Agile and CMMI: Yes, They Can Work Together

Ed Weller, Integrated Productivity Solutions, LLC

There is a common misconception that agile and CMMI cannot work together. CMMI is viewed as a documentation heavy, slow, process-driven model—the polar opposite of agile principles. The cost of documentation for an appraisal is viewed as another drawback. Join Ed Weller to see why a large organization chose to use the practices in the CMMI to complement agile, and a formal appraisal to improve and evaluate their performance. When mixing approaches that seem contradictory, the first step is to understand the benefits, drawbacks, and cost of each approach and then identify complementary additions. This includes myth busting the misperceptions about both agile and CMMI. The second step, using a formal CMMI appraisal to evaluate organizational performance, requires an understanding of the CMMI model that goes beyond a “checklist approach” requiring extensive documentation. Using lean principles, the appraisal team minimized “appraisal documentation” by using the day-to-day team output. Ed shows that agile and CMMI can be complementary due to executive leadership, lean implementation, and organization training, as demonstrated by a formal appraisal and business results.

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