In software and systems engineering, as in business and manufacturing, there is wide acknowledgement that mature and well-managed processes provide consistent quality and productivity. Many years of industry experience in implementing process improvement have produced mature models, methods and tools for efficiently developing and managing processes that are highly targeted to support business strategy.
Process models can provide a framework for establishing common, integrated, and improving processes in systems and software development, enabling an organisation to establish enterprise-wide best practices that address productivity, quality and costs. An effective Process Improvement programme enables you to tailor your improvement efforts to the business goals set by your organisation, and to choose the areas for improvement which will deliver the best return.
At the lowest level, sound management of development processes means at the very least that code defects can be eliminated early, to produce efficiencies and cost saving. At a higher level, the ability to demonstrate capability and maturity in advance of an audit will be an enormous saver of time and cost in ensuring compliance with statutory regulations.
Increased corporate governance has also brought process improvement to the top of the agenda for many businesses, and given additional motivation for senior management to develop their understanding and involvement in process improvement throughout the organisation.
THE ESSENCEThe essence of process improvement is to implement appropriate best practices in your organisation. By “appropriate” we mean what fits the organisations goals, matches their aspirations, and is pragmatic in their practical working environment. By “best practices" we mean ideal ways of working, not specific products or named methods.