A starting point for a discussion on marrying Agile methods and CMMI.

It’s official… (and a little value for your time)

Entirely for legal, insurance (read:liability) reasons, I’ve established a direct Partner relationship between Entinex and the SEI.

It means I can put this on stuff I do:

It’s true that being directly listed in the SEI’s Partner directory will have some marketing benefit since people look there for CMMI resources, but the truth is I get plenty of inquiries from other stuff I do.

It will be interesting to see if/how being listed as a Partner changes anything.

So… about Agile+CMMI.

Here’s something to think about:

Many of us are impressed when we see the “before” and “after” photos of someone who got into shape. Whether they lost weight and got thin and buff or they pumped serious iron and got big and buff, we’re equally impressed. The more the transformation the more impressive. Usually.

We’re often reminded or compelled to ask how much time elapsed in between the “before” and “after” and more easily driven to ask “how” the person did it.

Since we’re so easily impressed by these photos, and, we so readily accept that a process took place in order for the person to get from “before” to “after”, why do people (read: many developers and appraisers) have such a difficult time recognizing that if we do a “before” and “after” of development products, that what happened in-between was a p r o c e s s ?

Is there anything wrong with that sort of evidence? Could the before and after of an affected work item/product collectively be a sufficient artifact?

The answers are: NO. There’s NOTHING wrong with that. And, YES, that can be adequate evidence.

The question, then, is whether what caused the before and the after was on purpose, whether it can be defined, or managed, expected, or even predicted. That would make it evidence of process improvement. Not just that it “happened”. That a process happened is just a process. That the process happened on purpose, and the extent to which it is defined, or managed, expected, or even predicted, makes it contribute to process improvement.


My professional passion is to build high performance organizations out of companies motivated to be lean, agile, and achieve world-class results. My best clients are companies who have the courage, leadership, insight, foresight and discipline to be the best places to work, the best value to their customers and the best performing for their shareholders. I take a tough love approach and, frankly, have little patience for executives who *want* these things but expect to achieve them without putting in any effort or making any changes.

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