Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Five Process Levels


Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), is a global process and behavioral model Kakie Fitzsimmons CMMIestablished by the CMMI Institute. For many years, it has ebeen used by leadership and top-performing organizations to build capabilities 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 on what organization leaders can do to improve business process maturity, increase adoption 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.

This model has applications in change management and projects, programs.

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.

Change Management – The Industrial Thinking Mindset


Dance_Reflect_Move-1The industrial mindset has been much of our world view since the mid-1700s and many of its scientific breakthroughs evolved out of Newton’s laws of motion[i] where forces act respond. Everything is in motion and process dynamics influence results. For generations, organizations have been built and have operated out of this concept. The industrial thinking approach is a dance which has four basic characteristics.

  1. Productivity & Perception: Focus on productivity first because scientific efficiency maximizes productivity. Individual thoughts and perceptions are not valued and as a result, attitudes, beliefs, feelings, values, intuition or things which motivate people aren’t important.
  2. Scarcity exists everywhere and assumes that there are solutions and resources, but they must be found.  Focus on things that aren’t working, taking on a perspective of inefficiency. (resulting in attitudes of defeat.)
  3. Isolated measures happen because it is easier to see the things that make up the system, instead of how they relate to one another. An example of this would include silos or departments in organizations. It is easy to see what makes up the system, but it is harder to see how they relate to one another because it is a lot of work to isolate reality into smaller and smaller parts. The challenge lies in answering the question; “How can these parts work together to ensure the whole system wins?” As opposed to fighting for my budget over yours. (see table below)
  4. Disconnected incidents. Change happens in separate episodes, so we can provide assessments at any given moment and analyze where the organization is at a point in time. Isolating each of these pieces across time could discount the process nature of change.

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Engagement: Change Management and Project Integration


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 (as seen in the slide below). 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. In this illustration, I like to think of the section between project and change management as a zipper that will pull everything together.

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 a unique opportunity to bring sponsors along on the journey, providing guidance and giving them tools that will help to mitigate resistance, increase

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Change Management, Increasing Adoption and Commitment


Some days I have a “love-hate” relationship with blogging because it isn’t a clean, cut and dry process. Although I have an idea of what I want to write, it takes time to figure out how to put the words together.

Kakie Fitzsimmons ADKAR Change Management

Bird by Bird,” a book about writing by author Anne LaMott, contains a brilliant piece called; “Shitty First Drafts” (SFD) where she explains why the first draft we write is always the worst. It is usually longer than it needs to be, it may not flow well, etc. Towards the end of this excerpt, she states; “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something — anything — down on paper. A friend of mine says that the first draft is the downdraft — you just get it down. The second draft is the updraft — you fix it up.

In her book “Rising Strong,” Brene Brown applied Anne’s concept of SFD to our behaviors, which I believe could be an interesting application in change management resistance. For Brown, an SFD is the first story we make up in our heads before we have all the information needed to be pragmatic about the real story. When we realize we have an SFD, she recommends asking ourselves other questions such as:

  • What do I know objectively?
  • What more do I need to learn and understand about the other people in the story?
  • What more do I need  to learn and understand about myself?

The concept of an SFD as applied by Brown aligns with how people handle change individually in the workplace.

When we are in phase 1: preparing for change, collaborative conversations center around outcomes so we have a clear definition of Read more of this post

Top 15 Astounding Quotes on Change Management


ChangeManagementQuotesInformation

This week over at The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge, Michelle Weber asks us to: “let the alphabet be your inspiration.” I took this picture at the James J. Hill Business Library, in Downtown St. Paul. I love the charm historical intrigue that is felt as soon as I walk in the door. The architecture is astonishing and I love doing research within its walls.

The alphabet inspires us in writing, words, books and more. Below is a list of 15 quotes about change management that I like and believe would be great for any presentation.

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

Proactive change is a function of a gap between managerial intent and the reality they see now or in the future.” –  Michael Beer

You can’t build an adaptable organization without adaptable people – and individuals change only when they have to, or when they want to.” -Gary Hamel Read more of this post

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 Circles of Concern Influence Change ControlYang 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. Read more of this post

Interpretations for Gathering


GatheringOver at The Daily Post, the theme for this week’s weekly photo challenge is posed by Krista, who asks us to document a gathering and share our interpretation of it.

Consider the different ways we can think about the word; Gathering as in material things we can see and touch. Gathering as in knowledge or information we get from various sources. Gathering as in symbolic ritual like celebrations or at places of worship. Gathering as in shared experiences like school plays or concerts. Gathering as in complex systems, where everything is related to everything else. Many may argue that there are interdependencies and that we can’t refer to one type of gathering without taking into account all the others.

