Consultants love talking about the CMMI as being all about everybody doing the same thing every time. According to them, the CMMI is repeatable and predictable, and that means that everybody has to have the same behavior. One size fits all.
But one size — whether Waterfall, agile, CMMI or any other method, tool or technique — does not fit all. It’s unrealistic and counterproductive to expect everyone to demonstrate the same repeatable behavior. What needs to be repeatable are the OUTCOMES.
What kind of outcomes should be repeatable? How about high quality software, efficient production and happy customers? These outcomes are possible even when many projects are unique and require their own “way of doing things” (otherwise known as the PROCESS).
To allow for companies’ uniqueness, this CMMI Appraiser recommends that organizations have a SET of software process improvement models and methodologies from which projects can choose. That might include using both Scrum and Waterfall, for example. From that set, projects assemble the processes they want to use.
Keep in mind, a “set” means more than one. And “more than one” means you need some flexibility and agility to decide how you are going to do something.
For example, a team leader might say, “We’re going to adopt Scrum, but we’re going to use Wide Band Delphi for estimating.”
Those are from two different “communities.” Is that OK?
Why not? You are trying to meet the needs of the project, right? So go for it. Have a SET of standard processes from which each project can derive their unique process, and then assemble process patterns to use depending on the needs, goals and objectives of the project.
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.