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Real Process Improvement: Getting What You Need

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For processes to improve anything, they must be used and useful. Learn how good process improvement efforts are tied to business goals and problems, and most importantly actually improve processes.
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What is real process improvement? Process improvement should help you do your job better and reach the organization's business goals.

Wrong Turns in Process Improvement

Organizations frequently believe that process improvement means writing and implementing processes, as if creating huge documents will miraculously make people do things better. The problem comes when managers and engineers try to get these processes adopted. Some people see them as unnecessary or inappropriate. Others are overwhelmed by the vast amount of paper and lack the time to read it, much less implement the practices listed inside. This approach to improvement often wastes time and money.

Another problem is that people often see external standards or models such as the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model (CMM) or ISO as goals themselves. They become too focused on the activities listed and lose sight of the intent, concentrating on proving they have achieved a standard, rather than ensuring that they are receiving the intended benefits of these practices.

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