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RE: [XP] Re: Agile and CMM are contradictory

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  • Laurent Bossavit
    ... Playing Devil s advocate for a moment : I m not sure I see where the dichotomy comes from. Is it not possible to be agile and still promote reuse,
    Message 1 of 23 , Dec 6, 2001
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      > The manufacturing-like paradigm imposed into software we mostly lived
      > for the last 30 years is being threatened and is crumbling. The new
      > paradigm is software as NEW product, following an R&D-like process
      > that is best exemplified by Scrum, XP and other agile methods,

      Playing Devil's advocate for a moment : I'm not sure I see where the
      dichotomy comes from. Is it not possible to be agile and still promote reuse,
      assembling software from components, and suchlike ? Being agile means we
      like working software. If you can get working software by slapping together a
      bunch of COTS, why should that be a problem ?

      Or do you mean something different by "software as NEW product" ?

      -[Morendil]-
      On a clear disk you can seek forever
    • vze2k2j6@verizon.net
      Agile and Scrum principles work for any type of new development.
      Message 2 of 23 , Dec 6, 2001
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        Agile and Scrum principles work for any type of new development.
        >
        > From: "Laurent Bossavit" <morendil@...>
        > Date: 2001/12/06 Thu PM 04:25:04 CST
        > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        > CC: <scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com>
        > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] RE: [XP] Re: Agile and CMM are contradictory
        >
        > > The manufacturing-like paradigm imposed into software we mostly lived
        > > for the last 30 years is being threatened and is crumbling. The new
        > > paradigm is software as NEW product, following an R&D-like process
        > > that is best exemplified by Scrum, XP and other agile methods,
        >
        > Playing Devil's advocate for a moment : I'm not sure I see where the
        > dichotomy comes from. Is it not possible to be agile and still promote reuse,
        > assembling software from components, and suchlike ? Being agile means we
        > like working software. If you can get working software by slapping together a
        > bunch of COTS, why should that be a problem ?
        >
        > Or do you mean something different by "software as NEW product" ?
        >
        > -[Morendil]-
        > On a clear disk you can seek forever
        >
        >
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
      • Mike Beedle
        ... Lowell: I agree with the notion you explain above. _In practice_ there is a spectrum -- I have always thought of software methods that way. In fact, Ken
        Message 3 of 23 , Dec 6, 2001
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          Lowell Lindstrom wrote:
          > > 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 constraints.

          Lowell:

          I agree with the notion you explain above. _In practice_
          there is a spectrum -- I have always thought of software
          methods that way. In fact, Ken Schwaber actually developed
          an "agility scale", and I think this is a useful measure.

          However, the concept itself, to be agile, does depend
          on cycles of inspection, adaptation and self-organization.

          And the CMM does require, in its goals, in its capabilities,
          and in its activates a detailed "defined software process".

          What I am saying is that whether they are practiced as
          more or less agile, or more or less "defined in detail",
          their _definition_, and their underlying paradigm is
          fundamentally different.

          Lowell Lindstrom wrote:
          > > 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.

          I agree again. In fact, there are stories about
          many certified CMM level 3 teams that break the
          "process rules" and start acting more
          "self-organized" to actually be successful at level 3.

          Unfortunately, that's not what they were supposed to do
          according to their process definition ;-)

          - Mike
        • Mike Beedle
          ... Laurent: I think I mean something different. By software as NEW product I mean software that gets _used_ differently. For example. We do a lot of
          Message 4 of 23 , Dec 6, 2001
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            Laurent Bossavit wrote:
            >> The manufacturing-like paradigm imposed into software
            >> we mostly lived for the last 30 years is being
            >> threatened and is crumbling. The new paradigm is
            >> software as NEW product, following an R&D-like process
            >> that is best exemplified by Scrum, XP and other
            >> agile methods,
            >
            > Playing Devil's advocate for a moment : I'm not sure I
            > see where the dichotomy comes from. Is it not possible to
            > be agile and still promote reuse, assembling software
            > from components, and suchlike ? Being agile means we
            > like working software. If you can get working software
            > by slapping together a bunch of COTS, why should
            > that be a problem ?
            >
            > Or do you mean something different by "software as NEW product" ?

