AEGIS Wins Inaugural Capability Challenge


CMMIawardEarlier this month at the 2016 Capability Counts conference hosted by the CMMI Institute, I had the privilege of presenting AEGIS’ story of process improvement in the finals of the Capability Challenge. The Challenge began in December 2015 with a series of monthly webinars hosted by process improvement expert and podcasting star Tom Cagley of the David Consulting Group. He and Jeff Dalton, CEO of Broadsword and Program Chair for this year’s CMMI conference, hatched the idea of letting companies talk about their process improvement effort as a CMMIaward1-2way to expose best practices and spark new ideas from organization to organization. Each webinar featured 3-4 presenters telling their story, concluded by online voting to select that month’s winner to advance to the finals in Annapolis, MD. The initial pool of contestants included such large and small organizations as the National Nuclear Safety Administration, Halfaker & Associates, Siemens AG, CGI, L-3, Nationwide, and Cognosante.  AEGIS won the January round of the contest and advanced to the finals with Noregon, Intelligo, and Honeywell.

The story I told was about our journey to process improvement. Along the way, we’ve learned things about capability maturity including:

  • It helps you even when you least expect it (like in our case when we hit a growth surge)
  • It provides both an umbrella and a safety net around project-level methodologies whether you use agile, iterative, waterfall, or the method that will be invented next year
  • It leads to improved morale in an organization as you develop a quality-infused culture
  • It helps you be more efficient and cost-conscious as a business

CMMIaward2-1I wrote a separate post called AEGIS’ Process Improvement Health Kick with a version of the story I told both in January and at the finals. I hope you enjoy it despite the lack of my heartfelt delivery! (the audio of the January webinar may still be available here.)

At the close of the conference on Wednesday, Kirk Botula, CEO of the CMMI Institute took the stage to make the presentation to the winner. And course, by now you would be surprised if I didn’t say it was AEGIS – and it was! We’re absolutely thrilled! The institute published a press release which you can read here. This is the first time the Capability Challenge has been awarded, so we’re particularly excited to be the inaugural winner of such a prestigious recognition.

As I explained in January, during the final presentation last week, and again in my acceptance remarks, the reason our process improvement effort has been successful is because of the fantastic people at AEGIS who have embraced our culture of relentless pursuit of better and better quality. They are the best in the business!

The reason our process improvement effort has been successful is because of the fantastic people at AEGIS who have embraced our culture of relentless pursuit of better and better quality. They are the best in the business!

I want to thank the CMMI Institute, their awesome marketing team, Tom Cagely, Jeff Dalton, Richard Bechtold, all the voters online and in Annapolis, the outstanding organizations who competed with us in the Challenge, and our clients for making this award possible. I look forward to next year’s competition and the chance to hear more remarkable stories of process improvement through CMMI!


About Michael Callihan

Mr. Callihan has more than two decades of experience in software engineering and business consulting. His expertise is in application architecture and helping customers develop best practices in enterprise software development. Mr. Callihan has worked with large government organizations including more than 10 years with the US Army, and many large corporations – HP, Time Warner, and various health care systems. His experience includes object-oriented analysis, design and programming, team mentorship, technical training, and project management. Mr. Callihan is a Project Management Institute (PMI) certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a certified Lean Six Sigma Sensei (LSSS). He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with degrees in Information and Decision Systems and Industrial Management.

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