http://www.sei.cmu.edu/) and provides a detailed description of what highly mature organizations do.
As a process improvement tool, a CMMI model provides a standard against which the baseline organization can be compared. Any gaps between the standard and the baseline organization points the way for future improvement plans. The value of the model lies in the assessment material; it forces you to look across a broad array of processes and compare your organization to a consistent standard. Because the standard does not change, any reduction in gaps between the baseline and the standard represents progress for your organization.
The summary graphic shown here is my depiction of the CMMI for Service standard. It consists of 24 must-do processes that define a highly mature organization. Each abbreviation brick represents an important process area for a mature organization. As an example, the REQM brick represents requirements management.
Each brick in the pyramid is kind of like an individual assignment. You score the brick 0-3 based on how well your organization accomplishes that process. Then you combine scores on all of the bricks to determine your final grade -- your capability maturity level which is scored 1-5 (or F to A).
To conduct a formal CMMI assessment can be a monstrous undertaking that requires payment to outside assessors. In my organization, we are planning to start with an internal and informal assessment -- just to get us started and establish a baseline. We are the process now of translating the CMMI materials into focus questions for our organization.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Because the Navy relies on rotational duty assignments by design and Sailors are entitled to PCS-related compensation by law, the expenses associated with PCS moves are a predictable cost of doing business.
However, the speed and accuracy of travel claim settlements has a significant impact on the operational availability of funds during the execution year. Adequate funds to safely cover all PSC-related expenses are obligated in advance of travel, and these funds must be held in abeyance until the travel claim is settled once travel is completed. Any excess obligations can then be de-obligated and used to fund additional PCS-moves. The goal is to settle travel claims within 30 days of travel completion. The process baseline in fiscal year 2015 was a median settlement time of 38 days. In addition, a small number of claims are never settled which ties up funds and creates the possibility of Sailor indebtedness to the Navy for advances paid on travel expenses.
We convened a meeting of the travel claim processing stakeholders in December of 2015 to discuss ways to (1) improve customer service, (2) improve the timeliness of travel claim settlements, and (3) improve the traceability of funds for the purposes of audit readiness. The group quickely settled on a DMADV methodology as an organizing framework for the effort. DMADV stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Validate; it is a modified version of the familiar DMAIC model for lean six sigma process improvement. The DMADV framework is used when designing a new process, and DMAIC is more appropriate for refining an existing process.
After constructing a high-level conceptual diagram (see figure), the stakeholders designed a pilot test of the new process and constructed a Plan of Actions and Milestones (POAM) for execution of the pilot. The pilot test will run for a period of six months, includes a control group (i.e., all claims not in the pilot), and a thorough plan to evaluate the pilot against the measurable goals of the effort. If successful, the pilot will result in a Navy-wide implementation of the improved travel claim settlement process.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
After working with the team, we applied three recommendations to improve how the information was communicated.
1. We added control limits to the chart to convey a sense of context. How do we know when something changed? When the line breaks the control limits, something has changed.
2. We decided to show both the meter (the # of expired LIMDU PRDs) and the levers (the actions we had taken to influence change).
3. We made the math easy. Senior leadership no longer needs to calculate the size of the impact or guess; we spelled out the accomplishment explicitly.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Do you take into account bad umpires who don't seem to know the rules of the game?
Does your assessment take into account teams from competitive leagues who stay sharp in the off-season by playing in a recreational league?
Do the league mandated priorities of first fun, second learning, third winning play any role?
Although we have one game remaining, we will end this season with a losing record (currently, we are 1-7-1). However, we started the season with 5 of 14 players who had significant problems hitting a pitched ball. At our last game, every player on our roster got a hit. We started the season with 7 of 14 players who did not understand the basic flow of the game or how to get the other team out. At our last game, we held a very good team to two points in the first inning (a significant accomplishment for our team).
Everyone plays both infield and outfield. Everyone has improved. Our defensive play as a team has improved by leaps and bounds. And we're having fun. Although it is always more fun to win, we are enjoying the game of baseball.
Unfortunately, the scoreboard has been stubbornly resistant to measuring our true performance.
Friday, May 22, 2015
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Monday, December 8, 2014
In reality, only about 40 percent of the students (10 of the 26, in this case) historically follow through to complete projects. Some of the reason for the project deficit are (1) the rotational nature of our workforce (i.e., green belts move on to new assignments before completing projects), (2) our "bottom up" deployment strategy that relies on green belts to generate project areas, and (3) our strategy of conducting projects with collateral duty green belts (i.e., project work is voluntary extra duty).