Archive for the ‘CMMI for Services’ Category

SEPG North America 2013: Why You Want to Be There!

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Why Do You Want to Be There?
This year, the conference is significantly re-orienting itself towards END USERS. Previous SEPG conferences had a lot of useful information, especially for experienced change agents and consultants in the field.

This year, the focus is on up-and-coming disciplines, established success strategies, and most importantly, direct business performance benefit of using CMMI. In fact, what we’ve seen over the years is that CMMI is working extremely well with other forms of improvement as well as with existing defined service delivery and product development approaches — whether agile, lean, traditional, customer-focused, innovation-focused, or some combination.

CMMI provides a specific framework that is both a way to focus attention on specific needs while also benchmarking progress. Instead of flailing around trying to find where to put improvement energies, or waiting for a long-term traditional approach of process exploration and decomposition, CMMI takes a lot of the guesswork out by leveraging decades of experience and laying out very specific goals to seek to improve performance.

CMMI users have reported their productivity to increase magnitudes of order, costs drop in double digits, and their ability to cut through thick process jungles more quickly than being left alone to their own devices.

Yes, I’m speaking and presenting at SEPG 2013, but that’s the least relevant reason to attend. Come because you want to see what others are doing to marry CMMI with existing (or new to you) concepts; come because you want to hear from other end-users what they’re doing with CMMI to improve performance. And, most of all, come because you want to get and stay ahead of your competitors who aren’t using CMMI nearly as effectively as you will after attending.

SEPG North America: The CMMI Conference is coming soon, but there is still time to register.

This year’s conference program will include content perfect for you if you are:

  • Beginning to implement–or considering implementation of—CMMI
  • Seeking resources and best practices for integrating CMMI and Agile practices
  • Interested in taking your process improvement game up a level
  • A fan of rivers, boats, bridges or baseball !

Check out the conference agenda here: and when you register, enter the promotional code "Entinex" to save $100 on your fee. (Or just click this link and the discount will be applied for you.)

Book before September 1st to get a discount on your hotel room, as well.

Get the details on the website ( and email with any questions.

Free at last!

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

This morning, SEI Partners and Sponsored Individuals received the letter, below, from Dr. Paul Nielsen, Director & CEO of SEI.

Watch the video for my explanation why it is.

To All Partners and Sponsored Individuals:

The following important announcement is sent on behalf of Dr. Paul Nielsen, Director and CEO.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) have mutually decided to move the CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) and the PCMM (People Capability Maturity Model ) out of the SEI and into an independent business unit of CMU. We believe this new unit may also be a natural transition path for other SEI developed technologies, methods and practices as they mature.

The SEI is a Federally Funded Research & Development Center (FFRDC) established in 1984 to provide technical leadership and innovation through research and development to advance the practice of software engineering and technology in support of DoD needs. DoD acknowledges the significant contributions that CMMI has made to Defense programs and the software engineering community, in general. Recognizing the maturity of CMMI and PCMM, SEI and DoD have agreed that the maturity of these technologies make this an appropriate time for the SEI, as a science and technology based FFRDC, to concentrate on newer research.

Carnegie Mellon University is excited about establishing this new business unit to serve the global software engineering community even better–to make adoption, evolution and maintenance of the models more flexible for government and commercial organizations, to be more creative with our partners and other organizations in creating business relationships, and to face the market more proactively.

As we plan and implement this transition, one key objective is to cause as little disruption to our licensees and partners as possible; therefore, we expect the transition to be seamless, with continuity among key participants. You can expect:

  • A renewed, single-minded commitment to the product
  • A transition that underscores the central role of our licensees and partners
  • Continuing investments to expand the scope and evolution of the models

We intend to transition these technologies and evolve the business model in conjunction with our partners and the Partner Advisory Board. Current details of the transition can be found at

Additionally, we will be hosting interactive webcasts on 25 May at 9:00-10:00am EDT and 30 May at 5:00-6:00pm EDT. To register for the webcasts Friday, May 25: or Register Here and Wednesday, May 30: or Register Here. Look for more face to face information sessions at SEPG-EU.

Best regards,

Forget CMMI!

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

This is probably the most important blog entry I’ve ever posted.

The video is the longest video I’ve ever posted on the blog, and for that reason, I’ll keep the text content to a minimum. 

Here’s why you should watch the video:  CMMI may be entirely wrong for you, and you may not know it!

The video explains an epically crucial reality about CMMI that many agile (and other) teams are not aware of, leading them unknowingly down a path of self-defeat and damage.  All of which could be avoided with this one super-critical piece of knowledge.

You’ll thank me later.


The lure of seemingly limitless opportunities can be quite strong, obviously.  And, especially in tough economic times, succumbing to that lure can cause even the best of businesses to act unwisely.  Such is the lure of CMMI ratings.

Well, anything that’s very alluring can cause unwise behavior, I suppose.  Whether it’s as apparently harmless as indulging in a luscious dessert, spending money on unnecessary luxuries, or any of equally limitless opportunities to make bad choices, doing what we want instead of doing what’s right shows up even when working with CMMI.

This blog is full of examples of such bad CMMI choices, but there’s one bad choice I haven’t mentioned much about.  That’s the choice to even try to use CMMI.

When working with a knowledgeable, concerned, trustworthy CMMI consultant, an organization should be steered away from CMMI when their circumstance doesn’t align well with model-based improvement using CMMI.  In some cases, it may be a matter of steering towards the right CMMI constellation (e.g., for Development, or, for Services).  However, just as whether or not CMMI is right for an organization ought to be discovered before too much energy is put into it, so should the decision about a particular maturity level within the constellation.

No CMMI constellation should be attempted if/when the organization doesn’t control the work that it does.  Namely, that the work it does is controlled by another organization, such as a customer.  Or, put the other way, CMMI should only be used if/when the processes used by the people doing the work are controlled by the same organization using CMMI to improve them.

At Maturity Level 2 (ML2), almost any type of work can use the practices in that level to improve its performance and to demonstrate that the practices are in place.  However, at Maturity Level 3 (ML3), you have to be doing the type of work in the particular constellation in order to be able to use the practices in it.  If you’re not doing that type of work, the practices will be irrelevant.  Attempting to use the practices when there’s no such work being done will only cause the practices to get in the way and add nothing but frustration.

In particular, if you’re not doing work that involves structured engineering analysis, CMMI for Development at ML3 will be truly unwieldy.

Adding practices for work you’re not doing is an example of the bad behavior many organization exhibit when they’re chasing a level rating rather than hot on the trail of performance improvements.  It’s these sorts of behaviors that are somehow rationalized as being beneficial when, in fact, they are unequivocally, diametrically, and everything but beneficial.  They are a colossal waste of time and money and detrimental to morale and productivity.

You really need carve out about 11 minutes to watch the video.