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Topics: Recent, All, Agile, ConfigMgmt, ITIL®, Management, Metrics, Planning, Process, Quality, Requirements, Risk, Standards  
  Process Articles    

Adopting an Agile Method
This article is also published on Methods and Tools.
Topic: Agile, Process   •   Date Published: Spring 2006

The argument has been made: "We should be using an Agile software development method." And the command has rung out: "Make it so!" Adopting an Agile method is no different from any other change we might make to the methods and tools we use. We must determine why we are embarking on this course, choose the method that will satisfy the need most closely, then map out the path from where we are today to where we need to be. Then we can "make it so".

Can We Afford Software Process?
Topic: Process   •   Date Published: 2003
In small entrepreneurial companies, the most critical things are speed and flexibility. We must be able to move quickly, react to both opportunities and threats, and make new product available to customers on a regular basis. In an environment like this, can we afford to spend the time to focus on developing and improving our software development processes? And can we afford the overhead involved in following well-defined processes? A better question would be: Can we afford not to address our software development processes?

CMM® and CMMI®: Show Me the Value!
Topic: Process   •   Date Published: 2005
Most organizations seek a rating against the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) or Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) because their customers require it of them. But what about the majority of us for whom no such requirement exists? Is there any value in the CMM? Is there any reason why we should pay attention to what the CMMI says? In two words, Yes, and Yes!

CMM®-Compliant XP
Topic: Agile, Process   •   Date Published: 2003
"Should we do XP? Or CMM?" Although XP and CMM appear to be incompatible, they need not be. CMM recognizes that different projects may require different processes. Interestingly, the types of projects for which XP was designed, are precisely the ones with which organizations engaged in CMM-based process improvement programs have the most trouble. So, could XP be one of the available options in your CMM toolkit? No, and Yes.

Consistent Quality Requires Consistent Processes
This article is also published on CM Crossroads.
Topic: Quality, Process   •   Date Published: 18 Jul 2005

Inconsistency in quality--of food, of service, of products, of software--of anything is almost always caused by inconsistency in the way those things are done. Both the traditional plan-based CMMI, and the new Agile methods agree that consistency in the way processes are used is so important that a proactive approach is necessary to ensure that consistency is there.

Developing Developers
This article is published on Pittsburgh Business Times.
Topic: Process   •   Date Published: 27 Aug 2001

Software development companies are just starting to understand what sports teams have known for years. It pays to have a coach. This article describes what coaching involves, and the benefits that comapnies have realized from capitalizing on this simple concept.

Did That Process Change Work?: Four Steps to Better Processes
This article is also published on Project Connections.
Topic: Process, Metrics   •   Date Published: 25 Sep 2007

There is an old saying that goes, "You can't manage what you don't measure." This saying has survived the test of time because it is an essential truth. And it applies to more than just organizational management or even project management. It is just as true for process change. Coming up with good ideas for process changes is only the first step. The real work follows that step. And that real work is what must be carefully managed--and carefully measured!

Evolving an Engineering Process for Software
Topic: Process   •   Date Published: 2003
While communication is necessary to the success of IT projects, it is certainly not sufficient. In order for communication to be effective, it must involve the right parties and be based on a vocabulary that all of those parties understand. The most critical communication is between the technicians and the business people, and the engineering process itself provides the basis and vocabulary for that communication.

In Search of the Elusive "Best Practice"
This article is also published on CM Crossroads.
Topic: Process, Standards   •   Date Published: 21 Apr 2010

A friend and fellow consultant has been known to react quite strongly to the phrase "Best Practice". "There is NO such thing as 'best practice'!" James will inform you in his not-so gentle manner. "There are only good practices that are appropriate under certain circumstances!" While I tend not to be as adamant as James, I certainly agree with his thesis. You can't assume something will work for you just because it works well for someone else.

High-Quality Processes
This article is also published on CM Crossroads.
Topic: Process   •   Date Published: 15 Mar 2006

All of us can think of examples of bad processes. But it may be hard to think of what a high-quality process looks like because they are the ones that were invisible! So, what is it that makes a process "high-quality"? And what is it about high-quality processes that makes them invisible? They are the processes that help people to do their jobs well without getting in the way.

Meeting Customer Requirements: First Time, Every Time Using TQM
This article is published on the James A Ward & Associates website.
Topic: Requirements, Process   •   Date Published: Summer 1994
Total Quality Management is a commitment to the continuous improvement of work processes with the goal of satisfying internal and external customers. It's the customer that matters in TQM, the process is the means to satisfying the customer. This article by James A Ward provides a good summary of the principles behind TQM; a "fad" that has run its course, but none-the-less embodies principles that will never go out of style!

People, Processes and Tools Series

These articles were re-published on CM Crossroads.

Part 1: The People Premium
This article is also published on Projects at Work,
and Improvement and Innovation .
Topic: Process   •   Date Published: 17 Jun 2009

Every project is dependent upon people, processes and tools. They are how the work gets done. But these three essential elements are not equal. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and provides a different value to our projects. We begin with the primary one of the three, People.

Part 2: Processes For People
This article is also published on Projects at Work,
and Improvement and Innovation .
Topic: Process   •   Date Published: 17 Jun 2009

Good processes mitigate people's shortcomings while freeing them up to do what they do best on projects -- think, create, improvise. The best processes don't create extra work. Instead, they serve specific purposes, ensure efficiency and consistency, and tend to become "invisible" to those who use them.

Part 3: The Role of Tools
This article is also published on Projects at Work,
and Improvement and Innovation .
Topic: Process   •   Date Published: 17 Jun 2009

On the best-run projects, people provide the creativity and intellect, while processes help ensure consistency and efficiency without getting in the way. Striking the right balance between the two can be a powerful combination. And supporting tools, adopted wisely, can make both people and processes even better. This final installment explores the role of tools in making people and the processes that support them more efficient.

Personal Quality Management With the Personal Software Process
This article is also published on Methods and Tools.
Topic: Quality, Process   •   Date Published: Summer 2007

Software development organizations have a variety of mechanisms at their disposal to help in managing and improving the quality of the products they produce. Quality Assurance organizations, problem reporting systems, software process improvement and peer reviews (to name just a few) are important tools for product quality enhancement. But an often-overlooked piece of the quality puzzle may well provide the most effective means to improve product quality: the individual software engineer.

Process Definition in Web-Time
Topic: Process   •   Date Published: 2003

This experience report focuses on the initial process definition work that ASK Process, Inc. helped a young Internet company to get started on. It chronicles the steps we took to get a quick start on the process definition they so desperately needed, and how we were able to achieve usable improvements in a relatively short time. It discusses the challenges we faced and the things we did that helped the project along.

PSP/TSPSM Reported Data
Topic: Quality, Metrics, Process   •   Date Published: 2003
This is a compilation of data that has been reported by the SEI and various commercial companies. The data quantify the positive impact of the Personal Software Process and Team Software Process (PSP/TSP) on such measures as the quality of delivered software, programmer productivity, and the accuracy of project estimates. Several of the companies also report on intangible benefits.

TSP Can Be the Building Blocks for CMMI
This article is also published on CrossTalk Magazine.
Topic: Process   •   Date Published: Mar 2005

Why would you even consider the Team Software ProcessSM (TSPSM) when you must conform to the Capability Maturity Model&reg Integration (CMMI&reg)? Far from adding work to a CMMI initiative, TSP can reduce the time and effort that will be required to achieve your goals. Simultaneously, TSP will give your engineers an appreciation for good processes along with the desire to adopt improved processes in every area of the organization.


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