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  1. Introduction
  2. A goal-problem approach
  3. Dealing with items that don't match the improvement model or standard
  4. Addressing all of the items in the model or standard
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Dealing with items that don't match the improvement model or standard.

In figure 1, not all of the problems in the list closely match the areas of CMM Level 2. For example, there is not much in the CMM to address goal #4 specifically. In this situation, one has to determine which areas are the most important for the organization to fix now. Serious problems should be worked on first.

What can be learned using this approach?

Three significant lessons can be learned from adopting the goal-problem approach:

  1. The problems and goals help the organization identify which pieces of a process improvement model or standard to work on first. A model or standard should no longer be seen as providing an all-or-nothing approach, which often leads people to do everything at once, regardless of whether it is appropriate.

  2. Any process document that is developed to solve a problem will be meaningful and useful. The process improvement team will be less tempted to gold-plate the process, since its scope will be defined by a problem or goal.

  3. The motivation of the group to work on improvement issues will be increased. The improvements will be directed toward improving the group's ability to produce software. Barriers to success will be solved systematically.

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