I recently had the pleasure of working with John on a CMMI Appraisal Team. His understanding of the CMMI model and exceptional ability to relate the business processes identified by the team to the model was invaluable. John demonstrated a very engaging style of teaching and leadership which provided significant benefits to the business and all team members. Of particular note is the manner used to gain insight into the organization’s capability while maintaining harmony in this high stress undertaking. John demonstrated a unique ability to lead the team in overcoming significant hurdles with a little or no conflict. Further testimony of his capability as a Lead Appraiser was demonstrated in his ability to identify and communicate risks relative to achieving model requirements. I would definitely recommend and welcome the opportunity to work with John again. 

          —   Rich Leonard- ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, Statistician, Multi-discipline engineer - June 2018

It was great seeing you at the conference a couple of weeks ago. Participating in your presentation on “High Performing Teams: The Right Hand Knows What the Left Hand is Doing”.

Presentations like this always get me thinking about the "utopian" perfect team I worked with at Motorola and how I have tried to rebuild it time and time again. Your presentation ended up being another aspect I may not have thought about. It was a good sign of a good presentation where people are talking about it after the speaker stopped.

The people wanted more.

—   Kerry Trujillo- Enterprise Process Group Lead- May 2016

I've worked with John for the last 3+ years on various SCAMPI A appraisals. His knowledge of business models is extensive and significantly adds to the teams abilities to conduct successful appraisals. John's leadership skills keep each team focused and productive for the entire process. In addition to his knowledge and skills, John's sense of humor makes a very dry and tedious job enjoyable.

—   Tomma Bersie- QA Consultant- February 2017

I strongly recommend John to any organization pursuing a CMMI appraisal. John is the “Gold Standard”. He is an exceptional trainer and coach with a thorough knowledge of the CMMI Guidelines. His rare ability to assist his clients in making the connections between those guidelines and their business operations was invaluable during our SCAMPI-B, and was instrumental to our ability to efficiently and effectively prepare for and complete our rigorous SCAMPI-A. John is the best!

—   Al Schneider- Director of Business Processes, Compliance, and Management Visibility- February 2017

John, on behalf of the Hydroid Appraisal Team, I want to thank you for your commitment to Hydroid's process improvement journey and your generous support in achieving our ML3 goal. Your team leadership was absolutely critical to our success!

—   Albert Soule- Business Development Consultant May 2016

"JFR Consulting can be counted on for the highest integrity operations and work products.  JFR produces results that instill high confidence, while accommodating and promoting appropriate innovation that helps your organization grow."

"Our appraisals with JFR were robust, candid, and forward-leaning.  If you want your leadership to really understand your organizational strengths and challenges, JFR is the right choice.  JFR Consulting learned our organization, and worked with us to identify the right places for emphasis and attention to advance our leadership position in our industry.  Interaction with JFR was frank, flexible, astute, and most importantly, thorough and useful."

—   Brad Bittorf, large defense company - June 2015

"John is dedicated to finding human-centric solutions to tough technology and management problems. His patience is a soothing balm on many a conflict!"

—   SuZ (Garcia) Miller- Principal Researcher at Carnegie Mellon University/SEI Feb 2014

"It was a pleasure working with John Ryskowski. Always a professional, I felt we were in capable hands.  He created an environment that fostered teamwork, effectively controlled the appraisal schedules, calmly settled differences and was cordial, tactful and firm.  I would welcome another opportunity to work with John in the near future.

Thank you, John."

—   Alex- Mgr Policies & Directives, Bus Dev Gate Support, Certified Six Sigma Expert June 2015

"I was very impressed not only with John's knowledge and experience, but also with the way he easily interacts with a team. His background allows him to understand the team dynamics and context within which a team is operating, and therefore to understand better and faster how a team is working. His insights into our company and process were extremely helpful to our continual improvement."

