Why We Do What We Do

Why We Do What We Do

I was introduced to this short Ted Talk by Simon Sinek recently. It really resonated with me. I think it speaks to the heart (you’ll understand that statement better after watching the video) of what Armedia does and why I am a part of it.

In the video, Simon Sinek discusses how people/organizations/companies who speak from the “why” of what they do before getting to the “how” and “what” of what they do are more effective in their communication. I could – and do – tell people:

“Armedia is a CMMI3 software development and integration company specializing in content management.  We hire the best and the brightest employees and exceed our customers’ expectations in quality and design.”

However, using Simon Sinek’s technique, I should start by telling you:

“Armedia is a family of multi-discipline professionals who are naturally curious and passionate about technology – especially as it relates to content management.  We endeavor to push technology and its application too the limit to develop solutions for customers that we believe in and are proud of.  We achieve this by carefully hiring employees that share this passion and are eager to share it both within the company and with customers.  Many of our employees are so passionate about the technology that they have achieved industry certifications (e.g., Alfresco, Documentum, SharePoint, PMP, CMMI, etc.).  Though we are a general systems integrator, our niche is certainly content management.”

This type of approach paints a different kind of picture of our company and workplace.  It also hints at our core values, which guide all of our decisions and conduct.  I believe that the “why” of what we do is intimately tied to the “who” of what we are, as described by our core values.

So, the next time you have to give an introduction or an elevator speech, start with the “why” and see if you don’t get a better response from your audience. And, if my description of the Armedia family and the “why” we interest you, check out our job postings.

CMMI Series: Rigidity

Welcome back to the second installment of the CMMI series.  I’m going to flip the previous installment of the CMMI blog on its head and talk about the rigidness of CMMI and why that presented some challenges to our efforts of achieving a ML3 rating.

One of the process areas I found to be most rigid was the Process and Product Quality Assurance (PPQA), more specifically conducting process audits on each of the projects.  While we had done milestone and progress reviews for projects before, a process audit was a whole different ballgame.  The standard way of conducting these process audits is to go through every step of every process area at various points in the project to see how the project is stacking up against the set of standard processes.  Generally, this should be conducted by objective personnel (i.e. not team members) combing through documentation and interviewing team members.  As a small company, this seemed a little bit of an overkill and highly time consuming just to be able to tell people that while the project was getting appropriate results (on time/on budget) they did it the wrong way.  However, it was a required part of ML3, so onward we went.


CMMI Series: Flexibility

Over the last 10 months, Armedia engaged in a committed effort to achieve a CMMI Maturity Level 3 rating.  While it is unusual to go directly for a ML3 rating from scratch, it was an additional challenge for a small business to do the same.  Luckily for us, Armedia has always had a process-driven approach, we just needed to solidify those processes and institutionalize them across projects.  We are happy to report after those 10 months, SEI has granted us a ML3 rating, and over the next few months I’ll be writing a series of blogs about some of the challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned that the appraisal process presented to us in an effort to help others out there who are trying to do the same.

For my first blog in the series, I wanted to talk about one of the opportunities presented by the CMMI appraisal process that was a surprise to me – the flexibility of the model.