Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




CMM and XP

Prompted by the "Indian firms are CMM5" thread, I went looking for a comparison of CMM and XP. First hit on Google is what I consider an excellent review and comparison of both methodologies (from the CMM side of the house)

http://www.sei.cmu.edu/cmm/papers/xp-cmm-paper.pdf

Philo

Philo
Saturday, August 30, 2003

Did you notice the title of Beck's latest book "Questioning Extreme Programming."
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0201844575/qid=1062284503/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/102-8882408-7509713?v=glance&s=books

Mike
Saturday, August 30, 2003

This is the best summation of the problems with XP I've ever seen:

His point is that the conditions for XP to be successful are almost never found in nature: a dedicated customer, enthusiastic programmers, trusting management, an "expressive" language, a non-political office and a talented team "coach".

Philo

Philo
Saturday, August 30, 2003

I think it is folly to compare a CMM style, very heavyweight SDLC process with a very lightweight Agile process: There are middle grounds that are far more appropriate for many organizations.

Let me put it another way: If you're at a financial institution (bank, insurance, investment company, etc), it is critical that you have a heavyweight process with all of the checks and balances that that entails : This process guarantees you that something as simple as changing a font or adding a function is a tremendous investment because of the long and arduous process involved (something that a programmer could throw together in a couple of minutes becomes a multi-month project involving BAs, BSAs, UAs, tech writers, program and architecture teams, user acceptance agents, quality auditors, etc), however this provides several layers of safeguards that are critical in such a scenario.

On the other end of the scale are engineering type, quick changing organizations. For these an Agile process is key, or they _will_ be eaten alive by their competitors.

I don't really have a point, except to say that the "outsourcing solution" really is a "solution" when firms that don't need all of the checks and balances of a CMM5 type solution try to act like a bank, ending up with a slow moving, disappointing, tremendously expensive software development process. To them outsourcing to India looks like a great salvation, when in reality they could achieve much greater savings by simply getting rid of the embellishments, the deadweight, and incorporating an Agile process in small, focused teams.

Dennis Forbes
Monday, September 01, 2003

Almost never occur in nature?  Funny, I've worked for 18 years in pretty much those conditions.

Granted, for me 18 years = 2 companies.  :)

Phillip J. Eby
Tuesday, September 02, 2003

"His point is that the conditions for XP to be successful are almost never found in nature: a dedicated customer, enthusiastic programmers, trusting management, an "expressive" language, a non-political office and a talented team "coach"."

Hmm... would CMM or any other Mythology make any of these conditions unnecessary?

Joe AA
Tuesday, September 02, 2003

CMM and ISO9001 make using cargo cult project management to cover lack of management skills much, much easier.

Philo

Philo
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

"Cargo Cult Project Management"

I love it!  I've got to add that one to my group's vocabulary, where it will go along nicely with such gems as "Random Flammable Simian Event" (running around like a monkey with its ass on fire).  So now we'll be able to say things like, "Man, what an RFSE!"  "Yeah, they're using CCPM."  :)

Phillip J. Eby
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home