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Practical Report: CMMI® Requirements Development (RD) and Requirements Management (REQM) Process Areas in an Agile Environment

Practical Report: CMMI® Requirements Development (RD) and Requirements Management (REQM) Process Areas in an Agile Environment

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Published by amahdys
This paper was presented in NDIA CMMI Conference 2010 http://www.ndia.org/meetings/1110/Pages/default.aspx, to prove that Agile and CMMI works together discussing two process areas. To read the presentation: www.dtic.mil/ndia/2010CMMI/WednesdayTrack5_11166Mahdy.pdf Or http://www.slideshare.net/aamahdys/cmmi-requirements-development-and-management-in-agile-environment
=====
The Abstract
=====
The Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) has been broadly used for benchmarking the organizations maturity and process capability throughout the world.
CMMI model is very reach with its goals and practices that come from real projects experiences to support the organizations. However, some times the way it is implemented, consulted and may be appraised put it in the wrong shape and wrong perception. Changing the mindsets is a big challenge to reset the direction of CMMI implementation toward its right way. We believe this corrupted culture of CMMI implementation is the main reason behind attacking Agile as a methodology for CMMI implementation.
The nature of their rapid market change can no longer accept heavyweight plans, requirements specification, change requests, contract negotiation, and other documentation. Moreover, the rapid change in information technology has increased the frustration more. Using lightweight processes that invite to customer collaboration over contract negotiation and working software over comprehensive documentation is one of the main characteristics of agile methodologies that have been adopted to tackle this challenge.
Agile development methods and CMMI are often perceived to be at odds with each other. In fact, it’s not challenging to embrace both to dramatically improve business performance if we think out of the box by not expecting certain work products and when we look for the value and understand the purpose of CMMI practices rather than the evidences for the appraisal.
This paper clarifies how Agile and CMMI work together in brief, and focuses on the implementation of Requirements Development and Management process areas in agile organizations based on a real and practical experience in Agile CMMI successful projects.
This paper was presented in NDIA CMMI Conference 2010 http://www.ndia.org/meetings/1110/Pages/default.aspx, to prove that Agile and CMMI works together discussing two process areas. To read the presentation: www.dtic.mil/ndia/2010CMMI/WednesdayTrack5_11166Mahdy.pdf Or http://www.slideshare.net/aamahdys/cmmi-requirements-development-and-management-in-agile-environment
=====
The Abstract
=====
The Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) has been broadly used for benchmarking the organizations maturity and process capability throughout the world.
CMMI model is very reach with its goals and practices that come from real projects experiences to support the organizations. However, some times the way it is implemented, consulted and may be appraised put it in the wrong shape and wrong perception. Changing the mindsets is a big challenge to reset the direction of CMMI implementation toward its right way. We believe this corrupted culture of CMMI implementation is the main reason behind attacking Agile as a methodology for CMMI implementation.
The nature of their rapid market change can no longer accept heavyweight plans, requirements specification, change requests, contract negotiation, and other documentation. Moreover, the rapid change in information technology has increased the frustration more. Using lightweight processes that invite to customer collaboration over contract negotiation and working software over comprehensive documentation is one of the main characteristics of agile methodologies that have been adopted to tackle this challenge.
Agile development methods and CMMI are often perceived to be at odds with each other. In fact, it’s not challenging to embrace both to dramatically improve business performance if we think out of the box by not expecting certain work products and when we look for the value and understand the purpose of CMMI practices rather than the evidences for the appraisal.
This paper clarifies how Agile and CMMI work together in brief, and focuses on the implementation of Requirements Development and Management process areas in agile organizations based on a real and practical experience in Agile CMMI successful projects.

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Published by: amahdys on Sep 06, 2011
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1Annual 10
th
CMMI Technology Conference and User Group | National Defense and Industrial Association
Practical Report: CMMI
 ® 
Requirements Development (RD) andRequirements Management (REQM) Process Areas in an AgileEnvironment
Ahmed Mahdy
Senior Software Engineer and Agile Coach, Raya Process Improvement Consultant 
 
Marian Tadros
Quality Expert and Consultant CMMI 
® 
SEI-Certified Lead Appraiser Marian_tadros@hotmail.com  
 Abstract 
 
The Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) has been broadly used for benchmarking theorganizations maturity and process capability throughout the world.CMMI model is very reach with its goals and practices that come from real projects experiences tosupport the organizations. However, some times the way it is implemented, consulted and may beappraised put it in the wrong shape and wrong perception. Changing the mindsets is a big challenge toreset the direction of CMMI implementation toward its right way. We believe this corrupted culture of CMMI implementation is the main reason behind attacking Agile as a methodology for CMMIimplementation.The nature of their rapid market change can no longer accept heavyweight plans, requirementsspecification, change requests, contract negotiation, and other documentation. Moreover, the rapidchange in information technology has increased the frustration more. Using lightweight processes thatinvite to customer collaboration over contract negotiation and working software over comprehensivedocumentation is one of the main characteristics of agile methodologies that have been adopted totackle this challenge.
Agile development methods and CMMI are often perceived to be at odds with each other. In fact, it’s
 not challenging to embrace both to dramatically improve business performance if we think out of thebox by not expecting certain work products and when we look for the value and understand thepurpose of CMMI practices rather than the evidences for the appraisal.This paper clarifies how Agile and CMMI work together in brief, and focuses on the implementation of Requirements Development and Management process areas in agile organizations based on a real andpractical experience in Agile CMMI successful projects.
Why Agile and CMMI Together?
Based on a practical experience in many CMMI appraised companies, I can commit that agile mindsetcomes to save the purpose of CMMI by controlling the know-how to be
 
driven by the value.
 
2Annual 10
th
CMMI Technology Conference and User Group | National Defense and Industrial Association
Key Principle
“  
 Agile Values are sustainably valued if they are managedi through a Process Improvement Model whichshould be leading to a value-based implementation.
” 
 
Unfortunately, not all organizations understand and implement this key principle which directlyrepresents and reflects the real intent of building this model [1], see figure 1.
[Figure 1] Relationship between Agile and CMMI from Implementation perspective, and how they are correlated
From this figure, my recommendation for embracing both by starting with establishing Agile mindsetand ensure that the teams are ready to collaborate and focus on value, then apply CMMI model byachieving the intent of the model.However, it is not easy to achieve Agile CMMI in one project and one team
(sometimes, I call it “the
managed valuable model
”) and remember that it is a very interesting challenge to seek the best
improvement that adds to the business of your organization. And a further interest comes when yourimprovement cycle and history are managed through a Process Improvement Model such as CMMI.
Why not easy!?
It is not easy because we
 –
as industry
 –
 
used to follow “best” practices from other comp
anies.
Unfortunately, I see this word “best practices” as a marketing word more than a practice
-based one, I
prefer “best practices with its context”. Many of CMMI
-accredited organizations used to take theexamples, sub-practices, typical work products, and others exactly as mentioned in the model withoutunderstanding the value behind them!
 
3Annual 10
th
CMMI Technology Conference and User Group | National Defense and Industrial AssociationInside these organizations, after few days of implementation, we found them ignore practice bypractice till we find the organization doing things regardless of what they are mentioning in their processdocumentation. To the Quality Managers of such organizations
: “
You brought CMMI to your
organization, and you are leading them to early failure beside unexpected bad morale in your teams!”
 
That’s why, it is not easy,
and it needs your direct involvement with all users or stakeholders of everypractice.
What Do We Mean B
y “Agile CMMI Practice”?
 
Agile CMMI Practice (ACP) is the practice (or way of doing activity) that achieves the Specific Practice(SP) in CMMI Model if and only if this practice achieves at least one of Agile Values and Principles [2]without violating any of them.Given that CMMI model defines the Alternative Practice as a practice that is a substitute for one or moregeneric or specific practices contained in CMMI models that achieves an equivalent effect towardsatisfying the generic or specific goal associated with model practices. Alternative practices are notnecessarily one-for-one replacements for the generic or specific practices.
In 7 Steps: How To Achieve Agile CMMI Practice?
1.
 
Make sure of your senior management adoption,2.
 
Discuss the policy and process improvement project vision by reaching consensus with allstakeholders about the vision and goals of this project,3.
 
Specify the process areas in scope (i.e. what?),4.
 
Meet the users (actual implementers) of each practice in the selected process areas,5.
 
Explore ,with the implementers, all possible valuable ways of doing these practices which do notviolate any of Agile Values and Principles,6.
 
Consolidate the output from users to reach the way of implementing the selected process areasand implicitly its practices (i.e. how?)7.
 
Inspect and adapt (i.e. process improvement cycle is always active)
Difference Between “Convey” And “Preserve” I
nformation
Convey
Information
Preserve
InformationWhy?
Transfer information within your teammembers for alignment and having thesame understanding of this information.Store information for further references,reviews, reuses and organization history.
 
How?
It depends on the case you have, that’s
why Agile is human-centric, you choosethe best way for conveying information inyour case. And do not forget that one of Also, it depends on the case. Usually, peopleprefer using different types of documentationsproject management tools, documentmanagement systems and we prefer using a

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