- 4.1 What You Will Learn in This Chapter
- 4.2 BOND Case Study Background
- 4.3 What Is a Gap Analysis and Why Is It Crucial for Agile Organizations?
- 4.4 Keys to Conducting a Gap Analysis for an Agile Organization
- 4.5 Example of "Potential Weakness" Against CMMI in an Agile Organization
- 4.6 Running Process Improvement like a Project
- 4.7 TWG Approach for Agile Organizations
- 4.8 Revisiting the Goal and Challenges on the Process Improvement Project
- 4.9 Alternative Practices and Tailored Agile TWG
- 4.10 Returning to the Peer Review Example
- 4.11 Tailored TWG Techniques and Lessons at BOND
- 4.12 Preparation Work for Running Agile TWGs
- 4.13 Packaging of Processes
- 4.14 An Agile Organizational Process Asset Structure
- 4.15 Process Asset Guidelines Used at BOND
- 4.16 Different Organizations with Different Process Asset Structures
- 4.17 Agile TWG Roles and Responsibilities
- 4.18 Effective Techniques to Run an Agile TWG
- 4.19 Separating the TWG Work from the Lead Offline Work
- 4.20 What Do You Do When You Find a Gap?
- 4.21 Answers to Common Questions When Running an Agile TWG
- 4.22 Do I Need a DAR Process?
- 4.23 Do I Need to Verify Everything I Develop?
- 4.24 Do I Need to Make Sure the Steps in My Processes Are in the Right Order?
- 4.25 Do I Need to Make Sure Process Descriptions Are Not Redundant?
- 4.26 Can Requirements Be Captured in an Email or PowerPoint Slides?
- 4.27 Do Requirements Need to Be Captured in Single "Shall Statements"?
- 4.28 Formalizing Informality
- 4.29 Summary
- 4.30 Summary: How Agile Helps CMMI
4.10 Returning to the Peer Review Example
What is the intent of the specific practices in the Verification Process Area related to performing peer reviews? The tips in the CMMI guidelines book give us good hints that can help us understand intent. In the Peer Review case, they tell us "peer reviews provide opportunities to learn and share information across the team," and "many different types of reviews might be considered." The text also tells us that the purpose of peer reviews is to:
- Identify defects for removal and recommend other changes that are needed.
This information leads us to ask some different questions, which we did at BOND. When I asked:
- How do you identify defects for removal and get recommendations for other changes that are needed?
- We demonstrate our products early and often to our customers.
- We meet daily with our teammates and discuss openly the work we are doing. Our products are checked into a library every day where others can see them and are encouraged to provide feedback. And they do.
As I listened to the answers, I realized that when they said they didn't do "formal peer reviews" they meant they didn't have a single defined time when people went into a conference room to provide feedback on a product. However, they did achieve the intent of "peer reviews" by doing continual "less formal" peer reviews throughout the development. This is a common practice in many Agile organizations.
This is an example of digging for the real process that is followed to achieve the intent of a given practice. At BOND after this discussion by the Verification Process Area TWG, it was decided that the process did need to be documented, but that it wasn't an alternate practice at all like first thought.
They were just using different "how to" techniques to "share information across the team" and "peer review" products. While this had been a concern early in preparing for the formal appraisal, it turned out there were no issues raised during the formal appraisal about peer reviews at BOND.
"Convenient, but False Arguments"
While BOND was successful, no company is perfect. Therefore, as you ask the intent question and conduct related discussions, I recommend that multiple people participate, including Agile knowledgeable and CMMI knowledgeable people, and others that might be independent of the organization to ensure the group is not creating "convenient, but false arguments." An example of a "convenient, but false argument" would be an organization that claims it does continuous team reviews on its products, and/or frequent and early product demonstrations with the customer, but doesn't follow through in a disciplined way when conducting these activities.
This situation can usually be uncovered by asking questions to determine if there is a related problem in the organization.7