Making Process Improvement Work for Service Organizations: A Concise Action Guide
Product Author Bios
Neil Potter is a co-founder of The Process Group, a company that consults in software engineering process improvement. He has been working in software development, software engineering, and process and project management since 1985. He is an SEI-authorized Lead Assessor.
Mary Sakry is a co-founder of The Process Group, a company that consults in software engineering process improvement. She has been working in software development, software engineering, and process and project management since 1976. She is an SEI-authorized Lead Assessor.
Process improvement too often reflects a significant disconnect between theory and practice. Making Process Improvement Work for Service Organizations bridges the gap–offering a straightforward, systematic approach to planning, implementing, and monitoring a process improvement program. Managers and practitioners will appreciate the book’s concise presentation style and will be able to apply its practical ideas immediately to real-life challenges.
With examples based on the authors’ own extensive experience, this book shows how to define goals that directly address the needs of your organization, use improvement models appropriately, and devise a pragmatic action plan. In addition, it reveals valuable strategies for deploying organizational change, and delineates essential metrics for tracking your progress. Appendices provide examples of an action plan, a risk management plan, and a mini-assessment process.
You will learn how to
- Scope and develop an improvement plan
- Identify and prioritize risks and mitigate anticipated difficulties
- Derive metrics that accurately measure progress toward business goals
- Sell your improvement program in house
- Initially target practitioners and teams most open to new approaches and techniques
- Stay focused on goals and problems
- Align the actions of managers and practitioners
- Delay major policy documents and edicts until solutions have been practiced and tested
- Use existing resources to speed deployment
Incorporate improvement models, such as SEI CMMISM for Services, into your improvement program
For those managers who are tired of chronic problems during service creation and delivery, constant new improvement schemes, and a lack of real progress, this easily digestible volume provides the real-world wisdom you need to realize positive change in your organization.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Developing a Plan 1
Scope the Improvement 5
Develop an Action Plan 20
Determine Risks and Plan to Mitigate 36
Chapter 2: Implementing the Plan 47
Sell Solutions Based on Needs 48
Work with the Willing and Needy First 53
Overcoming Resistance 61
Keep Focused on the Goals and Problems 67
Align the Behaviors of Managers and Practitioners 68
Chapter 3: Checking Progress 73
Are We Making Progress Toward Our Goals? 74
Are We Making Progress on Our Improvement Plan? 82
Are We Making Progress on the Improvement Framework? 83
What Lessons Have We Learned So Far? 94
Appendix A: Mapping Goals and Problems to CMMI 109
Definitions of CMMI Level 2 Practices Used in Mapping 111
Definitions of CMMI Level 3 Practices Used in Mapping 113
Appendix B: Action Plan Example 117
Appendix C: Risk Management Plan Example 123
Appendix D: Mini-Assessment Process 127
Step 1: Plan the Assessment 128
Step 2: Meet with the Interviewees to Explain What Will Be Checked and How 129
Step 3: Perform the Mini-Assessment Interview 130
Step 4: Communicate the Results 130
Step 5: Debrief on the Mini-Assessment Process 133
Step 6: Improve the Questionnaire 134
Step 7: Taking Corrective Action 135
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