This presentation is entitled “Applying Agile Techniques to Process Development: Lessons Learned” and is based on an article published in the August 2007 issue of Crosstalk, the Journal of Defense Software Engineering. It presents lessons learned from a process improvement effort that took an organization from no formal process capability to the implementation of the Software Engineering Institute (SEISM) Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI®) using the continuous representation with a focus on the staged representation’s maturity level 2 process areas. This presentation summarizes techniques that were used to reduce the overall time to achieve institutionalization of new processes as well as what worked well and what could be further improved. The topics to be covered are a) resource utilization, b) process development, c) using Agile methods to run the process improvement effort and develop related outputs, d) process piloting approach used, e) addressing process improvement via technology improvements, f) leveraging the internet and IEEE standards to speed process development, g) employing the continuous representation of the CMMI model, h) issues associated with QA, and i) process rollout management strategies used.
The presentation is being delivered in two (2) parts. The first part (October 15, 2007) covers the theory and methods. The second part (November 19, 2007) covers the lessons learned in a real world example.
When an organization decides to newly embark on process improvement (PI), there are several issues that influence the amount of effort involved and the effective timeline to achieve a particular PI goal. Lessons gleaned from the software development world in the use of incremental or iterative approaches can be applied to any type of project to achieve similar results, including process improvement. With proper planning the end goal can be reached in a greatly accelerated fashion. Effective planning is not the only element, however, that should be considered when reducing duration or budget. This presentation examines the approach taken at a particular IT company on a PI effort that not only met its goals but exceeded the expectations of all involved.
Nelson Perez is president and principal consultant of Sierra’s Edge, Inc. (an SEI Transition Partner) and was the architect and author of all the policies and process assets associated with this presentation. Perez has over 20 years of work experience and has worked the entire life cycle and held numerous management and engineering positions on such high visibility programs as the B2 Stealth Bomber; NASA Space Shuttle; and National Missile Defense. He has worked as a software engineer in several domains including IT, avionics, modeling and simulation, automated manufacturing, non-destructive test, electronic warfare, and large scale security systems. He has co-authored 1 NASA-related patent and his first process improvement effort helped garner the US Air Force/TRW (now part of Northrop Grumman) SOF EISE program the USAF 21st Century Partnership Team Quality Award. He is a candidate SCAMPI Lead Appraiser with an observation appraisal planned for April, 2008. His specialty is project failure turn around, project management, and process improvement. His research interests include process efficiency and effectiveness. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Stevens Institute of Technology.
PDF of presentation