SEI Membership Presents Annual Awards

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SEI Membership Presents Annual Awards

March 31, 2010—Gary Coleman, Director of the Enterprise Process Improvement Division at CACI International, Inc., leads process improvement initiatives and training across a 12,000-person organization.

Bill Smith teaches the SEI’s Introduction to CMMI course and the Services Supplement and chronicles in his blog, the CMMI for Services Diary, in an often humorous manner, his experiences implementing the CMMI for Services model in his business, Leading Edge Process Consultants.

Kathy Smith has always been interested in documenting processes and making them better. At Hewlett Packard, she applies her passion for process improvement at the company’s Enterprise Services Applications and Portfolio business.

All three are the recipients of the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Member Awards for leadership in software and systems engineering. The awards were presented Tuesday, March 23, at the SEPG North America 2010 conference in Savannah, Ga.

“It is such an honor to recognize these individuals who have made such a difference in the software and systems engineering community,” said Deen Blash, SEI Membership coordinator.

Coleman, winner of the 2010 SEI Member Advocate Award, has perhaps one of the most extensive histories with the SEI among this year’s award winners. He is one of the longest-tenured SEI Members, and he has not missed an SEPG North America conference since 1994.

Coleman received several nominations for the SEI Member Advocate Award, which honors individuals who have had a significant impact on the SEI Member community by facing a specific problem or challenge, implementing an innovative solution, or achieving measurable results.

“His practical approach to CMMI and Quality Management System (QMS) has helped our projects achieve maturity level 3 and beyond in relatively short order,” said SEI Member Nelson Delvalle, a colleague of Coleman’s at CACI who nominated him for the award.

At CACI, Coleman recently participated in CACI’s first enterprise-level SCAMPI A appraisal. Looking to the future, he says he’s focused on helping the various enterprise groups maintain and extend their credentials, and to help them meet the promise of increased performance.

Coleman has also been involved in the Washington D.C.-area Software Process Improvement Network (SPIN) for 13 years; CACI is the local corporate sponsor for the SPIN. In the early 1990s, he co-founded the Cleveland, Ohio, SPIN.

At the beginning of 2009, Bill Smith, winner of the SEI Member Representative Award, took a look at expanding Leading Edge Process Consultants, the company that he started a little more than a year earlier.

Smith started a blog, the CMMI for Services Diary. Most recently on the social media front, he launched an alumni network of students who have taken his classes, CMMI Rocks!, using the Ning social networking platform. This new site offers his students a unique forum for continuing their discussion of the model with Bill and fellow students, long after class has ended. “I try really hard to keep adding more value to the services I deliver,” Smith stated. “CMMI Rocks! is my latest example of that.” Additionally, Smith is a regular Twitter user, where his informative and sometimes entertaining commentary on CMMI can be found under the name @CmmiRox. 

It was this kind of thinking that earned Smith the Representative Award, which is given annually to an SEI Member who displays independent and innovative thinking and provides significant and noteworthy contributions to the broader community.

“I was shocked that people had noticed, pleasantly shocked,” said Smith, upon learning he had received the award.

Smith has presented on his recent corporate experience at the NDIA CMMI Technology and User Group Conference in Denver, Colorado, where he reported on the results of applying CMMI-SVC to his own business. He increased his net income in 2009 13-fold during an economic downturn, and attributes much of that increase to the discipline his company has gained by applying best practices from CMMI-SVC.   “CMMI for Services makes sense for me as a company,’” Smith said.

Through her daily work at Hewlett Packard Kathy Smith, winner of the 2010 SEI Member Contributor Award, exemplifies the qualities of the Contributor Award, which is given annually to an SEI Member whose achievements have resulted in lasting, positive change.  Winners of this award enhance our everyday lives through the work they do.“My part of the group is responsible for developing and maintaining corporate processes and methods for application services. Those are the global processes we use across HP for application development,” Smith explained. “For me, it’s being able to help people understand that it’s not just about business processes, it’s about business value.”

While her group deals with the whole quality framework—ISO, ITIL and other industry standards—Smith said her expertise is more in CMMI.

She first became involved in process improvement in 1994 as a software developer and project manager. As a Software Engineering Process Group (SEPG) leader, she became involved in developing organizational processes and using CMMI as a way to assess the capability of those processes and identify gaps. Smith became an SEI Member in February 2005.

“The membership really it pays for itself, if you are taking any classes or going to the conference,” said Smith, who is engaged with the SEI on many other fronts. Smith has been a leading contributor to the development of CMMI Version 1.3, which is scheduled for release in November, and serves on the Core Model Team and also on the High Maturity Team.

She has also been a three-year member of the SEI Partner Advisory Board (PAB), serving as chair in 2009, and also serves on the PAB TSP Working Group, which helps unite CMMI and TSP communities in a common goal of advocating process improvement.

Smith is also a founding member of the Dayton Software Process Improvement Network (SPIN) and has held roles of vice chair and program committee chair. She currently serves on the Steering and Program committees.

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