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

Book Description

“This book hits the mark for three important issues:

  • How to keep focused on real improvements

  • How to develop an implementable improvement plan

  • How to develop meaningful and useful measurements

  • I will definitely recommend it to my clients who are just beginning or are having trouble with their improvement program.
    —Norman Hammock, SEI Authorized Lead Assessor

    “At last a common sense and business-oriented approach to process improvement. This book gives very practical instruction that is easy to apply. Your people will thank you for it.”
    —Nancy K. M. Rees, Vice President and Chief Engineer, Xerox Corporation

    “...gets right to the heart of process improvement with specific, concrete steps and excellent examples. It’s a book you can use today.”
    —Dennis J. Frailey, Principal Fellow, Raytheon Company

    “Too many organizations develop a checklist mentality targeted at achieving the next process maturity level or passing an audit...Neil and Mary remind us to focus on pragmatic mechanisms for achieving superior business results...”
    —Karl Wiegers, Principal Consultant, Process Impact

    Software process improvement too often reflects a significant disconnect between theory and practice. This book bridges the gap—offering a straightforward, systematic approach to planning, implementing, and monitoring a process improvement program. Project managers 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 projects 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 CMM® and CMMISM, into your improvement program

  • For those managers who are tired of chronic project difficulties, 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.



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