            Laurent:

            I think I mean something different. By "software as
            NEW product" I mean software that gets _used_
            differently.

            For example. We do a lot of enterprise development,
            where many teams reuse anything from:

            workflows
            visual business components
            non-visual business components
            services
            transactions
            business objects
            architectural services
            etc.

            (Note: this btw, is the inspiration of XBreed:
            http://www.xbreed.net)

            However, we find that the teams use things like
            visual business components differently because:

            - what is created with them is different all
            the time. For example, our "Find Patient"
            component, is in several screens for different
            applications playing different roles and
            creating NEW and different functionality.

            - they are configured differently i.e. they
            are passed different configuration parameters
            at init time

            - even though they talk with defined interfaces,
            they play different roles in the overall
            protocol. For example, our "Comments"
            component is used by some teams as a visual
            component, but some other teams use it
            for reports, as a non-visual component.

            - the components sometimes have overridden
            behaviors. Like different JSPs for display,
            different subclasses of state beans, or
            even invoke similar but different services
            and transactions for the back-end. This
            is the case of our "Find Drug" component --
            it displays the same component, but
            it actually is configured to call different
            services in the back-end for different
            applications,


            So, no I don't see a problem with being agile and promote:

            reuse and
            assembling software from components
            etc.

            - Mike
          • mpoppendieck
            Mike, I am in agreement with you that Software Development will benefit most from applying New Product Development paradigms to it. However, I don t agree that
            Message 5 of 23 , Dec 8, 2001
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              Mike,

              I am in agreement with you that Software Development will benefit
              most from applying New Product Development paradigms to it.
              However, I don't agree that all Manufacturing paradigms are
              inappropriate for software development. Interestingly, I found
              that manufacturing has been as adversely impacted by an overemphasis
              on ISO standards as software development has been adversely impacted
              by an overemphasis on CMM.

              I propose that Lean Manufacturing has a host of good things to teach
              the software development industry. But note that the operative word
              in here is `Lean'. Lean means :

              1. Eliminating Waste – which is to say doing only those things
              which add value. It is amazing how many things you do not have to
              do if you aggressively eliminate things which do not add value.

              2. Streamlining Flow – Which means using the shortest possible
              path and the most rapid time. In manufacturing, this is applied to
              materials. In software development, this is applied to information
              flow. XP has a very rapid flow: from customer to developer to
              working code. No waste in handoffs.

              I think of CMM more like ISO 900X – relatively process-neutral and
              occasionally necessary. I observe that some companies benefit from
              such programs, but more companies waste time on them. I don't see a
              large correlation between high maturity and high business success.
              This is researched in the book by Robert Austin, `Measuring and
              Managing Performance in Organizations'.

              I recall that a local company, Zeos, was a finalist for the Malcolm
              Baldrige quality award one year, but soon faltered and was purchased
              by Micron. Meanwhile, Dell was focusing on becoming `Lean'. Few
              companies understand `Lean' better than Dell, and they are one of
              the few survivors in their field. One can argue that the time spent
              on ISO or CMM tasks do not always add value, and if they don't, they
              would be waste.

              I agree that software development is more akin to New Product
              Development than Manufacturing. One of the world class new product
              development organizations is Toyota, the birthplace of Lean
              Manufacturing. I theorize that if one looks at how Toyota develops
              new products, then perhaps one could find some good software
              development practices.

              Toyota uses a concept called `set-based design'. Check out this
              link: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/smr/past/1999/smr4025.html

              The fundamental concept of set-based design is something I
              call "Decide as Late as Possible." I propose that allowing
              decisions to be made at the last possible moment is one of the
              foundations of good product design, and good software architecture.

