Put Our Expertise to Work for You

"Good management is essential to excellence in operations,
but it takes great leadership to bring about organizational change."
  - Beth Layman

Service Offerings

CMMI® and Best Practice Appraisals

Process reviews and assessments are conducted to compare an organization's current practices against an objective yardstick. Assessments can be used:

  1. as a catalyst for iniitiating an improvement program 
  2. to measure progress of an ongoing improvement program 
  3. to identify differences between processes as documented and those used in actual practice 
  4. to officially certify an organization's use of industry best practices such as the CMMI® 

Appraisals are tailored to the client's objectives (e.g. models or frameworks to be employed, which work groups to study, data gathering methods, appraisal team composition, and format for reporting results.) We follow a proven, repeatable process for planning, conducting and reporting to ensure an efficient appraisal and actionable results.

CMMI® Training and Consulting

As a CMMI Institute Partner, Layman & Layman provides consulting and certified training at all maturity levels for both the DEV and SVC models.

Improvement Program Planning

This series of facilitated workshops is designed to assist organizations needing to make significant improvements, and do so quickly using minimal resources. The workshops help executive sponsors and their improvement teams to plan their approach and chart a course. The techniques employed are the result of many years of experience working in diverse organizational settings with a wide variety of improvement techniques; they incorporate industry-standard organizational improvement frameworks and emphasize organizational change leadership principles. Workshops can focus on establishing an overall roadmap, building the improvement program infrastructure, designing the process architecture, developing detailed plans for eliminating specific gaps, or deploying and institutionalizing new or improved processes.

Improvement Program Health Checks

Why do so many process improvement programs fail, fall short, or backslide over time? A successful program requires consistent leadership and sustained discipline, communicating the vision clearly and achieving stakeholder buy-in, continuity of focus, disciplined planning and relentless execution. Just as a physical trainer can help an individual adhere to a fitness regimen, a consultant with depth and breadth of improvement program experience can be an invaluable aid to getting things right, avoiding pitfalls, and preventing relapse. We mentor improvement program sponsors and leaders, assist them in defining goals, processes and plans, then help with monitoring progress and keeping the program on track. Through periodic on-site "health checkups," we help clients identify obstacles, recognize risks, and avoid or ameliorate them. Relapse can be especially costly for organizations which must maintain a certain level of performance for contractual or competitive reasons. The cost of an ounce of prevention is far less than the cost of a pound of cure at appraisal time.

Portfolio and Project Management

Effective portfoliio and project management are critical to every IT organization. A Project Management Office (PMO,) along with the appropriate executive decision makers, help to ensure that the organization is devoting resources to the right projects and that the projects actually produce sound business results. We can help you launch your PMO and establish overall protfolio and project management (PPM) governance. We can also help diagnose the root causes of problems if you are seeking to improve your existing approach to PPM. Whether the focus is project management skill building, PPM best practice and methodology deployment, project progress reviews, or all of the above, we can help!

Process Definition Workshops

Process Definition Workshops help teams develop or update their process management approach. Tailored according to the existing situation, a workshop can focus on process development and management standards, overall process architecture, and/or product/service workflows and life cycles. The workshop can be helpful in a wide range of situations, from defining a single process instance to designing layered, integrated process sets spanning multiple organization units.

Agile/Scrum Courses and Workshops

Our courses and workshops are designed to introduce this paradigm and help organizations internalize the principles and skills necessary to transition successfully to it.  Our courses don't just cover the buzzwords, but also the critical underlying principles that can make Agile development superior to traditional approaaches.  The significant roles of Product Owner, Scrum Master, adn Scrum Team are covered in detail.  We use an industry standard Scrum framework, as described in the SBOK™ Guide, to place the ceremonies and techniques used in Scrum in the context of a typical project lifecycle.

Project Launch Workshops

Project teams often spin their wheels at the beginning of a project deciding what they need to do and how they will do it. While good planning is a critical success factor in project execution, the time a team spends on planning can be shortened considerably with a Project Launch Workshop. For projects following a traditional lifecycle, the team comes together in a 1- to 3-day facilitated workshop to draft their project management plan and initial effort, cost and schedule estimates. For projects taking an agile approach, there is, likewise, planning to be done before development iterations can begin (this is sometimes referred to as "Iteration Zero".) These workshops are a combination of best-practice discussions and hands-on activities in which team members create and take ownership of the key elements of their project plan. The plan is ready to be used and the project ready to commence immediately following the workshop.

Measurement Planning Workshops

Today's fast-paced business environments and projects require just-in-time decision-making based upon the best information available. Organizations face questions such as:

  • What improvement initiatives should we fund?
  • Which product or service offerings are producing results?
  • Will we be shipping the products we promised on time this quarter?

Project teams struggle with questions such as:

  • Are we capable of meeting our schedule?
  • Will we be ready to release as planned?
  • Have we satsified all customer requirements?

In Measurement Planning Workshops, participants learn through hands-on exercises to use the concepts of Practical Software Measurement (PSM) to define measurement programs that will improve decision-making. (Practical Software Measurement is a popular textbook by Beth Layman, et al that is the basis for several measurement standards and industry best practices.)