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Resolving clashing paradigms between Agile Development and ISO 9000

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There are, on a philosophical level, significant clashes between the agile paradigm and Quality Systems such as ISO 9000 or CMM/CMMi, this is already presented in the Agile Manifesto. Agile Development is based on what I would call post-modern paradigms when compared to the plan-driven and early iterative development methodologies which are based on a positivist paradigm.

The underlying philosophical challenges cannot be easily mitigated. But a purist agile paradigm may tend to stress a positivist paradigm as well and this can be dangerous since then agile would not be agile any longer.

While it may not be possible to completely remove the challenges between agile and quality systems, it is possible to learn to live with some tension between different paradigms.

There are some obvious areas of conflict, for examplethe Agile methodologies strongly discourages unnecessary documentation, and questions that it is possible to provide all requirements up-front. ISO 9000 on the other hand demands requirements up-front and documented evidence of almost anything, but such practical aspects can actually be mitigated with relative ease. Other aspects may demand much more effort. In particular the internal auditing process is problematic and other means of ensuring compliance may have to be considered.

We have in my company systematically piloted a number of organisational changes in order to better support agile development. We have done this within the overall framework of our ISO 9000 system which is used a structure anda a gatekeeper. To do this we have used Action Research, which in it self is a kind of agile methodology, although of much older date than agile development.

While the presentation has a strong theoretical foundation the focus is on the practical experiences we have had of building an organisational framework for agile development and while doing that suggesting a few means to mitigate the challenges mentioned initially.

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Resolving clashing paradigms between Agile Development and ISO 9000

  1. 1. Mikael Gislén Resolving clashing paradigms between Agile Development and ISO 9000 mikael@gislen.com
  2. 2. About me http://tiny.cc/sz0rbx http://tiny.cc/510rbx mikael@gislen.com mikael@gislen.com
  3. 3. • Underlying Philosophies • Is there a clash? • The agile manifesto and the ISO standard • Research and experience • What is easy to mitigate? • What is hard to mitigate? • Further discussions
  4. 4. Philosophy Source: Ovesen 2012 and other
  5. 5. Philosophy Source: Wikipedia and other
  6. 6. Is there a clash?
  7. 7. Philosophy What’s there to know? How can we know? How can we get that knowledge? What procedures do we need to follow to get it?
  8. 8. Positivism The world is following laws, and we can research and set up formulas which will help us to fully understand the universe Key names: Isaac Newton, August Comte,
  9. 9. Deduction Philosophy Induction Observation
  10. 10. Philosophy Poppers black swan
  11. 11. Feasibility Study Requirement Phase Design Phase Implementation Phase Test Phase Philosophy Installation Phase Rooted in positivism but Royce (1970) the father of the WFM wrote that the process above is a flawed process and to get it to work there must be feedback loops. However readers of this paper remembered the diagram and not his writing.
  12. 12. Philosophy
  13. 13. Philosophy Subjectivism
  14. 14. Philosophy
  15. 15. Philosophy
  16. 16. Philosophy Platos cave where the prisoners are tied up and cannot see the objects behind their back and only see the projection on the wall
  17. 17. Philosophy
  18. 18. Philosophy
  19. 19. Agile
  20. 20. Quality Systems
  21. 21. Agile Agile perspective
  22. 22. Agile
  23. 23. Quality Systems Total Quality Management
  24. 24. Quality Systems Total Quality Management
  25. 25. Quality Systems ISO 9000/CMMi perspective
  26. 26. Quality Systems Why so little research?
  27. 27. Quality Systems
  28. 28. Quality Systems
  29. 29. Conflict
  30. 30. How the PL interpreted the system How the architect interpreted it How the designer interpreted it How sales described the system The installed version What was invoiced Support The system the customer expected Conflict What the customer said they wanted Documentation
  31. 31. Conflict
  32. 32. Conflict
  33. 33. Conflict
  34. 34. Conflict Agile QMS
  35. 35. Research
  36. 36. Plan Research Reflect Act Observe
  37. 37. Research
  38. 38. Research
  39. 39. Mitigation
  40. 40. Feasibility Study As agile as it gets Requirement Phase System Test Phase Mitigation Installation Phase
  41. 41. Mitigation
  42. 42. Conclusions • What is your underlying paradigm? • What values do you want to have? • Which methods best support these values? • Which practices are required to do these methods? • Which tools are required to follow these methods? mikael@gislen.com
  43. 43. mikael@gislen.com
  44. 44. Four paradigms for IS research ORDER Functionalism Social Relativism Philosophy OBJECTIVISM SUBJECTIVISM Radical Structuralism Neohumanism CONFLICT Adapted from Burrel and Morgan 1979 & Hierscheim & Klein 1989
  45. 45. Where does ISO and Agile come in? ORDER Functionalism Social Relativism ISO Agile Philosophy OBJECTIVISM SUBJECTIVISM Radical Structuralism Neohumanism Agile Agile CONFLICT Adapted from Burrel and Morgan 1979, Nabende, Ahimbisibwe & Lubega (2006), Øgland (2005)
  46. 46. ISO ISO on Processes
  47. 47. Quality Systems ISO on Documentation
  48. 48. Quality Systems ISO on requirements
  49. 49. Quality Systems ISO on Following a plan
  50. 50. Quality Systems Muda (無駄) is a Japanese word meaning "futility; uselessness; idleness; superfluity; waste; wastage; wastefulness", and is a key concept in the Toyota Production System (Wikipedia) From Lean Software Strategies: Proven Techniques for Managers and Developers by Peter Middleton,James Sutton (2005)
  51. 51. Quality Systems From Lean Software Strategies: Proven Techniques for Managers and Developers by Peter Middleton,James Sutton (2005)
  52. 52. Quality Systems From Lean Software Strategies: Proven Techniques for Managers and Developers by Peter Middleton,James Sutton (2005)

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