Endless documentation? PMP’s without plans?

Perhaps it is the linear thinkers in the CMMI world that cause people to think like this tweeter.

My patience with #CMMI zealots has finally run out…stop wasting my time with your endless documentation requests!

When I read this tweet I thought: “Who exactly makes endless CMMI documentation requests anyway?”

There is nothing within the CMMI or any related standard that says you should do stupid things and, endless documentation certainly fits nicely into the stupid things category. Certainly the CMMI and similar guides emphasize the requirements for management and teams to be trained, know which tasks are essential, and perform those tasks with discipline and effectiveness. But none of these requirements need result in endless documentation requests. So, what might cause them?

Could it be that the appraisers referred to by the tweeter quoted above are linear, check-list thinkers? Are there “union work to rule” appraisers out there? My 20 plus years of CMM/CMMI work would say, yes. Are there people out there teaching and coaching CMMI related concepts who are not engineers or developers but rather single minded process attorneys? Certainly there are. But, the CMMI world is no different in these deficiencies than the PMP, Agile or other “standards” world.

Successful implementation of any standard, method, or approach requires a thoughtful, holistic implementation with a nuanced understanding of the targeted business and application environment. An architectural approach with an eye towards a cohesive end state is also essential. Check-lists, linear thinking, and legalistic work to rule thought processes are not only a reason for failed CMMI programs but also a cause for cost over runs, poor performance, and frustration to all those involved. And those same traits ensure failure in any domain. The CMMI is not alone.

Mark Rabideau

Mark Rabideau is a Management Mentor/ Coach with over 40 years of Engineering and Management Experience. He is a CMMI Institute SCAMPI High Maturity Lead Appraiser and Six Sigma Master Black Belt. He is also licensed to teach both the CMMI-DEV and SVC constellations' courses. You may contact Mark directly by using the PEP contact page.