Archive for the ‘Perf’ Category

Blaming CMMI is just another symptom … of LCPBCs

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Stop blaming CMMI for bad processes.  Stop blaming CMMI for not getting real value from performance improvement efforts.  Used correctly, CMMI fixes processes, doesn’t make bad processes.  Bad processes are a symptom of using CMMI incorrectly and blaming CMMI is to run away from the true issues.  The true issues are that the organization/company doesn’t have a culture to support high performance results long before anyone thought to use CMMI.

This is most typical of level-chasing pathological box-checkers who want ratings at any expense to effectiveness, morale or efficiency.

You can always tell these types of organizations from those who truly want to improve.  Level-chasing pathological box-checkers (LCPBCs) don’t know what their own processes are, and when they start to look they don’t like what they see but refuse to do anything progressive about their ineffective, inefficient, and otherwise broken processes.  LCPBCs often rule by fear in one form or another; they don’t practice TQM, don’t employ Lean principles, don’t value when people challenge the status quo, don’t value the expertise of people not in powerful positions, and don’t empower their people to make decisions or to take responsibility for the entirety of the health and well-being of the organization.  LCPBCs are also easily picked out of a crowd by their belief that you can improve performance without changing anything difficult and by limiting whatever changes might happen to the technical staff alone.  You’ll often find them hunting for “CMMI in a box” (or even “agile in a box”) and they’re looking to do it cheap, fast, and start “right now!”.

True, that some executives are LCPBCs because they don’t know any better, but there’s hope for those executives who are interested in making informed decisions.  Others are doomed to low returns and continued recurring process (and appraisal) costs.  Slapping CMMI on top of such a discordant, caustic, corroded, and sick culture will only make things worse.  And, blaming CMMI for failures to produce advertised outcomes, or for costing time and money and adding no value is just another symptom of the problems that existed in such organizations before CMMI was ever introduced.

Blaming CMMI is just the latest cop-out excuse in what’s likely a long list of excuses for the organization’s failures to materialize success –
It’s not CMMI … it’s immature, unreliable, culturally caustic organizations being exposed by the dust the CMMI stirs up.

Next time: How to not be a LCPBC: Making the marriage of CMMI and Agile a no-brainer.