Thursday, March 5, 2015

Do we need to stay with Waterfall to get a CMMI Rating?

Dear CMMI Appraiser, we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. We have always used Waterfall, and now the customer is asking us to "go Agile." Meanwhile, our CMMI consultant told us we need to focus on documentation to get a CMMI rating, which makes us a bad fit for Agile.  But we need a CMMI rating to keep the customer! What should we do? ~ Phil B.

Dear Phil,

I'll tell you exactly what to do.  First we'll remove the rock, since that’s easiest. Then we’ll deal with the hard place.

Now, who was this rock-headed CMMI consultant? The very first thing he or she should have told you is that adopting the CMMI is 100% about solving business problems. It’s not about documents. It’s not about passing an audit. It’s about following a model that's about how great companies perform. Remove that “rock” by firing the rockhead and talking to CMMI consultants who actually have a head on their shoulders.

As for your “hard-place,” I see this happening more and more. Agile has become so popular that large federal government and commercial organizations are exerting pressure on their suppliers to “go agile” – even before they fully understand what they are asking for. Account reps promise the sun and moon. So upper management turns around and exerts the same pressure on their teams to GO AGILE.

What should you do? Get the facts! Whether you are part of the leadership or on the team of a CMMI-focused Waterfall organization, you’ll have a clear idea of how to solve your business problems with “Agile Transformation,” the next presentation in our popular “Everything You Need to Know” Series.  Check it out!

What: “Everything You Need to Know: Agile Transformation!” Webinar
When: Thursday, March 26, 2015 at noon EDT.
Registration: FREE

The Webinar is even cooler than it sounds.  It's hosted by Broadsword’s Director of Strategic Solutions, Tim Zeller. Tim will help you learn new ways to do useful things like these:

  • Move away from top-heavy, document-focused, command and control structure 
  • Get more rapid delivery
  • Preserve all the "good" things you did with CMMI, while being more lean and Agile
  • Retain employees who want to work for a great Agile organization
  • Get products to market faster

And much more.  So get out from between the rock and the hard place, and get started with Agile Transformation! Sign up here.

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.

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