Improving Agile Success by adopting CMMI Best Practices

Standish Group has recently released the 2015 CHAOS report. The significance of this report is considering agile projects and comparing its outcome with waterfall projects. The report specifies that 39% agile projects are successful, where as only 11% waterfall projects are successful.

Most companies are adopting agile lifecycle methodologies over traditional SDLC methods. From last two-three years I worked with many client organizations where agile methods are used in projects. These companies faced some of the following challenges,

  • Skill Staff – Agile methods demand skillful staff. Team working in agile environment are recommended to be able to deal with constant change occurs during the process since one of the main principles of agile methodology is adaptable to immediate change. Finding such people who meet all of the characteristics above leaves a big challenge to managers
  • Larger re-work  – Due to the lack of long-term planning and the lightweight approach to architecture, re-work is often essential on agile projects when the various components of the software are combined and forced to interact. Espeically when two or more developers are not in sync, resulting in higher and higher re-work costs as the number of iterations increases.
  • Difficulty in coordination for large projects and large organizations – With its strong emphasis on customer interaction, self-organizing teams, verbal communication over-written-documentation, prototyping and requirements flexibility, it becomes extremely complicated to coordinate work as an agile team grows. The scalability problem with Agile is not minor and it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Companies have beautifully adopted and adapted CMMI best practices to drive organization wide performamce and resolve the above challenges.

CMMI Institute needs to drive survey on these companies and obtain feedback on following.

  • Which CMMI process areas most suited organizations?
  • Which CMMI process areas need amplification to suit to agile?
  • Identifying Process areas specific work product from agile projects.

This will help to modify/customize various process amplification and also add examples from agile project.

If you are  an agile base company and have adopted CMMI best practices, what is your view?

-Kiran Chaudhari

Assoc. Vice President, Quality & Processes, Nihilent

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