—   Jon Wootten - Systems/Software Engineer, General Dynamics January 2010

"When I found myself seeking employment after being out of the job market for 20 years, John was instrumental in orienting me to current conditions. Since he gets exposed to many firms he was able to quickly give me a sense of current workplace dynamics and hiring practices, which had changed greatly since the last time I changed jobs. He helped me rework my resume to make it tighter and more focused. While I can't in all modesty credit John with my being hired a short time later :-), he was certainly a big help"

—   Terry Brown- Software Architect at iRise July 2015

"As a longstanding client of John's services, I have to say he brings tremendous value to organizations through his flexible, yet rigorous CMMI appraisal process and consulting services. John's pragmatic approach for Raytheon Pasadena Operation has enables us to be industry leaders in the area of Engineering Services and Staff Augmentation. I highly recommend John for those organization beginning their CMMI journey and those who are seeking to further mature their systems and processes. Many thanks to John for his leadership, expertise and creativity."

—   Gordon Ward- Director at Raytheon (Retired), Aug 2015

John is excellent at leading process improvement and assessment teams. Working with John's assessment appraisal team for the Nokia Corporation in Oulu Finland was one of the best experiences in my career. John was a able to lead the team working through different cultures, different languages, different terminology, and did so efficiently and effectively. The results were right on target, agreed to by the customer, the Finnish and American team members and I believe a model for international assessments.

—   David Bailey SR. Quality Engineer at Morpho Trak

"I recently had the pleasure of working with John on a CMMI Appraisal Team. His understanding of the CMMI model, particularly the high maturity concepts, and his engaging style of teaching and leading provided significant benefits to the business and all team members. Of particular note is the harmony maintained in this high stress undertaking. John demonstrated a unique ability to lead the team in overcoming significant hurdles with a little or no conflict. Further testimony of his capability as a Lead Appraiser is demonstrated by this project being completed on time and on budget. I would definitely welcome the opportunity to work with John again."

—   Rich - Statistician/Analyst, Quality and Mission Assurance, QMA-QEC-QAI June 2015

"Working with John was amazing. He not only had a deep understanding of the CMMI Model, but had a deep understanding of the ways in which the model helps organizations actually manage their work to become better. (not just a rating!)

John worked with the team and me every step of the way, offering advice and lessons learned so my organization was able to create a "right sized" solution to both improve our work AND receive a level three rating. When re-appraisal time came our solution was rock solid.
In addition to all of the above, he was great to work with! We met weekly to discuss my team's progress and plan way ahead and John offered gentle guidance to make sure I made the most of our time. During the appraisal, John's humor, time management and aforementioned deep understanding of the CMMI made what is difficult in the best of circumstances not only bearable but fun!

I would not hesitate to recommend him, and have done so."

—   Virginia White- Databases April 2015

"I have had the distinct pleasure of working with John on three High Maturity ( Level 5) CMMI appraisals. What I have observed are a number of attributes that John brings to the table that make him a highly effective CMMI lead appraiser.

First is John’s knowledge of the model that extends beyond the written descriptions, to a deeper understanding of how those words translate to client’s business execution. This level of knowledge helps guide the team thru discussions related to “does that process meet the model's intent".  I have lost count on the number of times there has been an ‘Aha” moment from one of John’s explanations on how to view either the model or the organization's process.

Next is John’s ability to lead a team thru the bumps and pitfalls associated with appraisal preparation and appraisal conduct.  He guides the team thru the minefield of opinions and disagreement, to a point where decisions can be made that all on the team can accept and go forward.  John really shines in helping the “first timers” on the appraisal team link the model’s intent to the process artifacts representing compliance to that intent. This is especially important when conveying how the organization has approached High Maturity processes.

Finally, John is incredibly consistent in his expectations that the team adhere to the requirements of the “appraisal method” being used.  No stone is left unturned in guiding the team to produce a factual and compliant appraisal that conveys the results to the organization in a clear and meaningful way.  

So from the view of a “seasoned” appraisal team member, John checks all the boxes that make him an “Outstanding” CMMI High Maturity Lead Appraiser."

