Saturday, October 29, 2011

What are some guidelines for process design that I can share with the rest of my team?

Dear Appraiser,

Last month some of the members of our scrum team attended your "Scrum + CMMI Learning Experience" workshop.  They mentioned you have developed an "Agile Process Manifesto" that helps guide companies as they develop their processes.  Would you mind sharing that with the rest of us?" ~Ed


First of all, thanks for sending some of your team members to our Scrum + CMMI Learning Experience.  You missed out on a great time!

I authored the "Agile Process Manifesto" in 2006 after working with many clients (including "agile" organizations) whose approach to process improvement was straight out of the waterfall handbook.  ugh!

The first audience to see this was at the SEI's SEPG 2006 conference - I'm not sure they knew what the heck I was talking about.  Back then, Agile and CMMI together were, well . . .   misunderstood.

If you want to watch something funny, sit in on a session of "agile project managers" as they list all of the dozens of work products, templates, and meetings they are going to "force" their people to adhere to as they go through the process design stage of their project!  It's  hoot!  You've heard of "technical debt?"  We call this "process debt."

Inspired by the authors of the "Agile Manifesto" (but sans all the books, certifications, and conferences they've spawned), I've come up with with something that I think makes sense to software developers and project managers alike.  Similar in format - in that there are "things on the left and things on the right" - I've tried to help guide companies who become too focused on certifications and compliance - so focused that they completely waste their valuable time and money.

Like the "Agile Manifesto," I also want to remind you all that while the "things on the left" are most important, the "things on the right" are ALSO important - just not as important in the big scheme of things.

So here it is:

With appropriate attribution to Sutherland, Jeffries, Schwaber, Beck,  Highsmith, et al

So, when you develop your process, especially if your moving toward a CMMI Appraisal or planning on some CMMI training, check yourself against the Agile Process Manifesto - and keep it Agile!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, Candidate SCAMPI Appraiser Observer, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations.  Jeff has taught thousands of students and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

He has recently developed the "Scrum+CMMI Learning Experience" for Broadsword.

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