Posted by: kerrywills | September 25, 2015

The Practical Manifesto


I have been working on IT Programs for over twenty years now and have worked in multiple Software Delivery Lifecycles (SDLCs). I have also had roles where I owned these processes as the CMMI Lead for a Fortune 100 company and as a process owner at other companies. There are many different deployment models for these methodologies which include standards, templates, process documents, coaches, training, etc.

Several years back the Agile delivery experts defined the “Agile Manifesto” around key principles for delivering in that method. Along these lines I have drafted what I am calling the “Practical Manifesto” which are the principles for which (I believe) companies should consider when implementing any methodology.

  • Focus on Intent as opposed to the Prescription – companies, cultures, organizations and people are different and so taking a generic prescriptive approach is not optimal; rather companies should focus on the intent or ‘spirit’ of the practice and look to align to those within their own cultures and standards
  • Consider Constraints of organization – Companies have many constraints including tools, processes, organizational boundaries, funding models, business prioritization, etc. which MUST be considered when deploying any new model. These can not be deployed in a vacuum without considering these constraints, or they will fail
  • Goal is Meeting Commitments vs compliance – These methdologies all promise better delivery and that needs to be the focus. Many process organizations focus on compliance to the process and assume this means better delivery. Instead of inferring better delivery, that should be forefront as the goal. If a project is 100% compliant to a framework but doesn’t deliver, I don’t believe we can call it successful
  • Develop Approach and Roadmap for organization – Process maturity needs to be recognized as a journey which requires a deliberate roadmap which allows an organization make steps recognizing maturity and constraints. “Big bang” approaches cause confusion, inefficiency and generally don’t succeed

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So my point is that we need to take a practical approach to deploying changes which focus on the intention and goals of delivery while considering the constraints of the organization and align to a larger roadmap. I am sure there are a lot of process zealots who will read this and disagree with some of the points so please post comments and let me know what you think.

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