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A Word from Our CMMI Chief Architect: Lessons Learned From the Field on Virtual CMMI Course and Appraisal Delivery

Trivia Question: What movie was this line said in:
Speaker 1: Let me put it to you this way: Have you ever heard of Plato? Artistotle? Socrates?
Speaker 2: Yes.
Speaker 1: Morons!

Trivia Rules:  Use your brain, memory and reasoning to figure these out vs. google, IMDB, etc.

Perhaps Plato said it best in the Republic dialogue: “The true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention.”  COVID-19 has changed the face of business around the globe, seemingly overnight, and its impact on how businesses operate is going to last for years. Luckily, human beings are resilient, and we have found creative ways to work around social distancing, quarantines and the other constraints posed by the pandemic. 
E-Learning, virtual classrooms and online global education have been around for some time, but they have exploded these past few months. Some organizations were prepared for this aspect of business continuity, namely remote or virtual work. Others were not. And there are a lot of misperceptions and pitfalls out there, such as:
  • Assuming that virtual or remote delivery or work is pretty much the same as in-person operationally (it is not!)
  • Thinking that WE are so good, WE can “wing it” and get the same results (most people cannot wing it)
  • Failing to understand the needs and constraints for:
    • How the virtual/remote delivery will work operationally
    • Security, confidentiality and privacy (in a recent survey conducted by ISACA, 87% of respondents said the rapid transition to working from home increased the risk of data privacy and protection issues)
    • Backup, mitigation and workaround plans for partial or total loss of connectivity
    • Understanding technical capabilities, functions and capacity
    • Knowledge, experience, and skills needed by people
  • Dismissing the importance of pilots, rehearsals and practicing
  • Assuming everything will work perfectly (it never does—know and plan that something will always go wrong!)
In short, a lot of organizations have put little to nothing in place to ensure their virtual/remote operations work well, including a basic lack of establishing the full capability needed to make these operations sustainable. For CMMI Partners, we knew we needed something to help the community deliver courses and appraisals and attain, to the greatest extent possible, the same level of quality and fidelity as face-to-face delivery. 
Partners needed it in a language and format they were already familiar with, and thus, the newest draft CMMI V2.0 Practice Area (PA): Enabling Virtual Solution Delivery (EVSD) was born. The intent of this PA is simple: provide best practices to create an approach and capability that organizations can use to improve and sustain their virtual performance and outcomes.
Tune in for my next blog where I’ll dive into this new PA more. To submit your requests for future topics, please email [email protected]. For remote work resources and other ISACA messages on COVID-19, visit the Navigating COVID-19 Resource Center