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Management Role: Ensuring That Software Process Improvement Sticks

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Good managers provide a clear focus for the improvement efforts for the organization and its people. Learn how to remain informed about planned improvements, and how to help people see how the new practices support the organizational goals.
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Introduction

Without leadership, good improvement efforts usually derail and fail. As a manager, you can help keep the efforts on track by providing a clear focus for the improvement, by letting people know what is expected of them, and by aligning your behavior with the improvement.

Focus

The first step in encouraging good process improvement is to make sure that people stay focused on the organization's goals. When people know what is expected of them, it is a lot easier for them to make appropriate choices. For example, if they know that meeting a product delivery deadline is most important, then any improvements that can help them meet deadlines will more likely be adopted. To help your organization stay focused, it is important for you to remain informed about the planned improvements and help people see how the new practices support the organizational goals. For each new or improved practice you need to understand:

  • What the practice is supposed to accomplish

  • Why it is needed (what problem it is fixing, or what goal it is supporting)

  • How and when it should be used

  • How to support it to help ensure its success

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