CMMI and Agile Development

CMMI or Agile: Why Not Embrace Both! is a new report that is worth reading.

All too often, CMMI has been applied rather than implemented. The standards-centric application of CMMI has contributed to some spectacular failures and losses of time and money. The key difference between applying and implementing CMMI is that applying usually appears as a superimposition (or overlay) of model practices onto existing activities with an expectation of producing the example work products found in the model, rather than seeking the natural products of the organization’s processes. This misplaced focus is often the by-product of an overly strong focus
on achieving a particular appraisal rating.

In contrast, implementing CMMI is using the model in the same way that engineers and architects use models: as a learning tool, a communication tool, and a means of organizing thoughts. The more implementation-oriented an organization is, the more improvement-centric it is; thus, the focus is on maturing and growing process capabilities rather than ratings.

CMMI and Agile can complement each other by creating synergies that benefit the organization using them. Agile methods provide software development how-to’s that are missing from CMMI best practices that work well—especially with small, co-located project teams. CMMI provides the systems engineering practices that help enable an Agile approach on large projects. CMMI also provides the process management and support practices that help deploy, sustain, and continuously improve the deployment of an Agile approach in any organization.

Related: Stretching Agile to fit CMMI Level 3Microsoft CMMIAgile Management

One thought on “CMMI and Agile Development

  1. Hi!
    I am an MBA student. I am doing a research on adopting both cmmi and agile practices. Most of the papers that i referred talk about how obviously the two can be implemented.
    I wanted to know if there is any place where i can find case studies of its failures or where organisations who planned to adopt the two finally backed out etc.
    Basically i want to know the practical reasons where an organisation will not want to/ find it diffult to adopt both.
    It is on these points that i wish to focus more than talk on general terms.


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