Tag Archives: institutionalization

People CMM® – Explored: A Quick Overview – A Presentation

Last week, I made a presentation on the People CMM® to an industry body (SLASSCOM) in Sri Lanka.

A version (slightly modified) of the presentation is here:

In case the presentation does not load, use the link http://www.slideshare.net/AlignMentor/pcmm-exploredquick-view

Other presentations covering CMMI®., People CMMI, Balanced Scorecard, Strategy Maps and Competency Frameworks on AlignMentor are available here.

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

Also, let me know what kind of other slide sets you would like to see in this blog.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author 😉

You may also be interested in the following posts uploaded on the same blog:

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

 


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. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

CMMI® Explored – HM’s Fourteen: Essential Beliefs for Effective High Maturity Implementation – a Presentation

Over the past few years many organizations have progressed to implement high maturity (HM) practices of the CMMI®. Many have been appraised and rated (please note: Not certified :-)) at ML4 and ML5. The model and the appraisal method has also evolved over these years and with high maturity practices changing significantly.

I have seen many organizations going through the high maturity journey. For some it is like going to the dentist to have their teeth pulled. They want to be implementing high maturity practices, while not necessarily having to go through the painful process of learning, trying, failing and improving. In such organizations, as soon as the attention is divreted, the HM practices start to crumble, or worse go into a mechanical implementation mode. And then they complain that they do not get any benefits from HM practices.

On the other hand, I have been fortunate to see many organizations get significant benefits through HM practices and sustain these, even when other initiatives grab the attention of the management.

So, I started documenting the characteristics that separated the two types of organizations (according to me). I ended up with a list of fourteen characteristics, which I think can be classified as organizational beliefs.

The result was a presentation, a truncated version of which is available here.

In case the presentation does not load, use the link http://www.slideshare.net/AlignMentor/cmmi-explored-hms-fourteen-essential-beliefs-for-effective-high-maturity-implementation

If you want a copy of the full presentation, please send an email to naik.rajeshnaik@gmail.com

Other presentations covering CMMI®., People CMMI, Balanced Scorecard, Strategy Maps and Competency Frameworks on AlignMentor are available here.

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

Also, let me know what kind of other slide sets you would like to see in this blog.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author 😉

You may also be interested in the following posts uploaded on the same blog:

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

 


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. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

What is in a name? – CMMI® by any other name would smell as—— sweet? (or useful?)

Let us look at some of the vocabulary in CMMI® that many people find difficult to relate to, especially in the early stages of their trying to understand the model. Others (like me) have got so used to the terms that we do not pause to examine basic things in the model.

Please do add your experiences as comments. And maybe we can initiate a class action change request 😉

CMMI® Expanded. That is the first place where they are curious about some terms and are puzzled about them.

Integration – ‘The term integration can be used for an activity or a project. Should it not be CMM Integrated instead of Integration?’

Integration – ‘Why is it called integration/integrated? We have seen 3 variations, viz. – SVC, ACQ and DEV, with staged and continuous. And then there is the People CMM®. Looks disintegrated to me. Definitely not integrated, no sir.’

Capability, Maturity – ‘Why have both the terms? Will the model make the capability more mature? If the model is making the process more capable and / or mature, why not call it Process Capability/ Maturity Model?’

Model(s) after CMMI®. The word model(s) is often used after the word CMMI®. ‘What does CMMI® Models mean? Capability Maturity Model Integration Models? Sounds wrong to me.’

Institutionalization. ‘Why have such a tongue twister? Can we not use something simpler?’ [Digression: Legend has it that one LA required all ATMs to be able to pronounce the word correctly to qualify as an ATM :-). End of Digression].

Managed process versus Defined process. Some CMMI® experts take great pride in being able to truly understand the difference between the two terms in the CMMI® context (if you try using the nuanced difference in normal life, you will probably get institutionalized :-)). And it really gets hairy when we go “a defined process is a managed process that is …….”

Peer (as in Peer Review). ‘Peer? Is that not someone in the House of Lords in Britain? Why should my work be reviewed by them? Would they be really interested?’ OR ‘I thought peer review was something done for scholarly articles and PhD thesis. My work does not qualify for that’.

Configuration Management. A frightening/ nightmarish term for many folks in the service industry like retail, insurance, transportation, etc. (they are comfortable once you explain the concept, but the term is alien).

