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170RE: [XP] RE: [scrumdevelopment] Agile and CMM are contradictory

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  • Ken Schwaber
    Dec 8, 2001
      "agile" isn't an adjective, like "agile RUP." Agile has particular
      theoretical characteristics (www.controlchaos.com/excerpt.pdf) and
      mannerisms that arise from this theoretical base, like frequent inspection,
      self-organization, and emergence.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Lowell Lindstrom [mailto:lindstrom@...]
      Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2001 11:45 AM
      To: 'scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com';
      Subject: RE: [XP] RE: [scrumdevelopment] Agile and CMM are contradictory

      > True agile teams will rely on cycles of inspection, adaptation
      > and self-organization but to conform to the CMM process framework
      > one _must_ conform to an ETVX process description format.

      I agree that teams that have the constraint of CMM will have a very
      difficult, if not impossible, time reaching what you describe as "true
      agile." But again, that is not the decision that people are confronted
      with. All projects have constraints of all sorts. Those constraints will
      affect the team's ability to achieve "true agile."

      > This makes it impossible to be on both sides of the fence.

      I don't agree that it is a 2 sided fence. It is helpful to polarize things
      to clarify what we mean, but in practice the world is not that clean. Teams
      deal with spectrums of how far they can take something like agile. In
      practice, there is no end point or side of the fence that is agile, there
      are only relative positions closer to one extreme or the other. Although I
      agree that the closer to "true agile" the better, I disagree that a project
      that has constraints that push to the other end of the spectrum should not
      explore how they can get as close to "true agile" as possible within their

      > Until the CMM is allows processes to be self-organized
      > and emergent, we will have two clearly distinct sides,

      In theory, yes. But in practice, there are CMM level 3 teams that are more
      agile (i.e. self-organizing and emergent) than others. The more agile they
      are the better, regardless of the closeness to "true." We should encourage
      them to push their boundary, wherever it is.

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