wrestling with chaos in software development methods <was SCRUM>

Subject: wrestling with chaos in software development methods <was SCRUM>
From: "Nancy Osterhout" <bluetwilight -at- home -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2001 00:17:04 -0700

Anne McDonough asks:

>My company is trying to rein in the chaos of our current
software development methods (let's just say it's casual)
and impose some order. We are meeting tomorrow to discuss
SCRUM, some methodology my boss found on the web
(www.controlchaos.com). Has anyone out there used this
method? <snip>So, we are trying to rein in the chaos and be
much more organized for this delivery.

Scott Turner advised:

>I regret to tell you that I worked for a company that tried
to implement ISO processes into their development process,
but because they couldn't plan, hold to a plan, or follow
the processes they had put into place, we were never on
time, with a product that worked. Ever.

Mary Deaton added:

>I suggest that your boss actually read some of the
literature on the subject, such as any book by Steve
McConnell (http://www.construx.com/stevemcc/), then go to
McConnell's consultancy web site, http://www.construx.com/
<snip>There are lots of methodologies pushed out there, and
I think you have to be careful what you choose. The
development team has to be on-board and involved in deciding
how they want to change or it will never work.

Anne, I don't know about SCRUM, so, sorry, can't help you on
that. However, I do definitely understand and agree with
what Scott and Mary are talking about.

I'm a process writer for ISO and CMM documentation. I've
also conducted internal quality audits as a trained internal
auditor for my employer's ISO quality system and procedures.
I've also worked with software developer teams to get
everyone "lined up under the same flag," so to speak, by
documenting their software development methodology.

On a recent contract, I worked at a huge, very well-known
company to capture tribal knowledge and write procedures for
their software developers to bring their division to Level 2
of the CMM (Capability Maturity Model for software).

My humble suggestion is that you may want to check out the
CMM for your group because it helps a company to bring order
to the chaos often apparent in software development in a
logical, predictable way. To do that, the CMM defines
certain processes for the company to have in place and
documented so that they're repeatable.

The 1st level of maturity according to CMM is "Chaos." This
means that every time a project is started, everybody seems
to start from scratch on what they're doing to develop it.
The 2nd level of maturity is "Repeatable" because everyone
knows what everyone would be doing because those processes
are documented. The company's processes are their own to
develop and document, so as life goes on and better ways are
found for doing those processes, all that has to happen is
for the changes to be approved and the documents updated and
the updated process communicated to all interested parties.

A couple of the procedures required for Level 2 CMM are:
"Planning a Software Project" and "Software Project Tracking
and Oversight."

Short description of CMM:

Introduction to CMM - Capability Maturity Model for Software
(Version 1.1)

Long description of all capabilities - Key Practices of the

Article comparing CMM to ISO

Curtis Cook's conference papers. The documentation process
model paper is here.


Does anyone on this list have experience in documenting
procedures for CMM?

Weaving the multi-textured colors of Life's tapestry...


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