Agile Software Development Methodologies: Raising the Floor or Lowering the Ceiling
Marriott Hotel — Florida Salon II

Laurie Williams, North Carolina State University (
Steven Fraser, Nortel Networks

The use of agile, lightweight software development methodologies can raise the floor for organizations that have historically used ad hoc, “code and fix” processes. Transitioning from an immature to a disciplined process requires a behavioral and cultural change. These developers might find a transition to agile methodologies palatable where otherwise they would find a transition to a heavyweight process unthinkable. Many would agree that it would be beneficial if agile methodologies were adopted by organizations that now operate in “code and fix” mode.
Many organizations on the quest for higher and higher levels of CMM maturity are also considering and transitioning to various agile methodologies. Is this change beneficial to these organizations? Or, are they in fact, lowering the ceiling, and compromising beneficial practices that were previously incorporated? Often, these same organizations are under renewed pressure to react to innovations and market changes at warp speed. Heavyweight processes might prevent them from responding to these changes rapidly enough. Additionally, agile methodologies might allow practitioners from heavyweight organizations to “come out of the closet” and admit they were actually not following their process.

This workshop’s goal is to bring together practitioners who have experiences from both the “raise the floor” and the “lower the ceiling” perspectives and explore the issues involved in an organizations adoption of agile, lightweight software development methodologies.


Track: Agile Methods

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