Organizations usually don’t adopt Scrum because they like its name. Instead, they have heard that software development is better if they use Scrum – quicker, cheaper, higher quality, more satisfied customers and employees. Sometimes things are so bad in software development that they try Scrum just because it wasn’t what they were doing before.
However, adopting Scrum, becoming more agile and improving software development, costs money. It requires training, tooling, coaching. These are all investments. Scrum does not come with a set of tools for managing these investments, measuring the resultant benefits, and optimizing return on investment.
For the last several years, I’ve been developing a framework for managing this investment. It is called the Continuous Improvement Framework (CIF, yes, another acronym). CIF provides a set of management tools for continuously improving an organization and becoming more agile. Your agility is measured by metrics that reflect business value. The value of these metrics reflects your stage of agility. The framework shows you how to organize to increasingly use best practices. The result is a progressive movement from one stage of agility to the next.
CIF lays out modern, widely-accepted practices that, as adopted, progressively improve organizational return on software investment. These practices are grouped by management domain, with each domain accountable for progressive, measureable improvement. The progression of practices and the resultant improved metrics is the “signature” of each organizations progressive improvement.
CIF is under development, as I presented at Scrum Day Europe in Amsterdam in early July, 2012. Over the next six months, I will be working with several partners to validate, extend, test, and refine it. We will collaboratively increase its utility, flexibility, and value. I will post more about it here as Scrum.org and our partners progress.