Continuous – Here is a reaction from a statistician – ‘Is it really continuous? Each process can be in 5 states (not assessed, CL0, 1, 2, or 3). There are 24 PAs. That makes it a finite set of combinations. So it is discrete data. For a model that emphasizes on the correct use of statistics, the term continuous is very loosely used….’

Please feel free to share your views, experiences or queries, using the “comments” feature available at the top of this article/ post.

Notes:

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


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. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

Personal Maturity versus Organizational Maturity in CMMI® – a Presentation

Let us look at the concept of maturity as used for human beings. We often refer to a friend or a colleague as “mature” or “immature”. So what does mature mean in the context of a human being?

Or what would be expected of a mature person as against an immature person?

In training programs when I have asked the participants this question, here is a typical set of terms they use to distinguish a mature person from an immature person (many of the terms may overlap in their meaning, and you may come up with a slightly different list).

Mature Person Immature Person
Reliable Unreliable
Meets commitments May not meet commitment
Dependable Undependable
Responds (after thinking) Reacts (without thinking)
Uses available data for decision making Ignores any data available
Learns from others Refuses to learn from others (“I am different”)
Learns from own past mistakes/ successes Refuses to learn from the past
Plans and reassess plans Does not plan
Proactive Reactive
Firm (but not rude) Fickle (and sometimes rude)
Knows how to say “NO” gracefully Can’t say “NO” gracefully
Prepared for risks Totally unprepared

Well, conceptually I don’t see too much difference between the maturity of an individual and that of an organization, in terms of these characteristics. And just like we personally like to deal with persons who have the “mature” characteristics, customers, suppliers, and employees would like to deal with mature organizations.

Another concept is that a person may be very mature in one aspect of his/ her life (like mature as a professional engineer) and may be relatively immature in another aspect (like managing his/ her personal finances). Similarly, an organization that is mature in its delivery processes may be relatively immature in its sales/ marketing processes.

Some people become more mature as they age, some get stuck, and a few regress – just like organizations. Some become mature with the passage of time, some take help of mentors and coaches, and others become mature through self-study and practice. As they learn new things, they time to internalize these new habits (and institutionalize them), before taking up further new things to master. The same applies to organizations too.

CMMI® models can be used by organizations to assess their maturity (in some aspects of their organization – project delivery, or service delivery, or vendor management, or people management), and to increase their maturity in a planned manner, by incrementally institutionalizing certain practices before embarking on new ones.

Incidentally, there may be a market for a personal maturity model :-). Or perhaps that space is already occupied with personality development gurus and life coaches!

For those who prefer presentations, you can find the same matter on a slideshare presentation:

In case the presentation does not load, use the link http://www.slideshare.net/AlignMentor/cmmi-maturityconcept

Other presentations covering CMMI®., People CMMI, Balanced Scorecard, Strategy Maps and Competency Frameworks on AlignMentor are available here.

Please feel free to share your views, experiences or queries, using the “comments” feature available at the top of this article/ post.

Also, let me know what kind of other slide sets you would like to see in this blog (related to the services model ).

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, or association.

You may also be interested in the following posts uploaded on the same blog:


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. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

Book Review – “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right” by Atul Gawande

I had earlier read two engrossing books by Atul Gawande – Complications and Better. So when I saw The Checklist Manifesto while browsing in the neighborhood library, I decided to pick it up looking forward to an interesting read (some reviewers had strongly recommended it). The title also indicated that it may a good book to review for this weblog.

Well, I was partially right – it was suitable to post a review on this blog. So, here goes…

The main theme of the book/ book summary is as follows:

  • Over the years, many activities have become extremely complex.
  • Even experts struggle to master and remember all the tasks they have to perform.
  • Use of checklists can minimize human errors of oversight. In many cases this it can improve the performance significantly.
  • Use of checklists can also help the experts focus on the difficult, tricky parts of a situation, rather than worry about the mundane activities.
  • There is need to create better checklists, organize them for easy use and ensure that they are used.

The author uses examples from multiple industries and situations. The best ones are from hospitals and medical emergencies (Dr Gawande is a surgeon :-)). There are other examples from the airline industry (where pilots use checklists for normal as well as abnormal situations), construction industry, retail, and restaurants.

There is a whole chapter dedicated to research where the impact of the use of checklists in hospitals was studied. The research showed that there was a significant reduction in deaths (47% reduction) and major complications (36% reduction) for surgical patients. One interesting finding was that though only 80% of the hospital staff found the checklists useful, 93% of them said they would want a checklist to be used if they were themselves getting operated!

