University of Minnesota
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Dr. Bruce Beadell, Impact on job satisfaction for Software Engineers in a high maturity organization

Date of Event: 
Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 5:30pm
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

This case study analyzes adoption and implementation of the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) at Defense Engineering (pseudonym).

The overarching finding is that the management assumptions underlying the CMMI have their roots in a particular tradition of management thinking belonging to the Industrial Age - Scientific Management or Taylorism; and, that a more enlightened CMMI management philosophy is needed for its successful implementation and practice by knowledge workers (engineers) in the Information Age.

How far can the CMMI model respond to modern challenges such as globalization and the networked society? Through the lens of modern management theory, problems with the CMMI stem from its management assumptions. This study demonstrates that these assumptions have their roots in Frederick Taylor's rational scientific management philosophy.

Using social theories from Marx, Braverman, Weber, Taylor, Goffman, and Douglas expose the implicit assumptions and power relations cloaked by a rational bureaucratic management science veil of objectivity and value-neutrality. Tracing these assumptions and power relations to the real life world of a CMMI defense engineering contractor (Defense Engineering) reveal the potentially dehumanized subjectivity effects of the CMMI on engineers. These engineers are inscribed in a seamless and inescapable network of totalitarian power relations epitomized by authoritarian admonitions of "continuous process improvement" and "high maturity CMMI" objectives.

CMMI is heavily associated with command-and-control hierarchical management and power structures. The CMMI implies top-down management and separation of process improvement goals (thinking - management's domain) from process improvement practice (doing - engineers' domain). In addition, CMMI might be viewed as being distrustful of personal mastery, individualism, and heroism.

An implication of this case study is that engineering projects vary considerably and are carried out in diverse cultures and environments in an increasingly global economic world characterized by rapid technological development. Diversity of approaches, based on different management assumptions and cultural needs, should be recognized, encouraged, and practiced.

Another implication is that leaders of innovations in process improvement should start by considering the engineers' beliefs about engineering practices and values. Does this mean that CMMI is flawed? No, but it does mean that there should be a more humanistic application of the CMMI in which the means of process improvement are balanced with goals, objectives, and needs of its engineering and management practitioners.

® Software Capability Maturity Model, SW-CMM, Capability Maturity Model Integration, and CMMI are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Carnegie Mellon University.


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Keller Hall (EE/CS Building)
Room Keller Hall 3- 115 (Look for signs)

EE/CS Building has been renamed Keller Hall
Minneapolis, MN

This Month's Meeting
Program Manager: 
Maryanne Gay
Dr. Bruce Beadell
Impact on job satisfaction for Software Enginers in a high maturity organization.

Thursday February 3rd, 20110
5:30-8:00 p.m. at The University of Minnesota
5:30 start for networking, 6:15 start of meeting.

Twin-SPIN Mission Statement:
The Twin-SPIN software process improvement network (SPIN) is a regional organization established in January of 1996 as a forum for the free and open exchange of software process improvement experiences and ideas. Representatives from industry, government, academia, other professional organizations, and consultants are welcome to participate. Our mission is to help sustain commitment and enhance skills in the area of software process improvement through an active program of networking and mutual support. The organization strives to serve as a source of educational and experiential information for its members, other SPIN organizations, and the general community of software professionals.

Meetings are normally held on the 1st Thursday of each month from 5:45-8:00 p.m.
Twin-SPIN is a non-profit organization and is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Center for Software Engineering (UMSEC). See:

2010 Sponsors:

Facility Sponsor
University of Minnesota, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

$2,000 Sponsors
University of Minnesota Software Engineering Center (UMSEC)

$600 Sponsors
General Dynamics - AIS

$400 Sponsors
IIST/Software Dimensions
PACT (Pat O'Toole)

$200 Sponsors

$100 Sponsors
Quality Software Technologies

Best regards. Hope to see you on February 3rd
Paul W. Kraska PhD
Twin-SPIN Coordinator
Paul Kraska >


We have reserved parking at the Washington Avenue Ramp! If there is event parking, tell the parking attendant when you enter that you have a reservation with TwinSPIN. If there is no event parking, take a ticket and tell the parking attendant when you leave that you have a reservation with TwinSPIN.

Speaker Bio: 

Bruce Beadell has over 20 years experience as a software engineering manager, quality assurance manager, and process improvement leader with several large aerospace defense companies.

He has successfully deployed SW-CMM and CMMI at these defense companies and has participated in numerous SW-CMM and CMMI appraisals. He was the principal technical lead for GDAIS ICS ITS achieving CMMI V1.2 ML5 in November 2009.

Bruce was awarded an Ed.D doctoral degree in Leadership by the University of St. Thomas in November 2009. His doctoral dissertation was a bottoms-up case study on how engineering practitioners perceive the value of the CMMI in terms of their job performance and job satisfaction.

Bruce's doctoral dissertation was dedicated to his process heroes: Watts Humphrey, Bill Curtis, and Mike Konrad. For without their engineering process vision, passion, and commitment there would be a major void in engineering development models and products.

Bruce presently holds five degrees: Ed.D, MS Software Engineering, BS Computer Science, MBA Management, and BA Economics. He has a passion for helping people produce quality products, for process improvement, and for the acquisition of practical knowledge.

Bruce works for General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (GDAIS) in Bloomington, MN in Enterprise Mission Assurance as a Lead Principal Systems Engineer.