Monday, May 26, 2008

Can we go to ML5 if we're an Agile organization?

Our company uses Agile methods and we want to go all the way to ML5. Is that possible? How many companies have done this?

The methodologies you use, assuming you actually use them appropriately, have little effect on your ability to achieve ML5.

Many have said that the CMMI is "waterfall" or that it can't apply to "agile." This just isn't true. I worked with a company recently that told me that since they were Agile they couldn't achieve CMMI ML5 because they used "agile metrics" and the model required "waterfall metrics" like CPI and SPI.

Really? Where does it say that? As a matter of fact, collecting CPI and SPI, or any other measure around time or dollars at the project level is just dumb in an agile world that has fixed budgets and fixed time-boxes.

I believe that agile is better-suited for ML5 than more traditional methods - if only because we can re-factor to focus on the high-priority items - a basic tenant of ML5 and Agile.

It's tough to know how many companies have done this - the SEI doesn't tabulate methodologies used during a SCAMPI, but I work with one ML4 company that is agile, and I can assure you that it works well.

There is a new SEI Technical Report on this subject which I was lucky enough to co-author. It is being release this month - look for it on the SEI's web site.

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