Entries by 'Suzanne Miller'

Is Your Organization Ready for Agile?

Agile , Readiness & Fit Analysis 1 Comment »

By Suzanne Miller 
Principal Researcher
Software Solutions Division

This blog post is the fifth in a series on Agile adoption. 

Suzanne Miller Federal agencies depend on IT to support their missions and spent at least $76 billion on IT in fiscal year 2011, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The catalyst for the study was congressional concern over prior IT expenditures that produced disappointing results, including multimillion dollar cost overruns and schedule delays measured in years, with questionable mission-related achievements. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 2010 issued guidance that advocates federal agencies employ “shorter delivery time frames, an approach consistent with Agile.” This ongoing series on the Readiness & Fit Analysis (RFA) approach focuses on helping federal agencies and other organizations understand the risks involved when contemplating or embarking on the adoption of new practices, such as Agile methods. This blog posting, the fifth in this series, explores the Practices category, which helps organizations understand which Agile practices are already in use to formulate a more effective adoption strategy.

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Is Your Organization Ready for Agile?

Agile , Readiness & Fit Analysis 4 Comments »

Fourth Installment in a Series
By Suzanne Miller
Principal Researcher
Software Solutions Division

Suzanne MillerGovernment agencies, including the departments of Defense, Veteran Affairs, and Treasury, are being asked by their government program office to adopt Agile methods. These are organizations that have traditionally utilized a “waterfall” life cycle model (as epitomized by the engineering “V” charts). Programming teams in these organizations are accustomed to being managed via a series of document-centric technical reviews that focus on the evolution of the artifacts that describe the requirements and design of the system rather than its evolving implementation, as is more common with Agile methods. Due to these changes, many struggle to adopt Agile practices. For example, acquisition staff often wonder how to fit Agile measurement practices into their progress tracking systems. They also find it hard to prepare for technical reviews that don’t account for both implementation artifacts and the availability of requirements/design artifacts. My ongoing series on the Readiness & Fit Analysis (RFA) approach focuses on helping organizations understand the risks involved when contemplating or embarking on the adoption of new practices, in this case Agile methods. This posting explores project and customer environment, one of many challenging factors to assess when considering Agile adoption readiness.

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Is Your Organization Ready for Agile?

Agile , Readiness & Fit Analysis 5 Comments »

Third Installment in a Series on Agile Adoption
By Suzanne Miller
Senior Member of the Technical Staff
Software Solutions Division

Suzanne Miller In our work with the Department of Defense (DoD) and other government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and the  U.S. Department of the Treasury, we often encounter organizations that have been asked by their government program office to adopt agile methods. These are organizations that have traditionally utilized a “waterfall” life cycle model (as epitomized by the engineering “V” charts) and are accustomed to being managed via a series of document-centric technical reviews that focus on the evolution of the artifacts that describe the requirements and design of the system rather than its evolving implementation, as is more common with agile methods. After the program office and contractor are trained, they realize that there is more to an agile approach than frequent, small iterations and daily standup meetings.  As a result, they struggle to adopt agile practices. This post is part of an ongoing series on the Readiness & Fit Analysis (RFA) approach, which helps organizations understand the risks involved when contemplating or embarking on the adoption of new practices, in this case agile methods. This posting continues our exploration of organizational culture, one of the most challenging factors to assess when considering agile adoption readiness.

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Mitigating Agile Adoption Risks: Organization Climate

Agile , Readiness & Fit Analysis 1 Comment »

Second in a Series on Readiness Fit Analysis for Adoption of Agile Methods
By Suzanne Miller
Senior Member of the Technical Staff
Acquisition Support Program

Suzanne MillerThe adoption of new practices, such as agile or any new practice for that matter, is a task that is best undertaken with both eyes open. There are often disconnects between the adopting organization’s current practice and culture and the new practices being adopted. This posting is the second installment in a series on Readiness & Fit Analysis (RFA), which is a model and method for understanding risks when contemplating or embarking on the adoption of new practices, in this case agile methods. The RFA method helps organizations understand the barriers and enablers to successful adoption that are present when an analysis is performed. The first post in this series outlined the principles of RFA and described the Acquisition Support Program’s work in extending RFA to support profiling and adoption risk identification to organizations that are adopting agile methods. This blog post continues the discussion with a more in-depth dive into one more of the six RFA categories that we have identified.

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Readiness & Fit Analysis

Acquisition , Agile , CMMI No Comments »

By Suzanne Miller,
Senior Member of the Technical Staff
Acquisition Support Program

Suzanne MillerAll software engineering and management practices are based on cultural and social assumptions. When adopting new practices, leaders often find mismatches between those assumptions and the realities within their organizations. The SEI has an analysis method called Readiness and Fit Analysis (RFA) that allows the profiling of a set of practices to understand their cultural assumptions and then to use the profile to support an organization in understanding its fit with the practices’ cultural assumptions.  RFA has been used for multiple technologies and sets of practices, most notably for adoption of CMMI practices. The method for using RFA and the profile that supports CMMI for Development adoption is found in Chapter 12 of CMMI Survival Guide: Just Enough Process Improvement. This blog post discusses a brief summary of the principles behind RFA and describes the SEI Acquisition Support Program’s work in extending RFA to support profiling and adoption risk identification for Department of Defense (DoD) and other highly-regulated organizations that are considering or are in the middle of adopting agile methods.

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