              Mary
            • Ken Schwaber
              Self-organization arising from inspection is right on. Another disconnect with CMM is that CMM desires to increase the level of definition, through increasing
              Message 6 of 23 , Dec 8, 2001
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                Self-organization arising from inspection is right on. Another disconnect
                with CMM is that CMM desires to increase the level of definition, through
                increasing level of detail. For agile and Scrum, more detail removes the
                self-organization inherent to agile.
                Ken

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Mike Beedle [mailto:beedlem@...]
                Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2001 6:14 PM
                To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com; extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Agile and CMM are contradictory



                Lately there have been a lot of claims that it is possible to
                do agile development and call it CMM-complaint or that is possible
                to do agile development and be within the requirements of the CMM.

                My position is that this is nonsense. Let me explain.

                The CMM comes from Crosby's MMM (Manufacturing Maturity Model), and
                it was therefore defined in the context of a manufacturing-like model
                for software development. For manufacturing it makes more sense to
                require "repeatable and completely defined low-level processes" because
                manufacturing is about building a predefined identical objects in
                an assembly line i.e. a Ford Model T, a VCR model, or a jet engine.
                Even when you add customization, you can still apply a manufacturing
                framework that overrides some of the sub-process in order to
                change parts of the finished product, but they are still defined
                and repeatable processes with pre-defined overrides.

                However, software is different: it requires research and creativity,
                even for trivial projects. Even if components or frameworks are
                used, which will lessen the requirements on research and creativity,
                they are assembled in _different_ ways to create different
                applications, so they are not used like in a manufactured
                assembly i.e. always in the same way.

                The acts of finding requirements, designing, and building a prototype
                of a component are different than executing the assembly instructions
                of a well-known component. Compare solving a jig-saw puzzle with
                building an assembly-required book shelf. The former requires
                research and creativity, the latter follows a recipe. Well,
                software development is like a jig-saw puzzle where in most cases
                both the jig-saw puzzle pieces and the picture they compose
                are being defined simultaneously.

                On the other hand, agile methods _are_ defined, repeatable and
                predictable but only in statistical ways -- not in detail steps
                because it is impossible to predict how many times one will have
                to talk to the customer, how many times one will refactor a
                piece of code, or how many times one will need to retest. To know
                what to do next in an agile method, one depends simply has to
                determine the current context by constantly being aware of
                what is going on and then do whatever makes sense
                at that time. In agile methods what is repeatable are
                the practices that you can use to do software development but
                certainly not the _detailed process_. In other words, there
                is not much process definition beyond than partitioning a project
                in iterations and following a set of practices.

                This is the heart of agility:

                constant inspection that leads to self-organization

                as opposed to cookbook like recipes or assembly instructions.
                Inspection on the other hand can take several forms: customer
                feedback, developer feedback, testing feedback, iteration
                reviews, code reviews, etc.

                Scrum for example, is based on a model used by American and Japanese
                companies for creating NEW products, not manufactured products,
                that strongly relies on feedback loops throughout the development
                lifecycle:

                Takeuchi, Hirotaka and Nonaka, Ikujiro. January-February 1986.
                "The New New Product Development Game." Harvard Business Review.

                This is fundamental because the act of software construction
                requires a Gestalt-like, Do-All-At-Once, self-consistent,
                iterative solution, that is _emergent_ in nature i.e. cannot
                be prescribed.

                Although the agile movement doesn't make the connection with
                creating NEW products explicitly:
                http://www.agilealliance.org
                its values and principles reinforce these beliefs:

                Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
                Working software over comprehensive documentation
                Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
                Responding to change over following a plan

                And these values are in direct conflict with the unadulterated
                spirit of the CMM.

                I see efforts to make things like Scrum and XP CMM compliant,
                or efforts to make the CMM agile, as complete nonsense because
                these approaches are _fundamentally different_.

                So beware: until processes are described as emergent and
                self-organizing by the CMM, there is no overlap and no point
                of comparison,

                Mike Beedle
                http://www.mikebeedle.com

                e-Architects Inc. http://www.e-architects.com
                Hipaa Accelerator http://www.hipaaccelerator.com

                XBreed http://www.xbreed.net
                Agile Scrum http://www.agilescrum.com

                Agile Alliance http://www.agilealliance.org
                Living Metaphor http://www.livingmetaphor.org

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              • Ken Schwaber
                agile isn t an adjective, like agile RUP. Agile has particular theoretical characteristics (www.controlchaos.com/excerpt.pdf) and mannerisms that arise
                Message 7 of 23 , Dec 8, 2001
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                  "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.
                  Ken

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Lowell Lindstrom [mailto:lindstrom@...]
                  Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2001 11:45 AM
                  To: 'scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com';
                  extremeprogramming@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
                  constraints.

