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Part IV: Experiencing the Journey

Part IV: Experiencing the Journey

Illustration from The Travels of Marco Polo by Witold Gordon (1885–1968)

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life to the lees: all times I have enjoy’d Greatly, have suffer’d greatly . . . that which we are, we are; One equal-temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson in “Ulysses”

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.

Gandalf the Wizard in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings

You must travel a long and difficult road—a road fraught with peril, uh-huh, and pregnant with adventure. You shall see things wonderful to tell. . . . I cannot say how long this road shall be. But fear not the obstacles in your path, for Fate has vouchsafed your reward. And though the road may wind, and yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye foller the way, even unto your salvation.

An old blind man on a flatcar in O Brother, Where Art Thou?
by Ethan and Joel Coen

Remember; no matter where you go, there you are.

Buckaroo Banzai

You’ve scouted, planned, imagined and prepared. It is time to launch your initiative. Part IV provides you a journeybook describing the path you’ll be following through the observations of those who have gone before. It is your sailing log handed down from those who went before, warning of dangerous shoals and reefs, reminding you of how the winds blow, and describing the locations of the safe harbors. It is also your practical manual, providing you advice and tools to help along the way.

If, while reading this part, you sense an underlying structure, you will be absolutely right. We all know folks who never take the medicine they prescribe. To avoid being accused of such a fault, this part applies CMMI to the development and implementation of a process improvement program. We’ve referred to this approach elsewhere as “leading by example.” In this case, it means that our toolkit, although arranged around the specific process improvement tasking from Chapter 3, is also based on the goals and practices of the CMMI Process Areas. We hope that this will provide you with a double benefit: presenting tools and ideas to help in your initiative and also showing how the model can be used creatively to support a variety of tasks.

One thing you will notice as you go through this material is that not all chapters go into equal depth in connecting CMMI Specific Practices to the improvement tasks. To highlight the connections, we’ve chosen a couple that are fairly obvious and a couple that are often problematic. Our experience is that after you’ve gotten into thinking this way and have seen some illustrations and examples that help you see typical ways to make the interpretations, you’ll be fine with just the Process Area hints that we’ve provided in the table and sidebar.


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