Thursday, March 5, 2015

CMMI-TV: Do Agile Teams Use Process?

Hey, CMMI Appraiser, Do Agile teams use process? ~ SEPGNA Attendee

Dear Readers,

Today’s episode of CMMI-TV was filmed ON LOCATION at SEPG North America in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, where I delivered the keynote address on “Values-based Engineering.” An attendee asked if Agile teams use process. Below is a video clip with my answer, followed by a synopsis of my response. Enjoy!


There is a misconception that Agile teams don’t use process. They do. They don’t call them processes; they call them ceremonies, or behaviors, or techniques, or methods. Each one has very specified behaviors in Agile.


Planning Poker
The Daily Stand Up (sometimes called the Daily Scrum)
Sprint Reviews
Sprint Demos
Backlog Grooming
Story Time
Pair Programming
Test-Driven Development

Everything on this list is a process, also known as a technique, or method, or ceremony, or behavior. And for every one of these processes, there is a CMMI equivalent that we use to make it better.


There are many, many different behaviors. I doesn’t matter what you call them. Just do the work in a way that makes sense.


Think of the CMMI almost like a checklist for doing what you are trying to do – whether that’s improve Waterfall methods or “go agile” or strengthen agile. This checklist applies to all the behaviors (or ceremonies, etc.) listed above, and helps us do the following:

1) Think about the right things

2) Do the work the way it makes sense


Use CMMI as a guide for improving the way you do your work. That’s the way to make process – or whatever you call it -- better.


Anyone interested in a more in-depth discussion on the topic is invited to sign up for this month’s new Webinar, “Agile Transformation.”


What: “Everything You Need to Know. Agile Transformation!”

When: Thursday, March 26, 2015 at noon EDT.

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 running a successful CMMI and performance improvement program.

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