In presentations, training or orientation sessions on CMMI® the topic of constellations and representations does come up for discussions (even if the presenter wants to avoid it :-)). I have in the past, found that the standard material on these topics has not always helped people understand and remember the concepts. The people, who I believed understood the concepts, surprised me later with a question or a comment that indicated otherwise. Till the time I hit upon an analogy that is easy to understand and easier to remember. And it is related to food.
I will use the example of a restaurant called Celesti-yummiNYTM (the restaurant owner fancies it as trans-galactic gastronomic delight). It has a menu that features three kitchens – food representing three different regions of the universe. One from the Devphinus constellation, another from the Severus constellation and the third from the Aquirius constellation.
Each constellation (kitchen) serves a set of dishes – Devphinus has 22 dishes, Severus serves 24 dishes and Aquirius presents 22 dishes. These are all listed in Celesti-yummiNYTM menu card. Each kitchen-constellation has also created a recipe booklet that is publicly available, for free (however, fancy, bound versions are priced). People and outer-world aliens can use the recipe books to prepare the dishes, as long as they keep acknowledging the intellectual property and trademark ownership of Celesti-yummiNYTM.
(Digression: There may be another category of sapient beings called “earthly aliens”, since immigration counters in some airports have separate queues for such creatures. When I stand in such queues, I hope to quickly complete the formalities before someone like Ellen Ripley notices me. For more information on Ellen Ripley and how she handles Alien species, see the Wikipedia page here. 🙂 : End of Digression)
Let us now examine the menu card of Celesti-yummiNYTM. As explained before, each kitchen-constellation has a list of dishes (22 to 24 dishes). Each dish comes in three sizes – Small (CL1), Medium (CL2), and Large (CL3). From a kitchen, you may choose any number of the dishes, and specify the size of each dish (small, medium or large). This kind of order, for some reason, is called a “continuous” order by Celesti-yummiNYTM (which many restaurants call as an al-a-carte order), though there is nothing continuous about it.
In addition to the 22 to 24 dishes offered in 3 sizes, each kitchen-constellation also offers fixed meals (pre-plated meals or thalis). There is a mini-meal (ML2), a midi-meal (ML3), a maxi-meal (ML4) and a mega-meal (ML5) that you can order from each kitchen. These fixed meals have a pre-decided set of dishes (a sub-set of the 22 to 24 dishes) at pre-decided sizes, with some very small variations. These fixed meals are called “Staged” meals.
For example, if you order the mini-meal (ML2) from the Devphinus kitchen menu you will get seven dishes, all of the medium (CL2) size. You have no choice in the matter. The only exception is for the dish called “Sammy’s Fav” which you can decline, provided you have a doctor’s certificate that you are allergic to some of the ingredients. You cannot decline any other dish. Nor can you change the size of the dishes if you order a fixed meal. Similarly the midi-meal (ML3) from Devphinus, will contain eighteen dishes, all of the Large (CL3) size. Again, you can decline the dish called Sammy’s Fav, with a doctor’s certificate. The mega-meal (ML5) from Devphinus will see a large platter with all their 22 dishes (and, you can still decline Sammy’s Fav, with appropriate justification).
There are similar fixed meals with minor variations in the other two kitchen-constellations.
One warning – there are dishes with same or similar names offered by the three kitchen-constellations. Some are called “core” dishes and some are called “shared” dishes. Don’t be fooled by the names and the terminology. They taste significantly different (because of the way they are cooked, raw material, and interaction with the other dishes), though they are called by the same/ similar names. For example, the dish called “Risque-Salad” (offered by all the three kitchen and hence called a core dish) will look and taste significantly different, becuase of the ingradients, presentation, and seasoning.
There ends the explanation of constellations, representations (staged/ continuous), core/shared PAs, ML/CL, etc.
Please feel free to add your variation and flavour to this explanation (use the comment feature)
Other related posts uploaded on the same blog:
NYTM– Celesti-yummi is Not Yet Trade Marked 😉