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CMMI and the CMS XLC

Once upon a time, having a CMMI Maturity Level rating was merely an accreditation that stratified you among the competition. It was a “nice to have” in terms of how potential clients viewed your ability to deliver quality products. Gone are those days for many contractors – especially those who do business, or aspire to do business, with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (also known as CMMI). In recent years, CMS has jumped on the CMMI bandwagon with a tight grip, requiring contractors who touch CMS IT systems, or manage Read the Rest »

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Maintaining Your CMMI Rating

A client once said to me during an executivesteering committee meeting, “Chris, I really can’t wait to get through this appraisal next year. I just want to get this Maturity Level 2 and move on with business as usual.” I think I might have fallen out of my chair a little. However, before I did so, I realized the statement probably came as a result of failing to level-set one key expectation: That attaining a ML2, or any other goal as part of a process improvement initiative, is just the beginning of the journey. The meeting ran a little longer that Read the Rest »

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Just What is Consulting?

Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, the market for personnel who possess some kind of specialized knowledge or skill relevant to an industry or product has been growing rapidly. Now make no mistake, consulting has been around MUCH longer than the mid-18th century. In North America consulting predated the Industrial Revolution by over 200 years when the Native Americans taught the settlers how to farm in exchange for weapons, medicine and gold. While there probably wasn’t a consulting agreement in place, the basic concept was being practiced. Since then, the field has grown so rapidly that the term has Read the Rest »

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Tough Mudder Meets Corporate Strategy

So after concluding some serious self-inquiry about whether or not to post an entry about my experience this past weekend at the Tough Mudder Chicago/Indiana event, I came to the conclusion that there is undoubtedly an inextricable link between endurance challenges such as these, and the similar resolve many of our clients show when addressing even the most daunting and seemingly impossible business obstacles.   In this entry, I intend to share some of the highlights of my experience at Tough Mudder, and hopefully establish some meaningful correlations between the psychology of an individual planning and executing their participation in Read the Rest »

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Whack-a-Mole Isn’t Fun Anymore!

To the consultants assigned to the account, this was just the same ole weekly issues review meeting they had been attending for the last 9 months since watching the client go live with a new MRP system… no big deal. Going live with known defects in a production system isn’t a completely foreign concept to most organizations. NO system implementation is perfect, and it doesn’t take long to approach a point of diminished returns when “polishing the rock”. This system, however, had 122 known issues before the lights were even turned on; and these were only the ones discovered during Read the Rest »

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Case Study – The Manufacturing Organization

This case study has been approved for release by the sponsoring client. Chris Kimball, Inc was retained by a client to investigate supply-chain complications at a Shipbuilding company that were directly impacting the organization’s ability to maintain appropriate inventory levels, issue material to build the ships, and manage the inventory once it was issued to the craftspeople. First, several symptoms of a problem were identified. One, the estimates of on-hand inventory had skyrocketed by nearly 200% since the implementation of a new Material Resource Planning (MRP) system earlier that year. Material was being purchased for a job that had already Read the Rest »

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