Monday, February 14, 2011

Is the Integrated Project Management Process Area compatible with Agile?


The Integrated Project Management process area, a process area at maturity level 3, aims at establishing and managing projects “according to an integrated and defined process that is tailored from the organization’s set of standard processes.”

Below are the specific goals and practices:

SG 1 Use the Project’s Defined Process
SP 1.1 Establish the Project’s Defined Process
SP 1.2 Use Organizational Process Assets for Planning Project Activities
SP 1.3 Establish the Project's Work Environment
SP 1.4 Integrate Plans
SP 1.5 Manage the Project Using the Integrated Plans
SP 1.6 Contribute to the Organizational Process Assets
SG 2 Coordinate and Collaborate with Relevant Stakeholders
SP 2.1 Manage Stakeholder Involvement
SP 2.2 Manage Dependencies
SP 2.3 Resolve Coordination Issues

Can the Organization knowledge model be more people oriented?

CMMI defines a level 2 organization as  one that can plan and manage their projects, but there isn’t a unified view (in the organization) on how to do it. In the next level, there’s a set of defined processes that individual projects use, tailoring them to suit their specific needs. Therefore, the company has a centralized, unified view on how to plan and manage projects. The flow repository -> project isn’t unidirectional. As the project ‘learns’, this knowledge is pushed back to the central repository. This model not only allows to have a unified view, but also allows reusing and learning inside the organization. I published in previous posts that I wasn’t sure that all knowledge needed to develop software could be contained in a central repository. I still recognized that maintaining a central repository that allows learning at the organizational level could be very beneficial. It’s hard for me put up in words what I think it would be missing in an Agile environment to complement and improve this learning model. I believe it may be this culture where more senior people seat with junior people to program or to resolve a difficult issue. Perhaps is just that the CMMI is a model centered around processes while Agile in centered around people. Should this learning process be shifted towards people in an Agile organization? How should it be done?


Having worked in many companies, I always have the impression that each project has its own life (use its own processes, tools, etc.). This shouldn’t be the case in a CMMI level 3 organization. The organization’s knowledge should be leverage inside the project, and the projects learnings should leverage the organization’s one. Can this model be shifted towards a more humanistic, not so process oriented one, to make it more compatible with Agile?

Other Areas 

- Is the Organizational Process Definition Process Area compatible with Agile?

- Is the Requirements Management Process Area compatible with Agile?
- Is the Project Monitoring and Control Process Area compatible with Agile?
- Is the Project Planning Process Area compatible with Agile?

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