The book sometimes extends the concept of “checklist” beyond its normal usage. Here are a few examples of things that are treated under the concept of checklist in the book (though I believe they are different concepts, with their own place in “how to get things right”):

  • Preparing detailed project plans, dependencies, action items, schedules and list of deliverables (example of a building construction project)
  • Use of collaboration meetings (of experts) to handle non-routine situations (e.g., a building floor developing unforeseen problems)
  • Empowerment for doing something extraordinary (how Wal-Mart employees went beyond their formal authority to help people affected by Hurricane Katrina)
  • Use of focus, expertise and wits (how a pilot saved lives by crash landing on Hudson river in 2009 – by focusing on flying the plane, not on using a checklist!)

In trying to bring everything under the umbrella of “checklists”, the author dilutes the concept and utility of checklists as well as other equally important concepts of detailed planning, collaboration, empowerment, dedication, competence and focus. Maybe the title “The Process Manifesto” would have been more apt.

For people who are already convinced about the use of checklists, procedures, plans, collaboration meetings, etc., this book can provide you with interesting examples to relate to process skeptics in your organization. It can also provide process trainers with interesting case studies to relate to the class. You may also consider gifting this book to colleagues who resist the use of formal processes – the book is an easy read and is able to hold the reader’s attention reasonably well.

If you are looking for readymade checklists that will help you reach some level in CMMI®/ People CMM®, then this book is not for you :-).

Those who have read Gawande’s earlier books – Complications and Better may find The Checklist Manifesto a bit disappointing – it is not as engrossing as the earlier two. This is possibly because the earlier books focused primarily on hospitals, medicine and healthcare based scenarios, where Gawande has accumulated loads of experience. And in Checklist, he provides examples from other industries (aircraft manufacture, real estate, retail stores, restaurants, and so on) where he may not have had the same level of familiarity and insight.

Here are some details of the book, in case you want to get your hands on it:

By the way, you DON’T need a Kindle device to read a Kindle ebook.

Book Cover ImageBook Title: The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

Author: Atul Gawande

ISBN-10: 1846683130

ISBN-13: 978-1846683138

Publishing Date: Jan 2010

Publisher: Profile Books

Available at: Amazon.com, Amazon.in, and Flipkart

Available as eBook in Amazon Kindle.

By the way, you DON’T need a Kindle device to read a Kindle ebook.

Other book reviews uploaded on the same blog:


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. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.

Institutionalization in CMMI® and People CMM®: Converting a practice to a habit

The word “institutionalization” is a mouthful, a tongue twister. If it was a requirement that every employee be able to pronounce word correctly for a successful appraisal result (for CMMI®/ People CMM®), the number of successfully appraised entities would have been far fewer than what they are now :-).

The concept of institutionalization is explicitly embedded in the CMMI® and People CMM® models. In fact, approximately half the practices in every one of the models are dedicated to institutionalization, so it is necessary to internalize this concept to successfully implement the models.

So, what is institutionalization? It is many related things, but the easiest and the most comprehensive explanation is that it is “making a practice into a habit”. Hence, when a practice (like submitting monthly project status reports to all stakeholders by the 5th of every month) becomes a habit with the organization, we can say that the practice is “institutionalized”. Organizations are not born with habits (nor are human beings). So, how do some practices become habits? Or more importantly, what can we do to make certain desirable practices into habits?

Let us use an example at a personal level to understand what we can do to convert a desirable practice into a habit.

Doctor CheckupYou are overweight. You are unfit. You get tired before you climb one flight of stairs. (You get the picture.) Your doctor has advised more exercise (than just using the TV remote). He has been telling this to you for the last few years; you make a New Year resolution every year, which does not last more than a few days. This year your doc has given you some kind of ultimatum “shape up or else!”

ScalesSo, now you not only want to lose those excess kilograms (1 kilogram = approximately 2.2 Pounds, for those who still resist the metric system :-)), but want to make regular exercise a habit. Here is a combination of things that is will increase the probability of regular exercise become a habit.

OathFirstly, as an individual you need to build up a great amount of motivation to achieve fitness. The motivation needs to be higher than your motivation for “one more helping”, “15 minutes more of watchingGym the TV”, etc. You need a deep conviction, an inner resolution, a personal commitment, a personal vision/ policy, an oath to oneself. Something like, “come what may, I will do the required exercises at least 25 days in a month.”