                  > 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.

                  To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
                  To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                  scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...

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                • Lowell Lindstrom
                  ... Please elaborate. It is used as an adjective in every context I have seen it, including Agile software development. ... (www.controlchaos.com/excerpt.pdf)
                  Message 8 of 23 , Dec 8, 2001
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                    > "agile" isn't an adjective, like "agile RUP."

                    Please elaborate. It is used as an adjective in every context I have seen
                    it, including Agile software development.

                    > 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.

                    I don't see what the excerpt has to do with this thread. In practice, there
                    are degrees of self-organization, etc. Perhaps we are discussing from
                    different vantage points, one theoretical and one practical.
                  • Ken Schwaber
                    You are quite correct. I was trying to get across the point that this is a cross-species thing. Although the idea of mating a snake and a dog is quite
                    Message 9 of 23 , Dec 9, 2001
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                      You are quite correct. I was trying to get across the point that this is a
                      cross-species thing. Although the idea of mating a snake and a dog is quite
                      interesting, it is impossible. We used to refer to thing like "agile rup" as
                      a pig on roller skates; it's still a pig, just a little faster.

                      The excerpt talks about the theoretical basis. Self-organization after a
                      team has been give a definitive list of tasks to perform is quite different
                      from a team that has to think up the list of tasks from scratch.
                      Ken

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Lowell Lindstrom [mailto:lindstrom@...]
                      Sent: Saturday, December 08, 2001 9:44 PM
                      To: 'scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com';
                      'extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com'
                      Subject: RE: [XP] RE: [scrumdevelopment] Agile and CMM are contradictory


                      > "agile" isn't an adjective, like "agile RUP."

                      Please elaborate. It is used as an adjective in every context I have seen
                      it, including Agile software development.

                      > 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.

                      I don't see what the excerpt has to do with this thread. In practice, there
                      are degrees of self-organization, etc. Perhaps we are discussing from
                      different vantage points, one theoretical and one practical.


                      To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
                      To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                      scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...

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                    • Mike Beedle
                      I propose that Lean Manufacturing has a host of good things to teach the software development industry. But note that the operative word in here
                      Message 10 of 23 , Dec 9, 2001
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                        <Mary writes>
                        I propose that Lean Manufacturing has a host of good things to teach
                        the software development industry. But note that the operative word
                        in here is `Lean'. Lean means :

                        1. Eliminating Waste – which is to say doing only those things
                        which add value. It is amazing how many things you do not have to
                        do if you aggressively eliminate things which do not add value.

                        2. Streamlining Flow – Which means using the shortest possible
                        path and the most rapid time. In manufacturing, this is applied to
                        materials. In software development, this is applied to information
                        flow. XP has a very rapid flow: from customer to developer to
                        working code. No waste in handoffs.
                        <Mary writes>

                        Mary:

                        I agree. Back in 1995 I wrote a pattern language to construct
                        optimized enterprises using business patterns:
                        http://www.mikebeedle.com/pub/bpr-papers/bpr.pdf

                        And then I turned around and applied those same patterns to
                        software development. In fact, I wrote a few articles on
                        how to apply these patterns in an article with the title
                        "Reengineering the application development process".

                        However, these optimizations, while important, and while beneficial
                        to software development, don't get to the core of what software
                        is, imo. They miss the questions:

                        "how do you enable people to do research and
                        creativity with in high degrees of cooperation
                        and collaboration?"

                        and,

                        "how do you allow software development projects to
                        violently change plans and generate schedules, scope,
                        determine appropriate quality, and contain cost
                        on-the-fly?"

                        This is only that something like Scrum brings.

