1.4. Moving Forward
Every day we can see how process helps businesses build business. Successful banks balance their portfolios of risky loans and secured loans using proven processes, ones that mitigate risk, provide for flexibility, and, in the end, average out in the plus column. Builders of
Process works. And process can work in your technology organization, too. You'll find that with processeven light, malleable processyour planning becomes more accurate, your estimates are more dependable, and your expectations tend to
You have taken a smart step in moving forward. The processes contained in programs like ISO 9001:2000, CMMI, and Six Sigma are proven to deliver distinct benefits, whether you're designing software, integrating systems, building components, or architecting solutions. Acquiring a good, beginning understanding of process improvement and of these three widely recognized programs will help you establish a process program in your organization that moves you toward your goals of quality, predictability, efficiency, and success.
Chapter 2. The Case for Process
MANY READERS OF THIS BOOK WILL BE LOOKING INTO THE DISCIPLINE OF PROCESS IMPROVEMENT FOR the first time. But even if this area is new to them, most readers should be pretty much experts in more than one realm of information technology, perhaps programming, project management, or quality control; maybe architecture, design, or implementation; or, still yet, management, strategic planning, or performance analysis. Those kinds of backgrounds are invaluable when it comes to understanding the roles process improvement can play in organizational success. And they are essential for making the case for process improvement.
In fact, if you are what might be called the "typical" reader of this book, you may well understand more about the potential for process in your organization than most. The reason is simple. Process improvement is about improving the way the organization works. When it comes to that work, you're a pro.
Process is not (or should not be) about adopting new "things" blindly and then hoping that those things do whatever it is they're supposed to do. It should not be a series of new practices that represent what the "industry" says you should be doing. That is the
At its heart, process improvement is about four basic activities:
Those four steps are about as basic as you can get, but they bring me to an important point. Your expertise as a programmer, a manager, an analystthese are all keys to the success of your organization's process improvement efforts. Your knowledge, experience, and insight should be the crucial
Those who do not seek to take advantage of what the organization already does well (its habits, knowledge, experience, and insight)those people who prefer to wipe the slate cleanare missing a critical element to process improvement success.
Given that, I can now take a first step toward making the case for process in any technology organization. And the first point toward that goal is that you are the process.
CMMI Survival Guide: Just Enough Process Improvement
CMMI for Development: Guidelines for Process Integration and Product Improvement (3rd Edition) (SEI Series in Software Engineering)
Integrating CMMI and Agile Development: Case Studies and Proven Techniques for Faster Performance Improvement (SEI Series in Software Engineering)
The Power of Business Process Improvement: 10 Simple Steps to Increase Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Adaptability