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You Want to Use Scrum, You are Told to Use CMMI (How They can Work Together?)

If you are a software engineer or IT professional, your group has very likely shown a strong interest in reducing costs, improving quality and productivity. Your group might also have looked at various pre-packaged frameworks, such as Agile (e.g., Scrum and Extreme Programming), CMMI and Six Sigma.

At first glance, each of these frameworks might look at odds with each other, making it difficult to use two or more. This typically occurs because much of the information shared regarding these frameworks is from un-researched opinions and failure stories, rather than understanding the specifics of each framework. Each framework can be implemented successfully depending on how much care is placed on its implementation.

In this session, CMMI and Scrum are compared since they are two of the most commonly used frameworks, and ones that groups struggle with when using them together.

• Definition of Scrum and CMMI
• CMMI Maturity Level 2 and Scrum comparison
> Requirements Management
> Project Planning
> Project Monitoring and Control
> Measurement and Analysis
• How about the other components of Level 2?
> Configuration Management
> Product and Process Quality Assurance
> Supplier Agreement Management
> Generic Goal 2
• Adding Level 3 Management and Engineering Practices to an existing Scrum implementation
> Requirements / backlog
– Requirements elicitation skills
– Organizing complicated requirements information
– Requirements analysis skills
> Release planning, sprint planning and daily standups
– Planning using company defined best practices and tailoring guidelines
– Using organizational historical data for estimation
– Identifying dependencies and stakeholders for coordination, and comprehend this information into a master schedule or an overall project plan
– Managing the project with key stakeholders using thresholds to trigger corrective action
– Risk management
> Sprint composition
– Varying the time within a sprint for requirements, design, coding and testing
• How about the other components of Level 3?
> Organizational Process Focus
> Organizational Process Definition
> Organizational Training
> Decision Analysis and Resolution
> Generic Goal 3 (i.e., using an organization-wide and tailored process with measurements and lessons learned)

Neil Potter is co-founder of The Process Group, a company formed in 1990 that consults on process improvement, CMMI, Scrum, software engineering and project management.

He has 28 years of experience in software and process engineering. Neil is a CMMI-Institute certified lead appraiser for SCAMPI appraisals, Intro to CMMI instructor (development and services), Six Sigma Greenbelt and Certified Scrum Master. He has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Essex (UK) and is the co-author of Making Process Improvement Work - A Concise Action Guide for Software Managers and Practitioners, Addison-Wesley (2002), and Making Process Improvement Work for Service Organizations, Addison-Wesley (2012).

The Process Group consults to software, IT, systems and hardware organizations.

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  • Phil P.

    I thought this was a nice overview of more techniques to enhance the scrum experience.

    June 21, 2014

  • Deepak R.

    It would have been nice if the presentation was more scrum oriented. but it was nice to know the similarities between Scrum and CMMI.

    June 18, 2014

  • Michael A.

    I think the talk was a little to high level, and that it was geared more towards management than rank and file employees which generally attend DFWScrum.

    June 18, 2014

  • Dhanasekar

    It was good to know about cmmi process.

    June 17, 2014

  • DeWayne

    I'm interested!

    June 9, 2014

  • Lance D.

    This is a suggested meet up not a real one (yet). Only when we have enough people interested by saying they are coming will we determine a date/time/location for this meet up.

    December 16, 2013

    • Ken S.

      Hey Lance, Is 52 people enough?

      May 22, 2014

    • Lance D.

      Probably Ken. I will research the original position and see how we can fulfill this (maybe for June)

      May 22, 2014

  • Sharrie F.

    I look forward to learning more about the CMMI framework and how the frameworks can be used together.

    May 20, 2014

  • Debra N.

    I've participated in achieving CMMI and would love to learn more about Scrum. I will attend.

    April 30, 2014

  • Deepak R.

    The meet up should be on a weekend and should be a day long workshop.

    April 24, 2014

  • Jill M.

    I'm interested in learning more about CMMI, especially in comparison to Scrum

    April 16, 2014

  • John T.

    I will surely come

    April 1, 2014

  • John H.

    Good topic Lance. Count me in. However, I don't see these as mutually exclusive. In fact I see one as a process the other as a state. CMMI does not prescribe a process, just a state to achieve by whatever process you chose. I believe you can be both if you really wanted to.

    January 28, 2014

  • Lance D.

    No, it will be an on-site one as soon as we know it is an interesting topic to most of the group.

    January 14, 2014

  • John G.

    So it is a virtual meetup?

    January 14, 2014

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