Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) – Five Process Levels

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), is a global process and behavioral model established by the CMMI Institute. For many years, it has CMMI Capability Maturity Model Integration five levels of process maturity levelsbeen used by top performing organizations to build capabilities that that address business challenges and help them meet the goals of an organization and increase efficiency.

The process model in the image above provides guidance of what organizations can do to improve business process maturity and optimize performance. The idea is that if companies have systematic, repeatable business processes, the result is positive, predictable outcomes that save companies time and money while increasing efficiency.

The model is not prescriptive, but instead provide general guidelines that help in understanding how processes are document and aids in creating a culture of continuous improvement.

Each maturity level represents a path of progress that builds off of the previous one and helps organizations provide structure to monitor and document how achievements are met and sustained.

Partnering Adaptive Leadership with Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive innovation involves creative ways to establish new markets and reshape existing ones. The result is that organizations are causing us to rethink the reason they exist because companies need the ability to respond quickly when new Strategic Agility and Disruptive Innovation by Kakie Fitzsimmonsadvances are introduced internally or externally.

As I have written about in the past, the term companies have migrated to for this is called “organizational agility.

This term was originated in alignment with the concept behind Agile Software Development, which contains primary values centered around human design.  Through agile development, teams and individuals are empowered to:

  1. Make Decisions (where managers act as advisers)
  2. Solve Problems
  3. Employees are authorized to meet customer or stakeholder needs vs. participating in contract negotiations
  4. Responding to change is more important than following a plan

Continuous changing means that leaders need to learn to practice Adaptive leadership.  Below are five ways to become an adaptive leader:

  1. Seek input to challenge your decisions 
  2. Focus on results, let team solve for it
  3. If it does not succeed, give praise and ask them what they learned
  4. Help them to understand why it did not
  5. Encourage them to try again

During our continual shifting transformations, please feel free to share your observations about this below. Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Individual and Organizational Change Management Integration Plan

Individual and Organizational Change Management Integration Plan

The complexity that accompanies change and the process that goes along with it means different things to different people. As a result, we must view change through two lenses of individuals and organizations because they are parts of a complex system. This intricacy blends art, science, culture, inputs, outputs, feedback, leadership, strategy, governance, competency, internal and external forces, change impacts, individual needs, and values, management practices, change activities, skills, communications planning and more.

Convergence, the concept that there are always many ways to get to the same result, is a reality when we are creating strategic plans for new endeavors. Good change leadership involves anticipating how we will navigate potential impacts to individuals, teams, and organizations collectively because they are inextricable. Assessments and coaching tools are available which can help us in performing readiness temperature checks, identifying potential pockets of resistance and understanding where people are on the change curve so we can determine appropriate action plans.

The three-phased Prosci® approach in the diagram is an example of a tool that I like to use with leadership early in the process because it clarifies the mystery of change management. It illustrates that we have a structured approach to managing people (teams, and organizations), processes and technology from a current state towards the program’s desired future state. In addition, it builds off of previous posts where we examined using Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement (ADKAR®) as a tool for gaining commitment from individuals to increase adoption. It is also tied to how we implement strategic engagement by partnering with the PM and Senior Leaders to integrate change management into the project plan. This is important because according to Prosci’s annual benchmarking research on change[1], the greatest overall contributor to project success is active and visible sponsorship

There are countless templates, tools, and approaches used by Change Management Practitioners everywhere. It is important to me that this blog is a forum where people feel comfortable sharing what they agree or disagree with along with best practices or key learnings. As a result, below are some questions I invite you to answer:

  1. What approaches (good, bad or indifferent) have you taken that integrate changes experienced by people and organizations and what did you learn from it?
  2. What approaches have you observed and what did you think about it?

I look forward to hearing from you, if you found value in reading this post, please share it with others. Thanks for visiting my blog!

I will honor desired anonymity, so if you would like to leave a response without having your name listed, please feel free to let me know!

Root Cause Analysis – Getting to the Why

There are many ways to approach problem-solving, one of which we often use in business, is called Root Cause Analysis. Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a systemic approach and a way of linear thinking that gets to the bottom of why a something occurs and figuring out what might be done to prevent these problems in the future. Below is one five-step process used to solve for RCA.Root-Cause-Analysis-Getting-to-the-why

1.  Clearly define the problem:

  • What is happening?
  • What symptoms come along with what is happening?

2.  Collect and analyze the data:

  • How long has this problem existed?
  • What is the impact of this problem?
  • What can we learn about it?

3.  Determine possible causes by asking “Why?” continually until you can go no further:

  • What happened first, second, third that brought us to this setback?
  • What conditions are allowing this to occur?
  • Why?  Why?   Why??

4.  Identify the root cause:

  • What is responsible for the problems identified in #3?

5.  Brainstorm & implement solutions to fix it

Engagement: Integrating Change Management with Project Plans

Change Management and Project Plan IntegrationFocusing on the people side of change is arguably one of the most important tasks as we begin phase one of preparing for a change initiative. In the early phases of a project, we are seeking to understand the nature of the change and preparing the organization for it. Exceptional change management works when we partner with leadership to ensure timely and consistent messaging, early and often.

