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Measuring Adoption Progress

Measuring the progress of your plan’s adoption involves another two-part lesson:

  • Many organizations don’t have any way to measure how the adoption of the new process is going.
  • The use of measurement plans that are far too robust for the early stages of an implementation may be worse than no measurement at all.

Again, you need to reach a balance in determining practical measures that provide visibility into how rapidly and to what level of maturity the adoption is progressing. The goal is to measure how many project teams are using the new process—as well as how proficient they are while practicing it. The process components that form the core/foundational techniques should be adopted first.

One of the challenges that organizations create for themselves is using a formal assessment framework to measure progress in early stages. An example would be using Capability Maturity Model integration (CMMi) to measure the results of project teams that are learning and being mentored on applying the techniques of the new process. Such formal assessment frameworks can add value, but early on in the implementation lifecycle they can provide false statistics, add overhead, and take away from resource bandwidth and budget, while failing to provide insight into how the actual progress of the adoption is going.

A much more meaningful measure is using actionable tasks resulting in the production of work products that can be reviewed for quality as well as how downstream consumers are able to use them. (Architect and developer being the "consumers" of requirement work products.) Using a maturity scale that takes the quality of the work products produced, usage of the work products, and how much hand-to-hand mentoring was needed will provide a clear picture of how the new process framework is really being adopted by the people who are using it on real projects.

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