated with the journey sort of “institutionalized”. No scope for the funny bones here.

    No wonder, Scott Adams fell short when it came to cartoons around CMMI. Whomsoever willing to start a cartoon series on CMMI may need to be outside the ” CMM of its Influence”.

    I have written long, need to get back to my CMMI stuff…..P1, P2…Oh Sorry, its P5 of this PA and GP of that PA,……


  2. Although not as a many points as Prakash but CMMI is a very small group and its not something with mass appeal or controversial!!!!

    And with the overarching comparison it’s not fodder for humour

    But Rajesh would love some in This direction from you .

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