Archive for the ‘SEI’ Category

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,

Lean Software and System Conference

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

I’m speaking @ the Lean Software and Systems Conference 2011.

The program is amazing!

I highly encourage attendance.

There’s an entire day in cooperation with the SEI with 3 unique tracks on it including a track on CMMI and Multi-Modal Processes (which I’m chairing).

Take a look at my talk… it’s from my upcoming book: High Performance Operations.

Register quickly and make your hotel reservations! Block rooms are nearly gone!

New ideas emerging at SEPG Europe

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Regardless of venue, country, time of year, or language, SEPG Europe continues to demonstrate itself as a valuable event for exchanging ideas and making  progress in the field of performance excellence.  It’s a clear indicator of the value of SEPG Europe that attendance at this year’s event both doubled from last year’s event and exceded all headcount-based logistics planned for the event.  This, despite the sputtering global economy, in particular Portugal’s current banking challenges.

Conference-related activities for SEPG Europe 2010 began with pre-conference activities and tutorials on Monday, official tutorials on Tuesday, then keynotes, mini-tutorials and sessions on Wednesday.  This entry comes on the morning of the last formal conference day, Thursday, after experiencing Wednesday’s keynotes, a full day of sessions and mini-tutorials, and the event’s gala dinner.

In particular, I want to focus on common threads heard throughout the week, what they mean to those of us in the field, and why it’s only at SEPG events where these ideas can reach critical mass.

The common threads

CMMI, appraisals, and the focus on “process” are, together, insufficient to meet the needs of today’s businesses and still relevant.

Insufficient because, alone, they can miss attributes important to business, and can inadvertently place too little emphasis on performance and results.  Still relevant because, without them there would be no robust, complete product set of performance improvement tools in the marketplace.

What these threads tie into is the experience that the market for performance excellence is ready for the “next evolution” of CMMI and SCAMPI and other process-oriented models and tools.  The market is ready for a way of looking at performance excellence that is appropriately applied in ultra-large systems as well as small and/or agile systems/organizations.   An approach that emphasises results rather than compliance, and an approach that looks at the entire business, including its market, culture, social economics, leadership, management, customers, relationships and other behavioral sciences.

By no means is this to imply that CMMI and SCAMPI are wrong.  They are widely acknowledged and credited as a necessary step in the evolutionary path of performance excellence thinking.  And, some flavor of CMMI and SCAMPI will most certainly persist as a necessary component of a broader focus on improvements.  All this is actually saying is that the market has absorbed the lessons of CMMI and SCAMPI and they’re ready for more.  They’re ready for what’s coming next, and they want to be part of shaping it.

A lot of the hallway conversations I’ve had have been about just this.  They’re about “what’s next?”   What’s after version 1.3?  It’s not clear what’s coming after v1.3, but what is clear is that whatever v.NEXT looks like, the ideas for what will be in it (by any name or version) will have roots at events like SEPG-Europe.

People here are clearly thinking ahead.  They’re thirsty for making progress.

What the common threads mean to those of us in the field

Those of us who provide consulting, instruction and appraisals in CMMI and SCAMPI wares, or who are internal to companies implementing improvements will be impacted by these threads in a number of ways.  Including, a potential wholesale change in what will be a “model” for improvement and its related appraisal approach.  Another impact would be the possibly broader reach of areas of improvement into aspects of business currently unfamiliar to organizations or professionsals in the field.

Furthermore, the business impact of the v.NEXT model could be a body of work that raises the stakes and the perview of where the model seeks to have an impact.  In other words, it could be a model that’s much more business-oriented and “systemic” than it currently and would require skills and aptitudes for implementation not demanded by the current frameworks.  It could become a model for which it’s not enough to be a model subject-matter expert, but also requires that users be equally versed in business as they are in performance improvement.

The core concepts in CMMI today are not likely to disappear, rather, they’re more likely to be absorbed into a more broadly-minded view of causing performance excellence.

Why SEPG events are where the critical mass is reached

Unlike any other type of events, at SEPG events there are presentations, discussions, new ideas and the direct interaction among users, practitioners, business leaders, government, academia, many industries, and the SEI.  Face-to-face, high-bandwidth communication and incidental interactions made possible by SEPG events are unlike any other events because SEPGs are focused exclusively on improvement.  It’s a conversation at a higher level.  The ideas for such a higher level of thinking in v.NEXT will be where the SEI gets its ideas.  These are the types of conversations taking place at SEPG Europe which is why I attend.  I attend so I can return to my office and my clients with new ideas and a glimpse of where things are going.

Until v.NEXT is reality, we can muse philosophically over what will be in it over glasses of the fine Porto port wines.