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Tuesday
Feb062007

ISCMM

I'm not normally a fan of models like this, but I've actually found myself using these ideas on a regular basis now. And it's not only because I'm back in the corporate world. I also used this mnemonic at the last IWST to better understand the potential causes of a problem as well as the relative effectiveness of a suggested corrective action.



I recently read RoadMap: How To Understand, Diagnose, and Fix Your Organization by Dean Meyer. This book covers Meyer's five systems for an organization:


Culture: The behavioral patterns (habits and conventions) generally adopted within the organization.


Structure: The definition of jobs and the reporting hierarchy (organization chart), as well as the processes that combine people into teams as workflows across organizational boundaries.


Internal economy: The budgeting, priority-setting, pricing (chargebacks), project-approval, and tracking processes that determine how resources flow through an organization and to its clients.


Methods and tools: The procedures, methodologies, skills, and tools that people in an organization use.


Metrics and rewards: The feedback loops that let people know how they are doing so they can adjust their behavior, and the incentives for improving performance.


I've found a handy little way to remember it: ISCMM

Internal economy
Structure
Culture
Methods and tools
Metrics and rewards

I can remember that because IS reminds me of Information Systems (aka IT, the types or organizations that Meyer is talking about) and CMM reminds me of bloated process models that large companies grab on to (and this model has a lot of process and process-like aspects).

Now, armed with this, when I look at a problem and try to think of a solution, I quickly run down the list and try to make sure there's not something I'm missing from the larger picture.

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