According to Prosci’s annual benchmarking research on change, the greatest overall contributor to project success is active and visible sponsorshipAs facilitators’ of the change, we have the unique opportunity to bring sponsors along on the journey at this point, so they understand why their role is critical in mitigating resistance, driving uptake and ensuring positive end-user adoption. We also can provide them with the coaching and tools needed to carry out their roles throughout the change process.

As we move towards phase two, managing the change, we need to think about how we are going to engage the project manager for discussion to integrate change deliverables and change activities into the project plan. Building rapport starts with laying out the process of how we will prepare for, manage and reinforce the changes. It is the perfect way to set up role clarity and frame desired outcomes; while ensuring a shared vision.

What is your integration approach in partnering with the project manager for these discussions? Please join the conversation and share your best practices below. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Circles of Meaning

Once in a while, I like participating in the “Weekly Photo Challenge” over at The Daily Post. A new meme comes out each Friday and I think about the proposed topic. I wonder what I could say about it and what my readers will be interested in as well. This week, Cheri asks us to let a shape, a circle, inspire us.

Circles Change Management Business TimeI took this picture at the James J. Hill Business Library because it had a certain old world charm that grabbed my attention. I like the concept of time as it relates to the evolution of knowledge throughout the ages.

Circles have been used metaphorically since the beginning of history. In many cultures, they represent unity, enlightenment, divinity, and protection. At first glance, a circle can seem simple, yet they are one of the most common and universal signs used throughout the history of the world.

Circles have symbolic use in divinity: For example, with Taoism, the Yin Yang image embodies two forces in the universe that are opposites that balance one another. Hinduism uses the Dharma Chakra to represent the wheel of law that leads to enlightenment. Artists have used halos in Christianity and Buddhism to symbolize light and holiness. Paganism circles exemplified supernatural forces, and in ancient times Celtics stood inside of circles for protection.

Circles are symbols of inclusiveness, wholeness and eternity because the continuous line characterizes something with no beginning and no end.  They also represent completion or “coming full circle,” as in starting where one began. Circles often remind us about the cycles of life, years, seasons, days, minutes, hours and of course, TIME.

In business, we use circles in many ways. In meetings, we sit in circles, in flow charts, circles show beginning or end of processes, we move in cycles from centralizing to decentralizing something away from or to something else. We also assume many things in business happen in linear patterns, which is not the case. A circle could be a way to make the case for this.

In change management, we can think about circles as cycles of behavior. We evaluate and measure individual change differently than organizational change because successful organizational change happens when individuals deliver and sustain the new behavior.  Our focus is to change old ways of thinking by providing various levels of coaching guides and tools for leadership, Circles of Concern Influence Change Controlstakeholder and sponsors during different stages of programs and projects.

We provide assessments to mitigate resistance to change because we understand that behaviors happen in cycles or patterns. One example of many might be to leverage Steven Covey’s “Circles of Influence” model (where appropriate) for a conversation about what we control, influence and have concerns about.

When we integrate change management with program and project management, studies have proven it leads to higher levels of success such as increased in adoption rates and sustaining of new behaviors.

Are there other ways you see circles used as symbols in business, change, program, and project management? I’m looking forward to having you join the conversation.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with others. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Project Initiation and Stakeholders

Just to find something new - State of MindProject initiation is the first step in the project management process.  It is where we have to figure out who the key players will be on our team and how we are going to define the scope of the project. This is where we do a stakeholder analysis. A sample template of stakeholder analysis can be found at the Project Management Institute website.

I’d like to compare the stakeholder analysis to the game of chess. It is very strategic in nature, but in order to learn how to play, one has to know how to identify the difference between the rooks, king, queen, bishops, and pawns. Players need to know how to move around within the 64 squares of the board. In project management doing a stakeholder analysis is sort of like learning a chess game because a good project manager learns who the customers are and what resources are available, because resources will always be limited, so who you know and how you build relationships will matter.

Not all stakeholders have the same reason for participating in a project so it is important to understand why they are there and what motivates them. Having that knowledge will be helpful for figuring out how to manage them.  Looking for people with the right attitude will matter. For example, is there a way to know where they fall in the Meyers-Briggs scale or other tools to identify social styles? What are the social ‘norms’ of the organization? How do people communicate and interact? Some prefer face to face meetings, others email or voicemail. Keep track of this because it can be an important factor. Our expertise doesn’t have to be what we do for our job. It is about what the culture wants. Give rewards, find what people are doing right and they will do more.

Good questions to ask around the stakeholder analysis:

  1. Who are the stakeholders and how can we help them understand what is in it for them?
  2. How do they want to receive communication?
  3. Do stakeholders understand their roles in the project?
  4. Where do they fall in organizational hierarchy?
  5. What happens to the project if a stakeholder gets overlooked?
  6. Can anything be done to avoid missing stakeholders in the future?