—   Tim Davis, Engineering Process Consultant June 2015

"I have had the pleasure of being on two appraisal teams that John led, and also working with John on two appraisals that I managed for our business.  John is outstanding at optimizing the value that an appraisal brings to the organization he works with.  He listens to leadership to understand the key care-abouts of the business, and focuses the appraisal plan and execution to bring the most value to the organization.

During an appraisal, John has an excellent understanding of the practices and nuances of the CMMI model and the SCAMPI method, and works with the team to interpret the model in a way that makes sense for the business.  John knows how to focus an appraisal team during an appraisal, while keeping the atmosphere collegial.  John is skilled at building consensus among appraisal team members while remaining mindful of meeting the model and following the SCAMPI method.  Because of his educational background, John is particularly effective at growing the knowledge of inexperienced appraisal team members.

I have worked with four CMMI Appraisal Leads in my career and participated on multiple appraisals.  For my money, John is the best at understanding the needs of the business, managing the appraisal, developing the team and ensuring that the appraisal brings value to the organization.  John is an outstanding CMMI High Maturity Lead Appraiser."

—   Stephen Ross – Senior Principal Engineer July 2015

—   Manny Marrufo, CEO of DTSI

—   Scott Moberly, Process Lead, SafeNet


"For well over a decade I have worked in large organizations that have achieved and maintained SEI CMM, and then CMMI Level 5 ratings. I have more recently worked for one of the smallest technology companies to achieve an SEI CMMI Level 3 rating. I have worked to put in place process infrastructure, as well as, serve on a number of assessment teams. During that long tenure working with SEI Models and Process Frameworks, I have worked with a number of contractors to perform self-assessments, map out action plans, establish high-maturity process infrastructure and culture, and perform team-based assessments. But of all the SEI contractors I've worked with, no one has compared to John Ryskowski for sheer applicable knowledge, team leadership ability, communication skills, due diligence, hard work, humor, grace, and last but not least, an infectious positive attitude. I would highly recommend John to anyone working in any size organization."

—   Jeff Burmood, Chief Technology Officer, Arias System Concepts, Inc -2008

"Beyond having an in depth knowledge of CMMI and SCAMPI, John is an outstanding communicator who has the ability to convey concepts in a clear way and work with a wide range of people.  He is able to bring humor and practicality into the appraisal process.  During our company appraisal, John was thorough and was congenial in his interactions with the appraisal team, the interview participants and executive leadership."

—   Pam Carmony, Chief Software Engineer, major military contractor- 2004

"It was a pleasure working with John on our company’s successful journey to CMMI Level 3. John provided very practical guidance and advice on our processes tailored to our type of business. He was excellent in communicating with our team on our progress and always made our people feel comfortable during the process. His effort was the key to our company’s successful CMMI rating."

—   Glenn Shintaku, SW Mgr, Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions, Santa Clarita- 2011

"I have had the pleasure of working with John Ryskowski over many years and whole-heartedly recommend him for CMMI consulting and SCAMPI appraisals. John goes beyond knowing the CMMI and SCAMPI to understand the motivations underlying them. He excels at mapping an organization’s process to the model as much as possible, identifying where shortfalls lie, and helps organizations develop an effective process improvement plan. Because of his understanding and experience, John guides organizations to accurate and sufficiently substantiated appraisals that will withstand any level of post-appraisal scrutiny.

Appraisals have evolved to take on more of an audit flavor, which tends to add to the stress of conducting or participating in one. As a Lead Appraiser, John is very good at establishing a calm, productive environment where people not only contribute to appraisals, but benefit from their participation. In addition, in the course of an appraisal, John conducts an inexpensive but invaluable discussion that provides executives and management with an excellent, anonymous understanding of their employees’ feelings and beliefs that they would otherwise probably not have."

—   Gastón Mascareñas - Director of Enterprise Architecture Sept 2014

"I have worked with John for nearly 20 years. First at Raytheon in the Software Engineering Laboratory and later when he formed his own company, JFR Consulting. As Raytheon Engineering Director for the West Coast, I hired John to teach several CMMI classes and to assist in leading the CMMI Level 5 Appraisal Team. We did achieve our Level 5 rating - the highest maturity level. John is very knowledgeable, has high integrity and is fun to work with. Appraisals are stressful and his personal, hands on approach puts people at ease and brings out the best in the team. I highly recommend John."

