Accelerating Process Improvement Using Agile Techniques  book cover
1st Edition

Accelerating Process Improvement Using Agile Techniques

ISBN 9780849337963
Published December 16, 2005 by Auerbach Publications
392 Pages 78 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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
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          

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“… 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, 2007