Archive for the ‘learning’ Category

Truly Agile CMMI

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

The team room of a truly lean/agile company doing CMMI in a way that is natural to them and authentic.  They are doing CMMI in an agile way.  They know no other way to do it.  They went from "what is CMMI?" to ML2 in 14 weeks.  Their commitment to lean gave them an edge many companies wish they had: a culture of value and excellence.

What does "truly agile CMMI" look like?

Well, it looks like a commitment to adding value, for one.  It looks like delivering incrementally and using each incremental deliverable to iterate, learn, reflect, and continuously integrate into the whole.

It looks like questioning everything that you don’t understand until you do, and then basing decisions on what will provide the most benefit without adding unnecessary features, functions, or work.  It also looks like being true to your collaborative nature, to your culture of learning, to your behaviors of communication and transparency.  It looks like using measures to know where you are and how well you’re doing.  It looks like a commitment to to doing nothing for the sake of doing it — either it has a benefit that you can reap, or it’s not done.  It looks like building practices into what you do in a way that eliminates the need for waste-riddled, ceremonial audits later.

When every effort has a purpose that you can tie to a business benefit; when every task delivers something someone needs or wants; when you create a system that people want and use, that you don’t have to pull teeth to get people to adopt and provide you feedback on; that not only flows with and follows in-line with your natural ways of working but promotes new ideas and ways of changing your work regularly and distributing those ideas to everyone who wants to know…. when not a single result of some effort exists whose only reason to exist is to provide evidence for an appraisal….

*THAT’S* what truly agile CMMI looks like.

It’s not just in the processes that result from using CMMI, but also in the manner in which those processes were created.

You don’t "do CMMI" in an agile way when you’re a stogy traditional-oriented organization, and you don’t achieve an agile CMMI when your implementation approach is traditional.  If you’re an agile organization, incorporate CMMI in an agile way.  Don’t abandon agile values and principles to implement CMMI.  Exploit your agile values and principles to implement CMMI in a kick-ass way.

CMMI in an agile way, an agile approach to CMMI, and a seamless blending of CMMI with agile approaches doesn’t happen (easily) if your approach to AgileCMMI isn’t lean and agile.

Even Scott Adams (Dilbert) “gets it”!

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

OK people… if your approach to CMMI sounds like this Dilbert cartoon, maybe it’s time to face reality.  You can’t do it without proper training (whether in the form of traditional courses, or the knowledge-transfer mechanisms of mentoring, coaching, etc.)

In other words, if you’re trying to use CMMI and you’re not getting smart about what it is, Dilbert just called you out as a moron.

Do you have what it takes . . . ?

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

To pursue CMMI and/or to reap the benefits of agile requires more than just desire at the working level.  It takes:

  • honesty
  • learning
  • transparency
  • respect
  • support
  • trust
  • patience
  • commitment (to excellence)

Not just from people who will feel the changes most immediately but from the top-most person in the company on down to those people whose work support the people who will feel the changes most.

If you have an executive who declares: we want “maturity level __” by such-and-so date, and doesn’t themselves bother to take the time to understand what that means, you don’t have what it takes.

If you have an executive who declares: we want “to be more agile” but doesn’t allow developers to organize their workspace or their time, you don’t have what it takes.

If you have an executive who doesn’t care how negatively a drastic poorly considered change will impact the developers, you don’t have what it takes.

If you have an executive who expects everyone but themselves to change or expects that hiring an outsider can eliminate the hard work needed to move from the present situation to the desired state, you don’t have what it takes.

Might I recommend this course for getting to know CMMI, at least.  It can be attended in person or on line.  Live.