Can your process framework for business work for your personal life?

Written by George Zack, President Two Harbors Consulting

My primary work is in process improvement and regulatory affairs.  In working with organizations and businesses, my team leverages industry standard frameworks and regulations to guide organizations to better results and compliance.  It works in business, but colleagues of mine and I have wondered about the applicability of  basic tenants of these frameworks, like CMMI, to disciplines outside of the work environment.  In other words, while we understand how the expected managed practices of CMMI could and should be applied to business specific process areas we asked could they be applied to any area of personal focus?  And if so, how?

We considered the idea in an area that was of great personal interest to us “outside of work”:  personal fitness.  Could we define a personal fitness process area that the typical framework of the generic practices would apply to?  We got specific to the details of CMMI:  How would definition of generic practice (or GP) 2.9 (“objectively evaluate adherence”) work for a runner?  What is the necessity of GP2.6 (“control work products”) for a body builder?  Could these be applied to define a managed process or a defined one?  As we worked through this thought experiment, we considered other possibilities:  an involvement in a social organizations, family life, money management, and perhaps even gardening.

In upcoming posts, I will explore how the GPs of CMMI can indeed be possibly leveraged as a foundation for any improvement or growth endeavor.  The purpose here is not to create new process areas but instead to demonstrate how the generic practices are basic principles.  By viewing the GPs through this lens, I believe you will find greater applicability in your Development or Service processes and perhaps consider opportunities to improve those.