Getting your personal development managed from what you learn at work.

Authored by George Zack, President Two Harbors Consulting

As we have set for the question, “can the frameworks you utilize for business process improvement be leveraged for your personal life,” we will now start to explore that in detail.  In this series of posts, I will work through each of the elements of a what the Capability Maturity Model (CMMI) considers a managed or defined process.  The goal of this series is to provoke thought how the elements of such generic practices are not only applicable to business, but can have bearing on your personal life.  By tying these practices to you personally, I believe it will drive a greater understanding in how they are to be applied in the business setting.

In CMMI a managed process, or one that leverages these generic practices, is “a performed process that is planned and executed in accordance with policy; employs skilled people having adequate resources to produce controlled outputs; involves relevant stakeholders; is monitored, controlled, and reviewed; and is evaluated for adherence to its process description.”

Mouthful right?  Just reading that your eyes may have glazed over.  But essentially it is asking this:

  • Do you have a policy for what you are doing?
  • Do you have a plan to perform it that way?
  • Are you actually doing it that way?
  • Are people trained to do it that way?
  • Do people have the resources to do it that way?
  • Are the right people involved?
  • Are you reviewing, monitoring and controlling those activities?
  • Is someone checking to see that you are doing it as you described?

In business, we consider this for different processes like project management, training, verification and validation.  Pause and consider that for a moment.  Consider a business process you have and ask the questions above and think about how you’d answer them in your business for that process.
rightpeopleAre these the right stakeholders for this process?

… depends on what is wrong under the hood.

You might be thinking that you can answer all of those questions easily and produce evidences that demonstrate that process is by this definition in fact managed.  Or you might be thinking that some of those questions are not so easily answered.  Maybe some answers are a little less than clear to you or are areas that represent possible improvement for you.  Or maybe you can’t think of a process that would fit with any of these questions.

Let’s shift now and think about a personal endeavor for yourself.  Maybe this is your fitness program.  Maybe it is your involvement in your child’s school, or a social outreach program.  Perhaps it is your personal academic study in a field you are trying to grow in.  It could be your drive to execute your job or to achieve a particular position in your career field or a professional license.  Maybe it is your plans to put a deck on your house or a back yard project.  Consider quitting a bad habit or starting a new good habit.  Or maybe how you manage your own finances?  It could be even planning a vacation.  You pick.

For me and my colleagues, we chose personal fitness, and it will be the primary example I use here throughout these posts but I’d suggest you consider this for you for what resonates with you.   This worked for us because it was a common consideration outside of the business setting for a handful of middle age business professionals who are all looking to address fitness to some degree.

Now that we have set this context, in future posts we will walk through each of the questions above and consider their applicability in this personal endeavor (again, personal fitness for me and my colleagues) to further our understanding of those processes.

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