Many organizations that have improved process maturity through Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI®) now also want greater agility. Conversely, many organizations that are succeeding with Agile methods now want the benefits of more mature processes. The solution is to integrate CMMI and Agile.
This book offers a start-to-finish blueprint for melding these process improvement methodologies. It presents six detailed case studies, along with essential real-world lessons, big-picture insights, and mistakes to avoid.
Drawing on decades of process improvement experience, author Paul McMahon explains how combining an Agile approach with the CMMI process improvement framework is the fastest, most effective way to achieve your business objectives. He offers practical, proven techniques for CMMI and Agile integration, including new ways to extend Agile into system engineering and project management and optimizing performance by focusing on your organization’s unique, culture-related weaknesses.
Review By: Cathy Bell 03/03/2011
Have you ever wanted to pick an expert’s brain about how a process worked on past projects and ask for advice on how to proceed with a current project? Integrating CMMI and Agile Development is like having a conversation with the author. If you are contemplating or currently working on integrating the CMMI process and agile development, then this is the book for you.
An organization that has matured either process, CMMI or agile, can benefit from the material in this book, as it covers both integration scenarios. If you have doubts that the two methods can be integrated, then sit back, read the presented case studies with the author’s guidance, and you may be surprised by what you find is possible.
The author states right up front that this is not about the fundamentals of either CMMI or agile, and he assumes that the reader has basic knowledge of these approaches. Chapter one is a very high-level overview of the two processes, designed to ensure the reader is in tune with the terminology in the rest of the book.
You will find relevant case studies with lessons learned from the implementations and insight from the author as to why things went well or why they failed. Throughout the book the author highlights points as “insights” (key information that might require deeper reflection from the reader), “myths” (commonly held beliefs about either system that people still cling to within organizations, even though they know they are not true), and “cautions” (common pitfalls to avoid). Each chapter starts with an overview of the upcoming case study and what you should learn from it. The chapters end with a summary of how CMMI helps agile, how agile helps CMMI, or both—depending on the points covered.
The book is broken down into five major parts. Part one is the high-level overview. Part two focuses on organizations that are mature in CMMI and how they can successfully integrate agile development. Part three takes the flip side—how organizations that already use agile development implement CMMI.
Part four looks at studies where an organization is not really agile but “agile-like.” These are organizations that truly implement agile methods on small projects but, as the company grows and the projects grow with it, projects are completed on time only by the efforts of “heroes.” The case study focuses on how building CMMI framework into this type of organization can get them back on track.
Part five discusses how we all have tendencies to repeat “specific weaknesses” and that it’s only by recognizing those and correcting them that we will see improvement. Chapter nine is particularly entertaining, as the author explains how he set out to fix his “as-is” golf game in much the same way he advocates integrating CMMI and agile—small, continuous changes to address the specific weaknesses we identify. The epilogue uses the as-is golf scenario to challenge the reader to ponder whether we really find passion in our careers and challenges managers to inspire passion in their employees the same way.
After reading the book, I'm sure you will keep it on your bookshelf for those times when something is nagging you about your organization’s implementation of either process and you want some expert advice.