—   Hope Miller, Retired California Engineering Director, Raytheon Network Centric Systems

“I have worked with John on three separate appraisals of our division over the years that achieved both CMM and CMMI Level 5 ratings.  John had a unique method of first working to develop an understanding of our organization and its goals, and then tailoring his approach to be most effective.  He also works well with all levels of management including effectively communicating with our senior management.  He is well experienced in training, gap analysis, and leading efficient appraisals and performs in a very dedicated and confident way.  Throughout the process, he always keeps it light yet focused and expertly provides any details when asked.  It has always been a pleasure in working with John and I would highly recommend him and his services.”

—   Chuck W, Large military contractor - 2003

"John Ryskowski has led our CMM and CMMI appraisals for over 10 years.  His knowledge of these evolving models and especially their high-maturity practices enabled us to develop cost-effective statistical practices and tools that benefit the business and produce appraisal evidence.  We achieved Level 5 in 2000 and evolved our practices and tools to maintain Level 5 as the CMMI evolved."

—   Frank Arkell, Chief Software Engineer, Motorola/General Dynamics- 2010

"I met John when he conducting the CMMI-5 appraisal for our company few weeks ago. I was so impressed for the communications with John as he demonstrated his expertise in his professional area by quick understanding Hengtian's business and process, and tell where for improvement. Also, I'd like to say it's cheerful time when have talking with John about things outside of working."

—   Jun Chen- VP at Insigma HengTian Software Ltd. Dec 2014

"I knew John when he led a team to conduct CMMI level 5 appraisal for our company. I was very impressed with John’s deep knowledge and experience of process improvement. He helps us to be better understood our strengths and shortfalls. His insights to our process would be very helpful to our continual improvement."

—   Bo Zhou- CEO and President at Insigma HengTian Software Ltd. Dec 2014

"I am Kevin Gu, SQA Leader of Lombardrisk International Limited. It was my pleasure to attend a CMMI level 5 appraisal as an appraisal team member and an interpreter for China Information Development INC, LTD. Through this I met the appraisal team leader Mr. John Ryskowski who is the SEI Certified Leader Appraiser and SEI Certified High Majority Leader Appraisal. His profound knowledge of CMMI model and serious attitude strongly impressed me.

To successfully process this appraisal, John has spent lots of efforts on both the onsite phase and the readiness review phase. He pre-reviewed all the documents of PIID and communicated the queries with appraisal team.

I clearly remembered the first appraisal day, although John has just finished a long flight, but he overcome the time difference and led the appraisal team finish all the tasks on time. A fantastic beginning and his spirit inspired us and made the rest of the appraisal very smooth.
During the whole appraisal, John didn’t miss any practice of the model. He reviewed the evidence strictly and raised the query until he made sure all of them are cleaned and all the data are verified. He can always transfer the difficult concept into a simple one. In addition, he often gave us many vivid samples to understand the requirements of the CMMI model, which helped us a lot.

I hope I can work with John again because this appraisal was the one of the best experience of my life."

—   Kevin Gu- SQA Leader at www.lombardrisk.com May 2013

"I'm honored to get involved in one of John's leading appraisal team on CMMI 5 in China and so impressed on him that have to write something here.

First impression is that he knows and respects Chinese culture well although not coming to China often, this made very good connections between us at early stage. Then we were surprised by the approach he presents to us to process the appraisal which is proven to be effective and efficient. Even most materials are in Chinese, this appraisal went smoothly as scheduled, this is achievable only under condition of thorough review and preparation in advance, and deep understanding on CMMI model and appraisal method.

John is good at team building which makes appraisal team performing in short time, and shed lights on organization's objective with pertinent findings and recommendations.

I do learn much from him through this appraisal and highly recommend him! I can't wait working with him again!"

—   Sean Peng- PMO at Lombard Risk May 2013