Team Launches New Course for Accelerated Improvement

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Team Launches New Course for Accelerated Improvement

March 31, 2010—Members of the Team Software Process (TSP) team at the SEI have developed and launched a new course that presents the SEI’s new fast track to process improvement, the Accelerated Improvement Method (AIM). The course, called Implementing CMMI for High Performance, an Executive Seminar, is offered for the first time at the SEI in Pittsburgh on April 19. The course also is available for onsite delivery.

Implementing CMMI for High Performance is a one-day introductory course for executives and middle managers especially in small to medium size organizations. The purpose of the course is to give the foundation that managers need to achieve high performance quickly, affordably, and long term. 

AIM combines elements of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), TSP, and Six Sigma measurement and analysis techniques.

“The course is aimed at the decision makers and the champions for process improvement in an organization,” said James McHale, senior member of the technical staff on the SEI TSP team and one of the developers of the course. “The course has information for everyone up to the CEO in a small organization—who is responsible for the results of the organization—down to the senior people in the process group who would be charged with implementing the changes in the organization.”

“The intent of the course is to give the decision-makers and leaders for process improvement in the organization background in TSP, CMMI, and in parts of the SEI’s Software Engineering Measurement and Analysis methodologies, such as goal driven measurement,” said course instructor Tim Chick, also of the SEI TSP team. “You really can define and measure what’s going on in software development. You can understand what’s going on by using the measurement and analysis techniques,” he said.

Learning and using the techniques together contributes to the accelerated results.

“The idea, said Gene Miluk, the other TSP team member who helped develop the course, “is to get project performance results from the very first project. We focus on a single project from the beginning. We train the people on the project, we implement a new way of running the project at the team level and have those people understand what high performance means from the beginning and they’re responsible for it. Management is not going to come and change the way they work; only they can change the way they work.”

The three developers bring different perspectives to the work. Chick is a former manager of a development team in a government facility; McHale was a developer in industry; and Miluk was a long-time CMMI appraiser and one of the developers of the SCAMPI B appraisal method.

“We have a track record of getting teams launched and running very quickly. We know how to make adjustments to get feedback to the teams and tell them where they can be doing better,” said McHale. “We help them collect and begin to use and analyze their own data. Once they do that, they are off to the races.”

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