Sunday, March 30, 2014

Is there a disconnect beween agile and traditional ways of working?

Hey, CMMI Appraiser, is there a disconnect between agile and traditional ways of working? ~ SD Times

Dear Readers,

Recently this CMMI Appraiser was interviewed for an article in the Software Development Times. It is now available FREE for YOU, our loyal readers, so check it out!

The magazine asked whether I saw a "disconnect" between agile and traditional ways of working, and if so, whether this negatively impacted software quality.

Disconnect? Hello? In some organizations, it’s a full blown dysfunction! It's so common, I've coined a phrase to describe it:  “While we’re all off iterating, the business is off waterfalling,”

Here's a quick recap of some of the points I made in the article, and some I would have liked to have made, had there been more space.

The negative impact of this disconnection or dysfunction shows up in requirements churn, which has given rise to a philosophical shift. In years past, engineering and software professionals didn’t think about bugs and defects in terms of requirements problems or customer problems or management problems. Instead, we focused on code. Then we found that the code did what it was supposed to do, but didn’t do what the customer wanted it to do.

So now we think of it as a requirements problem.  Once we can understand where the defect was injected into the process, we can change the process to fix it. For example, we can validate the requirements in a different way as they come in the door. We can catch these things before they get to test, before they get to design and code or build, and before they get to requirements spec drill-down. In other words, we can CHANGE the process to CHANGE the outcome.

That’s what the CMMI is all about. The CMMI gives us a framework for doing something to the process to change a behavior or an outcome. Applying the Model to the requirements and design process allows us to solve problems caused in the early stages when they’re the least costly to fix.

See, the cool thing about the CMMI is that it is not so much an engineering model as it is a behavioral improvement model. It actually gives us data that allows us to say, “The next time we do this thing, is there a way to do it better, faster, cheaper, with higher quality and less costs?” – or whatever our goals and objectives might be.

Get the whole article at - and thank you for reading "Ask the CMMI Appraiser!”

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

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

Visit for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation , software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

To download eBooks about CMMI, visit Jeff’s Author Page on Amazon.

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