1st Edition

Accelerating Process Improvement Using Agile Techniques

By Deb Jacobs Copyright 2006
    388 Pages 78 B/W Illustrations
    by Auerbach Publications

    Accelerating Process Improvement Using Agile Techniques explains how agile programming is applied to standard process improvement. By applying agile techniques, IT organizations can speed up process improvement initiatives, minimize the resources these initiatives require, and maximize the benefits of process improvement. The book details step-by-step how to implement the Accelerating Process Improvement Methodology (APIM) and how to integrate APIM with various standard process improvement models and methodologies, including the ISO 9000 series, SPICE, TQM, SPIRE, PMBOK, and CMM/CMMI. Agile process improvement enables organizations to rapidly set strategic goals, meet a greater percentage of user requirements, and realize a quicker return on investment.


    About the Author

    Deb Jacobs is a Professional Consultant with Focal Point Associates specializing in process improvement and project management. She currently provides support to organizations in training, process improvement consulting, project management consulting, software engineering consulting, and proposal development. Ms. Jacobs has over 25 year’s in project management, process improvement management, system/software engineering, and proposal development with a BS in Computer Science.

    Why Accelerate Process Improvement?         
    Staying Ahead of the Competition
    What is Process Improvement?
    What is a Process?
    Process Maturity
    Process Maturity Effect on Day-to-Day Operations
    Process Maturity Enhancers and Barriers
    Evolution of Process Improvement
    How to Accelerate Process Improvement?
    Finding New Cheese
    Questions, Questions, and More Questions
    What You See Is Relative to Where You’re Standing
    Selecting the Right Model or Methodology
    Keeping It Short and Simple
    Key Success Criteria   
    Key Success Criteria
    Change Management Challenges
    CMMIÒ Basic Training
    Flavors of CMMIÒ
    CMMIÒ Terminology
    CMMIÒ Maturity Levels
    CMMIÒ Continuous Capability Levels
    CMMIÒ Categories
    CMMIÒ Process Areas
    CMMIÒ Specific Goals and Practices
    CMMIÒ Generic Goals and Practices
    SW-CMMÒ Mapping to CMMIÒ
    Implementing the CMMI®
    Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycle
    IDEALSM Model
    Organizational Processes
    Developing Processes
    Organizational Process Library
    Tailoring Processes
    Enforcing Process Use
    Accelerating Process Improvement Methodology (APIM) Introduction
    Accelerating Process Improvement Methodology (APIM)
    Agile Programming Methodology
    APIM Phases
    Pre Maturity Phase: Step 1-Launch
    Process Improvement Goals
    Executive Management Buy-in
    Resources and Budget
    Initial Master Schedule
    Authorization and Approvals
    Executive Steering Committee
    Process Team Generation
    Kick-off Meetings
    Marketing Process Improvement
    Pre Maturity Phase: Step 2-Planning
    Action Planning
    Key Planning Areas
    Tools for Success: Techniques, Methods, Models, and Databases
    Detailing the Master Schedule
    Measures for Success
    Selecting Projects for Process Improvement
    Team Action Plan
    Organizational Kickoff Meetings
    Establishing Regular Status Meetings and Reports
    Process Group Team Meetings
    Executive Steering Committee
    Process Group Training
    Organizational Training
    Maturity Phase: Step 1—Awareness
    Mini-Assessment Methodology
    Mini-Assessment Team Composition
    Mini-Assessment Scope
    Mini-Assessment Process
    Maturity Phase: Step 2—Triage
    Triage for Prioritization
    Learning from Mistakes
    Keeping it Agile
    Triage Process Group Meeting
    Managing Actions
    Maturity Phase: Step 3—Resolution
    Process Action Teams (PAT)
    Resolution How-To’s
    Monitoring PATs
    Maturity Phase: Step 4—Training
    Training Methods
    Training Conduct
    Standard Contents for Training Sessions
    Training Survey/Evaluation
    Use Training To Gain Buy-In
    Maturity Phase: Step 5—Deployment
    Process Piloting
    Evaluating the Process Effectiveness
    Process Group Mentoring Piloted Processes
    Maturity Phase: Step 6—Trial
    Putting Processes on Trial
    Evaluating Effectiveness
    Final Approvals
    Deploy Processes
    Formal Appraisal or Not
    Lessons Learned
    Post Maturity Phase: Step 1—Assess
    Some Formal Assessment Methods
    Assessment Preparations
    Post Maturity Phase: Step 2—Improve
    Keeping the Momentum Going
    Changing Over Time
    Auditing for Process Adherence
    Training Assessment
    APIM Checklist
    Implementing APIM
    The People Side of Process Improvement
    Process Improvement Effort Staffing
    Executive Management
    All Organization Stakeholder
    Organizational Change
    Process Improvement is Like Cat Herding
    The Science of Organizational Change
    Tools and Strategies to Effecting Organizational Change
    Planning and Managing Change
    Bottom Line
    Slow and Easy versus Accelerated Process Improvement
    Lessons Learned
    Keys to Remember
    Bottom Line
    Accelerating Process Improvement Methodology Toolkit
    Appendix A       Work Breakdown Structure
    Appendix B       Wideband Delphi Estimating Method Typical Procedures
    Appendix C       Schedule Checklist       
    Appendix D       Budget Checklist          
    Appendix E       Initial Executive Management Kickoff Meeting Agenda      
    Appendix F        Initial Executive Management Kickoff Meeting Minutes     
    Appendix G       The Goose Story           
    Appendix H       Overall Process Improvement Action Plan           
    Appendix I         Major Activity (PAT) Action Plan 
    Appendix J        Process Template         
    Appendix K       CMMIÒ Process Stop Light Charts         
    Appendix L        Process Group Meeting Agenda 
    Appendix M       Process Group Meeting Minutes
    Appendix N       Executive Steering Committee Review Meeting Agenda    
    Appendix O       Executive Steering Committee Review Meeting Minutes   
    Appendix P       Process Notebook Excerpt        
    Appendix Q       Audit Schedule 
    Appendix R       Audit Plan        
    Appendix S       Audit Checklist 
    Appendix T        Audit Report     
    Appendix U       Gap Analysis Checklist 
    Appendix V       Sample Criteria Grids    
    Appendix W      APIM Checklist 
    Appendix X        Acronyms        
    Appendix Y       Glossary of Key Terms  
    Appendix Z        Useful Web Sites          


    Deb Jacobs

    “… enhances the likelihood of success for IT projects. This volume describes a proved methods for accelerating process improvement that helps set the goals and directions of organizations. The book offers several real-world scenarios describing situations prevalent throughout IT organizations regardless of the primary business in which a company may be engages. Without the process improvement techniques described in this volume, organizations are at risk of losing valuable employees, as well as money, reputation, and clients. … walks the reader through many process improvement methodologies, describes CMMI in detail, and then writes about agile process improvement using an easy-to-read, “cookbook” approach. Her toolkit in the appendix will give the beginner valuable tips for developing schedules, work breakdown structures, and meeting agendas and minutes. The process improvement information presented in this book is complete and easy to read. …”
    — Jan Scott, in StickyMinds.com, 2007