Regardless of the kind of “gathering” we refer to, each person gets to decide which definition (singularly and collectively) is the most important to them.

In life, we gather things that we don’t get to take with us when we leave this world.

At work, we gather reports and data. We gather at meetings or to network.

In change management, gatherings are significant because they are considered as a type of symbolic ritual that can help bring a group of people together and move them through transition, from one stage to another.

In communities, we gather to celebrate, to educate, to worship, to grieve, and to share experiences.

Mentally we gather knowledge and information.

Emotionally we gather our thoughts.

At home, we gather as families to make sense of this world. We come together to teach, learn, share, grieve, grow, pray, laugh and to love. We create memories and meaningful experiences that leave legacies.

Do your organizations use the concept of “gathering” as a symbolic tool to move people through change? My wish for you; may your gatherings bring significance to whatever is important in your personal and professional lives.

Please feel free to share your thoughts below and thanks for visiting my blog!

Achievement, Accomplishment, Work Ethic and Success


What is achievement really? How do we get it? Where does it come from? Is it an end goal? A process? Does it take work ethic? Does it mean success? Does it make someone “accomplished” ? Find out here: Projects, perspective, insight, success.

272 steps to forgivenessDecember of 2012 I published a successful academic paper called; “Best Buy Strategic Management Analysis” which I co-wrote with some exceptionally talented people in my cohort. During that time, the company was experiencing revolutionary change, juggling reputation management issues and more. The CEO had resigned, the company founder, Dick Schulze, had written a letter to the board with the intention to buy the company back and run it. The competitive market was rapidly changing, they pulled out of markets in China and the UK and had brought in new CEO, Huber Joly.

Recently, our paper reached 29,000 views in less than two years and we are proud of that. It is an accomplishment and for me, professionally, it highlights the kind of work I am capable of. The in-depth research of this globally expanding company, evaluation of their internal environment and external market conditions was a great learning experience. Read more of this post

Refracting Light Life | Kakie’s Corner


These pictures are from one of our first “free” nights in South East Asia, for the Global Business Systems Executive MBA Global Studies Course, Singaporecourse in the Executive MBA program. This evening four of us opted for dinner on the rooftop in Little India. I heard a calming sound of flapping water, came around the corner and this beautiful scenery, was what I encountered.

This week’s photo challenge asks that we show what “refraction” means to us. Refraction occurs when a ray of light is indirectly deflected by a wave of energy that passes from one medium to another, which causes the illumination to bend and become distorted. For example: water to light, air to glass etc.

I interpret “Refraction” as a metaphor for life. Read more of this post

Transition – Defining “Between”


Transitions - Adapting to ChangeToday’s post is about “between,” which comes in many forms. It made me consider the various ways we process and deal with change. Regardless of its application (professional, emotional or personal), the techniques for recognizing and approaching transition differs for each of us.

Sometimes it flows and feels natural, as captured in the photo for this post. A young man who is between testing for his next belt level in karate and receiving a new status because he is ready and has done the work. He has practiced learning the movement and techniques with precision and accuracy, and he knows that along with his sense of accomplishment come confidence and the long term rewards that follow.

In graduate school, we are taught that we should expect resistance when it comes to change in the workplace. The opposition is a natural part of the process during transformation and frequently rears its head when people do not understand why change is necessary, or there is not consistent support, repetition, and communication of the messaging. Read more of this post

Innovation: The Truth About Creativity


Creativity Pre Orchestra LectureIs Creativity an important component of innovation? Find out here.

I’ve been taking part two of a course based on a book called; The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. Brown has spent the past 10-15 years researching topics like courage, vulnerability, and authenticity. One of our first assignments was to think about the gifts that come to us as the result of our own creativity.

The book presents fascinating findings about creativity. Brown refers to vulnerability as the birthplace of innovation. She also makes the point that there is no such thing as people who are not creative. Instead, there are resourceful people who know how to tap into their ingenuity, while others don’t. Read more of this post

Courage is a HEART Word


Courage is a heart wordA few months back I took a six-week online class with Brené Brown based on her book; “The Gifts of Imperfection.” Early in the process we explored the meaning of courage and had a journal activity as seen in the picture. I wanted to share what Brené says about courage because I think it is profound;

“Courage, the original definition of courage when it first came into the English language – it’s from the Latin word cor, meaning heart – and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart…

This is what I have found: to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee — and that’s really hard, and I can tell you as a parent, that’s excruciatingly difficult — to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we’re wondering, ‘Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?’ just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, ‘I’m just so grateful because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.’”