                        These requirements are what makes software development different
                        than manufacturing -- any manufacturing, because
                        manufacturing, regardless of how optimized it is, it always
                        builds the same products once you run a production cycle i.e. like
                        building a particular model of a VCR.

                        Even when you have customized manufacturing, like in the delivery
                        of automobiles, expensive machinery or PCs, there are
                        standard process overrides to deal with customization, so the
                        requirements are never elevated to deal with the requirements
                        of software development.


                        <Mary writes>
                        I think of CMM more like ISO 900X – relatively process-neutral and
                        occasionally necessary. I observe that some companies benefit from
                        such programs, but more companies waste time on them. I don't see a
                        large correlation between high maturity and high business success.
                        This is researched in the book by Robert Austin, `Measuring and
                        Managing Performance in Organizations'.
                        <Mary writes>

                        This is true, all of it, but the CMM does require at level 3
                        to define a "detailed, step-wise process". And this is also true
                        in manufacturing -- regardless of how much you streamline or
                        eliminate waste, and regardless of how much JIT and Supply
                        Chain Management one uses, manufactured products in a "production
                        batch" are _assembled_ using a pre-defined process.

                        In some very trivial cases you can almost do the same in
                        software, like in CRUD type screens, but once business rules
                        start to play a strong role, or once there is diversity in
                        the technologies used for different functionalities, etc.;
                        one steps into the non-liner land of "research and creativity
                        required".

                        - Mike


                        Mike Beedle http://www.mikebeedle.com

                        e-Architects Inc. http://www.e-architects.com
                        Hipaa Accelerator http://www.hipaaccelerator.com

                        XBreed http://www.xbreed.net
                        Agile Scrum http://www.agilescrum.com

                        Agile Alliance http://www.agilealliance.org
                        Living Metaphor http://www.livingmetaphor.org
                      • Mike Beedle
                        I propose that Lean Manufacturing has a host of good things to teach the software development industry. But note that the operative word in
                        Message 11 of 23 , Dec 9, 2001
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                          <Mary proposed>
                          I propose that Lean Manufacturing has a host of good things to teach
                          the software development industry. But note that the operative word
                          in here is `Lean'. Lean means :

                          1. Eliminating Waste – which is to say doing only those things
                          which add value. It is amazing how many things you do not have to
                          do if you aggressively eliminate things which do not add value.

                          2. Streamlining Flow – Which means using the shortest possible
                          path and the most rapid time. In manufacturing, this is applied to
                          materials. In software development, this is applied to information
                          flow. XP has a very rapid flow: from customer to developer to
                          working code. No waste in handoffs.
                          <Mary writes>

                          <I responded earlier>
                          >And then I turned around and applied those same patterns to
                          >software development. In fact, I wrote a few articles on
                          >how to apply these patterns in an article with the title
                          >"Reengineering the application development process".
                          <I responded earlier>


                          Btw, here is the "radp" paper just in case anyone want to take
                          a look at it:
                          http://www.mikebeedle.com/pub/radp.pdf

                          As well as a few other related articles and a presentation
                          here:

                          [Beedle97] M. Beedle, Pattern Based Reengineering,
                          Object Magazine, January (1997).
                          http://www.mikebeedle.com/pbr.html
                          * This paper includes an extended version of the
                          Zachman Framework that some people found interesting
                          since it included objects and patterns.


                          [Beedle95] M. Beedle, Object Based Reengineering,
                          Object Magazine 4(2), (1995).
                          * The equivalent of IDEF only in objects -- not good for
                          software development!!!


                          Enterprise Architectural Patterns
                          http://www.mikebeedle.com/pub/patterns.ppt
                          See also at the old Bell Labs site:

                          http://www.bell-labs.com/cgi-user/OrgPatterns/OrgPatterns?BPRPatternLanguage
                          * This dates back to the time when I was coordinating
                          a common pattern language to build business and
                          software organizations. This effort has been
                          continued at:
                          http://i44pc48.info.uni-karlsruhe.de/cgi-bin/OrgPatterns

                          - Mike
                          http://www.mikebeedle.com
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