Scrum and CMMI Going from Good to Great
Jakobsen, C. J. Sutherland, G. in Agile 2009, Chicago, 2009.
Projects combining agile methods with CMMI combine adaptability with predictability to better serve large customer needs. The introduction of Scrum at Systematic, a CMMI Level 5 company, doubled productivity and cut defects by 40% compared to waterfall projects in 2006 by focusing on early testing and time to fix builds. Systematic institutionalized Scrum across all projects and used data driven tools like story process efficiency to surface Product Backlog impediments. This allowed them to systematically develop a strategy for a second doubling in productivity. Two teams have achieved a sustainable quadrupling of productivity compared to waterfall projects. We discuss here the strategy to bring the entire company to that level. Our experiences shows that Scrum and CMMI together bring a more powerful combination of adaptability and predictability than either one alone and suggest how other companies can combine them to achieve Toyota level performance – 4 times the productivity and 12 times the quality of waterfall teams.