- 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
4.28 Formalizing Informality
One of the greatest achievements with BOND was our close attention to their culture and maintaining it as they grew. As we added the necessary process formality to prepare them for both the organization's continued growth and their upcoming CMMI assessment, we monitored any changes closely to ensure we weren't damaging the Agile culture that had gotten them their rapid growth and success so far.
Key to our success at BOND was a strategy I have referred to as "formalizing informality."
If something is working well, you don't have to change it for CMMI. However, you do have to document it so it can be taught and shared with others.
It might sound odd to say this, but you can formalize informality, and we did it at BOND successfully. What I mean is if you have a process that works such as a risk management process, but it is "informal" in certain ways, you can teach what you do just like you do it, and document it just like you do it. I have found there almost always seems to be a strong tendency by process professionals to assume when working a process improvement effort, what people currently are doing must be wrong if they have no formal documented processes. This view rests at the heart of why we often find in large supposedly process mature organizations a large disconnect from what the people actually do, and what their processes say they do.
An Example of Formalizing Informality: "Doorway" Risk Management
Let me give you an example of formalizing informality. At BOND, one of the reasons the company was so successful was because risk management was an ingrained way of working. People lived risk management daily. When they had a risk they were often in the doorway of a Senior Manager's office strategizing the risk mitigation. They were doing it immediately, not waiting until a formal risk management meeting. Because of this informality, they were able to initiate risk mitigation almost instantly, thereby keeping potential risks from becoming real problems. Effective risk mitigation stood at the heart of why this organization was successful.
Rather than try to add unnecessary paperwork to this process that was already working effectively, we just described in the newly documented Risk Management Process exactly what the expectations were of how risks were identified, assessed, and categorized in the organization. We did add a small degree of documentation that wasn't going on before by adding a risk slide to the periodic senior management briefs, but we emphasized in the Risk Management training the existing culture that was expected to continue to effectively manage risks. We actually taught this informal "doorway risk management" approach.