Austin-SPIN - Archives - Jan08

January 10, 2008

Special joint meeting - Austin SPIN & Agile Austin:


Evolution of Software Development Lifecycles: Waterfallacies and Agile Methods

orge Boria, Liveware, Inc

Jorge Boria's slides are attached at the bottom.

Did you know…
  • That a Waterfall was considered by the author of the first paper on lifecycles a very simplistic and bad idea?
  • Most people that say that they perform XP “but not with all the steps” are not performing XP at all?
  • Scrum, FFD and other agile methods are so disciplined that achieving CMMI Level 2 is not at all a difficult task?
This month’s presentation focuses on how the notion of “lifecycle” evolved. We will start at the dawn of lifecycles, discussing how the waterfall model became “the” model, when it was never proposed as such. We then take some liberties with history, skipping over some notable models, to describe only the most relevant of these, substantiated by the careful thinking of Dr. Barry Boehm. Next we move to the Agile Methods, quoting from the Agile Alliance website and (Alas!) some other sites that are very critical of them. We will show how they are valid heirs to the initial spirit of lifecycles, and how (in spite of some of the self-called adopters that have chosen to ignore the restraints in them) they were designed to instill discipline without bureaucracy.

As we describe Scrum, an excellent example of a practical and disciplined agile approach, we will compare its practices to the requirements of one of the industry’s commonly used (and often appropriately maligned!) reference models, CMMI. We will base this on the speaker’s experience as Lead Appraiser, having seen several examples of organizations that have successfully implemented Maturity Level 2 in a Scrum environment, with very little extra effort. We posit Scrum as the solution to building software fast, building it right and having proof of both. To end, we will (again) borrow some ideas from Dr. Boehm to build a table of some notable Agile Methods comparing how disciplined they are.

About the Speaker:
Resident in Austin when planes don’t take him somewhere far, Mr. Boria is an international consultant for Liveware, Inc. Most of his work in the past five years has taken place in Latin America, where even small organizations (50 or less engineers) are interested in agility as well as the benefits of CMMI accreditation He is a Certified High Maturity Lead Appraiser for SCAMPI A, and an Authorized Trainer of the Introduction to the CMMI of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) of Carnegie-Mellon University. His expertise with the model has made him become a SEI Visiting Scientist, acting as Qualified Candidate Lead Appraiser Observer for the Quality Group. He is also a Certified Scrum Master as of November 2007, an achievement built on work with many companies using Scrum over the past several years.
President Austin-SPIN,
Aug 21, 2009, 9:33 AM