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 antithesis of the process improvement philosophy. Process is about taking your approach to work and formalizing it into a program others can follow.
At its heart, process improvement is about four basic activities:
Looking at what you do
Focusing in on the things you do well (or want ...