-Quote by Brené Brown, speaking about The Power of Vulnerability at TED

How often do we ask ourselves the question of what it means to live wholeheartedly? It starts with having enough self-compassion to explore our stories about shame and vulnerability without judgment. Brené says that shame cannot survive being spoken, so after we have explored our fears and insecurities, it is important to find “your people” – those who have earned the right to hear your story. They are the individuals you know will just listen without judgment. They are the people who will not throw it back in your face at a later time. Next, say it out loud to them. That is a step towards healing and growth.

That my friends takes courage and is a demonstration of living with intention. Thoughts feelings and actions in alignment with our values principles and goals. I’d like to think of it as a form of servant leadership that we give as a gift to ourselves. Genuine authenticity feels good.

If there is anything you would like to share about this please feel free to comment below.

Thanks for visiting my blog and have a Happy Valentines Day!

Educating Our Kids to be Responsible Digital Citizens


Generations kids parents social media technologySometimes it seems hard to remember a world without digital anything. It has changed business models, communication paradigms and how we need to think about what it means to be a digital and global citizen. Technology has shifted the way we shop, pay bills, save money, consume media, get cash, travel, advertise, manage workflows, store information and even how we want to be remembered.

According to the Ad Age Mobile Fact Pack 2013, the average adult in the United States spends an average of 141 minutes per day using mobile devices. Despite that, the good news is that the changes are teaching us how to stay connected to our families. According to Pew Internet, since 1965, fathers have tripled the amount of time spent with their kids. Even mothers spend more time now with their children than they did in 1960Despite loads of information at our fingertips, we still don’t have all of the answers, and perhaps there is some redemption in that.

In presentations when I speak to people about what it means to remain relevant in a digital world that continues to expand, there are still so many people who feel overwhelmed.  There are arguments on all sides about topics like transparency, being politically correct, when to take calls, check email and how to behave in public when talking on mobile devices, etc. Read more of this post

6 Successful Ways to Influence and Lead Change


6 simple ways to get buy in and influence othersMaking meaningful connections is important in leadership. We easily get caught up in “do-and-move-forward” mode which gets in the way of slowing down to value the relationships we have built and continue to grow. 

It helps to remember that people rally around causes and values that resonate with them, especially when leading through times of change. We have been trained to continuously scan internal and external environments and there is no question it takes time to figure out how to bring others with us through the journey that is change. Our role is to anticipate resistance, lead with confidence and have empathy for and redirect individuals who may get emotional. Modeling the behavior is a given and we can’t over communicate the key messaging that is required. Below are 6 simple things we can do to lead and influence people and organizations in times of transition.

1. Reciprocate – Random acts of kindness and helping others in unexpected ways sets the tone and people will respond in return.

2. Leverage scarcity – Have conversations about opportunity and consequences of not following through.
3. Authority: Lead by example – Rituals and setting goals to play important roles in bringing others along. That happens when as leaders, we engage in conversation that covers:

• The past (this is where we were, what can it teach us)
• The present (this is our current reality)
• Vision (let us create the future together)

4. Consistency in messaging – People learn in different ways using various processes. We can’t over-repeat the message
5. Practice optimism because it is contagious. Seek synergies and commonalities. What do you like about how you work well together with peers?
6. Consensus – Ask for commitment because when people make a pledge, they are more likely to follow through.

Do you have other thoughts or stories about commitments? If so, make a comment below. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Four Simple Ways to Be More Grateful


Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.  – Melody Beattie

 Want to know benefits to living thankfully?

A Psychology Today article called; “The Benefits of Being Thankful,” explains focusing on gratitude promotes well-being, motivating pro-social and moral behavior.

Psychologists asked a group of people to spend just a few minutes a day for 13 days in a row thinking about and listing the things for which they were thankful. Compared to other control participants, these gratitude-focused folks experienced:

  •         Higher optimism
  •         Increased positive mood
  •         Greater feelings of belonging
  •         Less physical illness
  •         Lower levels of negativity
  •         Higher likelihood to be of service to others in need
  •         More likely to exercise (Suggesting gratitude promotes healthy living.)
  •         Improved and better quality sleep
The list above doesn’t even cover how gratefulness improves relationships,  enriches the emotional climate of family life, makes us more valued within the workplace and lays the foundation for a life well lived. Isn’t that exciting? Are you looking for ways to be more grateful? Below are a few things to take into consideration.