Archive for the ‘Cost’ Category

Picking a Lead Appraiser: "Dammit, Jim! I’m a doctor not a bricklayer."

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

In this quote, CAPT Kirk wants Dr. Bones McCoy to do something he feels he’s not-qualified to do because he doesn’t know how to treat the species.

I’m using it to explain that organizations looking for a lead appraiser to work with them towards an appraisal and/or to perform an appraisal ought to think of what we do as they would think of a doctor, not a laborer or vendor.

Do you really want the lowest price doctor?

For that matter, is the highest price doctor necessarily the best in town?

When reaching out and interviewing for a lead appraiser or CMMI consultant, you:

  • Want the person who is the right person for the job.
  • Want someone who is qualified (definitely not under-, but preferably not over- either).
  • Not the lowest bid.

Seriously, whoever you hire for this effort has in their power the ability to make or break your future.  They literally have the health and well-being of your organization in their hands.  They can put you in the dump just as easily as they can take you to the next level.

They should see themselves that way as well.

Unfortunately I’ve got too many sad stories of appraisers/consultants who definitely see that they can make or break you, but they don’t feel like they personally own the responsibility for what happens to you when they’re done.

If it costs too much?  So what?
If you get no value?  Not their problem.
Didn’t see any benefit?  Didn’t learn anything?  Things take longer and cost more and you’re not seeing internal efficiencies improve?
YOU must be doing something wrong, not them.

In an AgileCMMI approach, your CMMI consultant and/or lead appraiser would see themselves as and act like a coach, and would put lean processes and business value ahead of anything else.  And, an AgileCMMI approach would know that when the processes work, they add value; when they add value people like them and use them; when people like and use them, the next “level” is a big no-brainer-nothing.  You get it in your sleep.

Let me know if you want help finding the right lead appraiser or consultant.

So you’re really interested in CMMI for the rating only….

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

What can you do?

This entry addresses an important tip in those cases where you need to demonstrate a CMMI rating even thoughyou’d otherwise have no intrinsic business reason compelling you to do so.

But first, I admonish organizations doing the compulsory CMMI ratings requirements in the first place.  So, if you’re a company being externally compelled to get a rating (which is different from being told “you need to improve!”), you might want to send a link to this finger-wagging to whoever needs to hear it.

However, as such a company being externally compelled to use CMMI (just to get a rating), this tip will make it MUCH easier and more beneficial.

Oh, one more thing…. I don’t mention this in the clip: If you’re such a company, don’t look to hire the cheapest, fastest appraiser/appraisal you can find.  Doing that will only make the cost and pain worse.  Both, short-term and long-term.

NEXT WEEK: Everything you thought you knew about CMMI is wrong.