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Integrating CMMI and Agile Development: Case Studies and Proven Techniques for Faster Performance Improvement, 1st edition

  • Paul E. McMahon

Published by Addison-Wesley Professional (August 9th 2010) - Copyright © 2011

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Integrating CMMI and Agile Development: Case Studies and Proven Techniques for Faster Performance Improvement

ISBN-13: 9780132172714

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"This book will be a great help to a variety of organizations figuring out how best to implement CMMI, including large and small enterprises, even if their starting point is not 'Agile.' All-in-all, this contains 'pearls of wisdom' that will make a much-appreciated contribution to the software engineering community."

Mike Konrad
Chief Architect, CMMI, Software Engineering Institute
Coauthor, CMMI®: Guidelines for Process Integration and Product Improvement, Second Edition

"This book will challenge many of your (mis)understandings about both agile delivery and CMMI. Paul thoughtfully applies his years of practical experience to help bridge two disparate communities who are working towards the same goal–improving an organization’s IT productivity.  It’s about time someone wrote a book like this."

Scott W. Ambler
Chief Methodologist for Agile and Lean, IBM Rational
Author, Agile Modeling, and coauthor, Enterprise Unified Process


Many organizations that have improved process maturity through Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI®) now also want greater agility. Conversely, many organizations that are succeeding with Agile methods now want the benefits of more mature processes. The solution is to integrate CMMI and Agile. This book offers a start-to-finish blueprint for melding these process improvement methodologies. It presents six detailed case studies, along with essential real-world lessons, big-picture insights, and mistakes to avoid. 


Drawing on decades of process improvement experience, author Paul McMahon explains how combining an Agile approach with the CMMI process improvement framework is the fastest, most effective way to achieve your business objectives. He offers practical, proven techniques for CMMI and Agile integration, including new ways to extend Agile into system engineering and project management and optimizing performance by focusing on your organization’s unique, culture-related weaknesses.


Integrating CMMI® and Agile Development is divided into five parts.

  • Part One begins with concise primers and refreshers on both CMMI and Agile, explaining why they are far more compatible than many practitioners realize.
  • Part Two introduces specific, proven techniques to help CMMI “process-mature” organizations increase their agility.
  • Part Three demonstrates how successful Agile organizations can increase their CMMI process maturity without compromising the agility that has brought them success.
  • Part Four shows how the CMMI can help organizations that are attempting to be agile, but are missing key ingredients of true agility.
  • Part Five introduces exclusive CMMI/Agile-based techniques for achieving substantial performance gains by focusing on the “personal” side of process improvement.


Table of contents

Foreword by Mike Phillips xxi

Foreword by Hillel Glazer xxiii

Preface xxv

Acknowledgments xxxi

Part I: Introduction 1

Chapter 1: Introduction and CMMI/Agile Primers 5

1.1 Introduction and CMMI Primer 5

1.2 Agile Primer 10

1.3 General Information about the Case Studies 12

1.4 General Information about Terminology Used in the Book 13

Part II: Helping Mature Organizations Increase Agility 15

Chapter 2: Techniques to Increase Agility in CMMI Mature Organizations 17

2.1 What You Will Learn in This Chapter 18

2.2 LACM Case Study Background 18

2.3 Where to Start When Using the CMMI Model to Increase Agility 18

2.4 Where Many Organizations Wrongly Start When Using the CMMI Model 20

2.5 How the CMMI Model Is Often Used, and Options Not Well Understood 20

2.6 Aligning Your Process Initiatives with Your Real Business Objectives 21

2.7 Aligning Process Descriptions and Training with the Real Process 22

2.8 Two Specific Examples to Increase Agility: Pruning and Leaning 23

2.9 Why More Organizations Don’t Prune and Lean Their Processes Today 25

2.10 Understanding the CMMI Model Intent to Help Your Organization Succeed 25

2.11 Options You Have in Using the CMMI Model for Appraisals 26

2.12 An Alternative Approach to Agility 27

2.13 Summary: How CMMI Helps Agile 29

2.14 Summary: How Agile Helps CMMI 29

Chapter 3: Agility and the Higher CMMI Level Practices 31

3.1 What You Will Learn in This Chapter 31

3.2 Background on the Higher CMMI Level Practices 32

3.3 Case Study Background 33

3.4 Measurement Fundamentals 33

3.5 Measurement in the Case Study 34

3.6 Stepping Back 34

3.7 Digging Deeper for Candidate Root Causes 35

3.8 Specific Context Relevant Measures 36

3.9 Deriving the Right Data and Caring about the Data 37

3.10 What Does This Have to Do with CMMI High-Level Practices? 38

3.11 The Right Time to Implement CMMI Level 4/5 Practices 38

3.12 Relationships among CMMI, Agile, and Lean 38

3.13 Back to the Case Study: How CMMI, Agile, and Lean Can Help Together 39

3.14 What Happened in the Case Study and Process Improvement Insights 40

3.15 Back to the Case Study Again: What Really Happened 40

3.16 Insight 41

3.17 More about the Real Intent of CMMI Level 4 and 5 Practices 42

3.18 Continuous Process Improvement at LACM 45

3.19 Why the Unprecedented Success at LACM? 48

3.20 Diddling in DOORS: A Story about Real Work Management and Measurement 48

3.21 Finance Perspective on Work Management and Measurement 51


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