Most managers I encounter are caught up in the tactical day-to-day activities of management: finish the project plan; prod so-and-so to finish the thing-a-ma-bob; update the timelines; etc. When asked what they are attempting to achieve, most respond tactically: get the product out on time; reduce the quality risks; etc.
Where are the strategic components to all of this? If the managers are only focused on the tactical and the developers are certainly focused on the tactical, who’s focused on the strategic? The upper management? Probably not. They’re typically heads down in the tactial morass too; reduce the bottom line; increase profits for the board; get better products out; and so on.
(Quick disclaimer: of course there are companies out there that have a strong strategic component to them. But what fun would it be to talk about them? *grin*)
My bother-in-law recently finished his MBA at a top-notch university. Given my interests in management, we have had a number of lively discussions about both the strategic and tactical sides of management. I would relate a number of our discussions back to the CMMI as a blanket way of understanding how the topics would relate to one another. Much to my surpise, he had never heard of the CMMI.
To me, the CMMI is a roadmap or set of guide posts against which you can gauge progress. It presents the over-arching strategic goals that the day-to-day tactical tasks should be geared towards. Without the vision that it provides, it’s nearly impossible to judge the effect and quality of the processes that are employed.
If our management producing machines (i.e. universities) are not presenting a strategic road map, how can we expect our companies to extend beyond the tactical?
A thank you goes out to Christoph Cemper for the link to the “What is the CMMI?” article.