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Making Process Improvement Work: A Concise Action Guide for Software Managers and Practitioners

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Making Process Improvement Work: A Concise Action Guide for Software Managers and Practitioners


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  • Copyright 2002
  • Dimensions: 6-1/4" x 9-1/4"
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-201-77577-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-201-77577-8

Every development organization can benefit by paying attention to process improvement, yet all too many "process improvement initiatives" fail to deliver on their promises. In this concise book, two of the field's leading consultants present easy-to-apply techniques for achieving rapid and quantifiable benefits -- and then maintaining your momentum to deliver even greater value over time. Drawing on their experience with more than 3,000 developers and 100 organizations, Neil S. Potter and Mary E. Sakry show you exactly what works -- and what doesn't work. Next, they present a step-by-step guide to identifying your best opportunities for process improvement, deploying changes effectively, and tracking your progress. The book also includes a detailed example plan document designed to help you jumpstart your process improvement initiative. Making Process Improvement Work includes a foreword by noted software process expert Karl Wiegers. For all developers, project and IT managers, and clients seeking to maximize the effectiveness of the software development process and the value of the software it delivers.


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Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DO (or is it Dont?) Lead by Example

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DO Align the Reward System

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DO Ask Different Questions

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DO Become a Learning Organization

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DO Establish Organizational Policies, Not CMM Policies

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DO Establish the Alignment Principle

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DO Exercise Restraint With Alphabet Soup

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: Do Exit Staged, Right?

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DO Firm Your Firm by Reaffirming

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DO Generate Size Estimates, Naturally

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DO Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DO Separate Process Documentation from Procedures

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DO Separate Process Documentation from Training Material

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: Do Set the Stage for Continuous Improvement

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DO Take Time Getting Faster

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DO Your Level Best To Stay Under the Threshold

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: Don't Carry Old Baggage on a New Journey

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DONT Establish Policies as Behavioral Guidelines

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DONT Expect a Miracle

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DONT Foul Up Size Tracking

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: Dont Maintain a Low Profile

Pat O'Toole's Dos and Don'ts of Process Improvement: DONT: Attend Industry Conferences

Practical Project and Process Documentation

Project Management for Web Sites: Solid Pre-Production is the Key

Real Process Improvement: Getting What You Need

Shoestring Process Improvement — Don't Stop Because Times Are Tough

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xv

Chapter 1: Developing a Plan 1

Scope the Improvement 4

Develop an Action Plan 23

Determine Risks and Plan to Mitigate 38

Summary 49

Chapter 2: Implementing the Plan 51

Sell Solutions Based on Needs 52

Work with the Willing and Needy First 57

Keep Focused on the Goals and Problems 71

Align the Behaviors of Managers and Practitioners 73

Summary 75

Chapter 3: Checking Progress 77

Are We Making Progress on the Goals? 78

Are We Making Progress on Our Improvement Plan? 87

Are We Making Progress on the Improvement Framework? 88

What Lessons Have We Learned So Far? 101

Summary 113

Conclusion 115

Appendix A: Mapping Goals and Problems to CMM 117

Appendix B: Mapping Goals and Problems to CMM and CMMI 125

Appendix C: Action Plan Example 133

Appendix D: Risk Management Example 139

Appendix E: Mini-Assessment Process 145

References 157

Index 161


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