Next, you will have to study the alternatives that are available – should you join a gym? Should you join a batch at the gym, or be on your own? Should you go to the gym in the morning or evening? PlanShould have a different exercise program every day? Should the weekend be different? Based on the initial investigation and thinking, you will make a high level plan.

Let us say, you decide to join a batch of people like you in a neighborhood gym. The batch meets everyResources morning at 6 AM and is led by 2 instructors. Now you need money to enroll in the gym and the program. You will need the right set of clothes and shoes. And many such resources, including time; time to reach the gym, time to do the exercise and time to go back home (or wherever) after the program every day.

ShareTo free you up for the daily gym sessions, new responsibilities will need to be taken up, and existing responsibilities may have to be redistributed. Who will drop the kids to school? Who will wake you up? Who is going to water the plants? Who will wash the car now? If you are going to reach your workplace later by half an hour every day, who will stand in for you for that half an hour? In addition to assigning the responsibilities, you (along with others) will possibly need to rearrange and plan out many other impacted activities.

ProcessLet us get back to the daily gym. The instructors will have a standard process that they have chalked out to for the group. Based on your situation they may tweak the standard to define a tailored process/ program for you.

TrainerThe instructors will be constantly watching, coaching and guiding you to make sure that you don’t overdo it or take it too easy. They will also try to ensure that you don’t hurt yourself. So, they will keep providing you necessary training as you progress.

InventoryOn a regular basis you will have to keep track of some important items related to your daily gym-ing. For example, you need to make sure that you have shoes and sock and tee-shirts and shorts washed at the right time. Your gym membership card/ usage may have to kept safe and updated on a regular basis. Basically, you will need to maintain control of the important items, so that you don’t end up picking up someone else’s gym bag.

InvolveWhen you start and as you progress, various stakeholders will have to be identified and involved to the required degree. For example your spouse/ partner, others at home, the gym instructors, your doctor, and maybe your co-workers.

MonitorYou will have to maintain data of your progress – how much time you spent on the treadmill, when you moved from level 1 of the exercise chart to level 2, how many days you could not attend the gym. You would also be keep track on the impact of the work that you are doing – are you losing weight? Too fast? Too slow? Do you feel energetic? Tired? The basic idea is to collect data to monitor the status and effects and control the actions to achieve better results.

BuddyTo maintain motivation, you could pair up with a buddy in the gym group – where each of you can objectively help the other to maintain adherence to the plan, schedule and actions. In addition to your buddy, the instructors will also be checking out that you are basically following the processes and the plans that have been laid out.

Doctor CheckupOnce in a while, you would be going to your doc and reviewing the status, so that long-term course corrections can be identified (e.g., add a diet program, increase aerobics- reduce weight bearing exercises, etc.).

Process ChangeThe gym staff would collect improvement feedback from the participants to change their equipment, standard programs, etc. For the next batch they may define a slightly different process because of this feedback.

All the bold-and-underlined elements are the likely to prevent you from slipping back to your old ways, and with time, doing exercises every day is likely to become a habit, or “institutionalized” for you.

In a nutshell, here are the 12 elements:

  1. Having a policy/ vision
  2. Creating plans
  3. Mobilizing resources
  4. Assigning responsibilities
  5. Getting the training to develop skills required
  6. Keeping conscious control of key items
  7. Involving various stakeholders
  8. Monitoring the status/ effects and controlling the actions
  9. Keeping an eye on adherence to the process
  10. Having periodic reviews with the key stakeholders
  11. Appropriately adopting a process for a given situation
  12. Collecting information to drive improvements

The analogy used may not directly fit an organizational situation. In the above example, the vision needs to be set by the same person who is taking the action, whereas in an organization, it will be the leadership team that sets the policy and many more people who follow it. Similarly, resources will need to be mobilized by leadership team or some specific groups in the organization, and used by all groups. However, the principles are similar, and if an organization keeps track of the above 12 aspects, there is a high likelihood that whatever is being introduced will quickly become a habit with the organization.

By the way, the word “institutionalization” also means being admitted to a mental institution, but that is not the context we are discussing here, today ;-).

Please do share your experiences, comments and feedback by posting a reply/ comment.

Other related posts uploaded on the same blog:


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. To get email alerts for new posts, click here to subscribe.