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Mixing CMMI and Agile

The first time I heard about integrating CMMI and agile was at IBM’s Innovate conference last spring. I thought it an odd combination. My experience with CMMI, a process-improvement methodology, was that it was extremely documentation-intensive and all about process. When you look at the Agile Manifesto, you see these are “right-sided” values– the values that are considered less important than the “left-sided” values agile touts such as people, working software, customer collaboration and responding to change. Can these two seemingly conflicting methodologies really be combined effectively?

Paul McMahon, author of Integrating CMMI and Agile Development, says ‘yes.’ In a two-part interview, I pose some tough questions for McMahon.

In CMMI and Agile integration: Adding agility to CMMI-mature organizations, part 1, I start by questioning McMahon about the combination of traditional model emphasizing process and documentation with a model that claims success by practicing a rather opposite philosophy.  I ask about the buy-in from agile organizations in Adding CMMI process maturity to Agile organizations, part 2.

McMahon answers these questions and more, giving me a new perspective on CMMI and insights into how the balance of these two, when done correctly, can be a great benefit to an organization.

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