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© Marilyn Bush & Associates 6 April 2005 1 Making Process Improvement Harder: CMMI* Traps to Avoid Marilyn Bush Telephone and Fax In UK: (0)1865-512289 In US: 1-215-248-5391 E-mail: m.w.bush@ ieee.org www.marilynbush.com *SM CMMI is a service mark of Carnegie Mellon University C *
© Marilyn Bush & Associates 6 April 2005 2 Time-Honored Mistakes Mistake 1: Assuming assessments are externally imposed tests that can be gamed. (Assessments are in fact paths to radical self-examination that depends on complete openness.) Mistake 2: Not encouraging Senior Managers to play a central role in process improvement. Mistake 3: Not encouraging Project Managers to take real responsibility for process improvement on their project. Mistake 4: Appointing a process improvement manager without real authority to implement post-assessment improvement activities. Mistake 5: Appointing a few people or hiring a consultant or buying a tool to create procedures and make everything better.
© Marilyn Bush & Associates 6 April 2005 3 Mistake 1: Assessments Seen As Tests Organizations are afraid that they will not make the grade or be certified and therefore they try to game an assessment by Preparing people in the organization for interviews Writing procedures or buying procedures to be used in the assessment that no one has ever used
© Marilyn Bush & Associates 6 April 2005 4 Assessments Work Because They Are Self-Examinations Assessments mirror the organization by getting people to explain what they do in public. Assessments assemble evidence that people are unaware of. Assessments present a way for the whole organization (from senior managers to new hires) to see itself free of a culture of blame. None of this works if organizations approach assessments as efforts to obtain (by fair means or foul) a good grade.
© Marilyn Bush & Associates 6 April 2005 5 Mistake 2: Failing to Assign Senior Management a Key Role in Process Improvement Senior Managers are the only people in the organization that have the real authority to ensure that the organization emphasizes the changes it desires to see on projects. Assessments put senior management at the centre of the improvement effort. They are made to function as the sponsors of the assessment and only they can drive the post-assessment effort.
© Marilyn Bush & Associates 6 April 2005 6 Senior Managers Must Lead If all your senior management does is sponsor the effort, its probably doomed anyway! I believe that senior management must lead the charge by exhibiting the same process disciplined behavior that they expect the troops to adopt.. Unless management is willing to align their own behavior with the direction they are trying to establish, it is simply another case of do what I say, not what I do. The commitment of senior management to establish a process-disciplined organization is reflected much more clearly by their own behavior than it is in a policy statement lifted from the pages of the CMMI. source: OToole 2003
© Marilyn Bush & Associates 6 April 2005 7 Senior Managers Have to Learn to Ask the Right Questions An organization will not change if senior management continues to ask only about profit and schedule. The message this sends to middle managers is Do what ever you have to do to meet the schedules. Quality isnt important.
© Marilyn Bush & Associates 6 April 2005 8 How to Extend the Authority of Senior Management Without Diluting It: A Viable Management Structure An Executive Board Role is to review and approve potential improvements in any area of the organization Overall Process Steering Group Role is to manage, coordinate and review activities across the organization Individual Department Process Groups Such as Engineering Process Group, Software Engineering Process Groups, Human Resources Process Groups Role is to coordinate the individual departments improvement activities. The managers of the appropriate department should be included
© Marilyn Bush & Associates 6 April 2005 9 Asking the Wrong Questions at Executive Project Reviews Whose fault is it that the projects behind schedule? Who do I chew out/demote/fire to fix these problems? Given the state of the project, why didnt I see many cars here on Saturday?
© Marilyn Bush & Associates 6 April 2005 10 The Kinds of Questions That Senior Management Should Ask Are Things Like: How many defects are we finding? Before Test? During Test? In operations? How could the process be changed to avoid these problems in the future? How can issues like this be identified when theyre still just risks, and subsequently mitigated? How do we communicate the painful lessons identified on this project to benefit others? Bottom line: senior management change behaviours when they insist on getting the answers. -- Pat OToole
© Marilyn Bush & Associates 6 April 2005 11 Mistake 3: Not Encouraging Project Managers to Take Real Responsibility for Process Improvement on Their Project For the CMMI to work Project Managers must make themselves personally responsible for consolidating and monitoring the improvement of project-level processes. Project managers, according to the CMMI, are alone responsible for satisfying the customer (p.625). They are therefore personally responsible for quality and improvement. At CMMI Level 2, Project Managers have primary authority for ensuring that processes are understood and followed. Although the CMMI sometimes seems to treat the process monitoring and correction as engineering responsibilities, the global logic of the CMMI depends on the Project Managers hands- on supervision.
© Marilyn Bush & Associates 6 April 2005 12 Mistake 4: Appointing a Process Improvement Manager Without Real Authority to Implement Post-assessment Improvement Activities Process Improvement Managers have access neither to the information nor the authority to structure discipline into planning and management. They function merely as advisers to Project and Senior Managers, who alone see the big picture and have the power to change it.
© Marilyn Bush & Associates 6 April 2005 13 Mistake 5: Appointing a Few People or Hiring a Consultant or Buying a Tool to Create Procedures and Make Everything Better. Companies assume that a few consultants or a few members of the Quality Assurance group can write procedures for the whole organization. But having pretty unused procedures doesnt work. In a Level-1 Organization, Process Groups are useful but only up to a point Help project managers and staff articulate their current procedures Help organize working groups across projects when requested by the project personnel Process Groups cannot be expected to develop organization -wide processes. The organization as a whole must first agree on which individual best practices all the projects should use. This happens as an organization approaches Level 3. At Levels One and Two, Projects barely understand which processes work for them and which need improving.
© Marilyn Bush & Associates 6 April 2005 14 When Process Improvement Works: A Company-Wide Team Effort Senior Managers authorize process improvement and hold Project Managers to their responsibilities. They must know enough to ask Project Managers for regular measured and analytic reviews of quality and improvement, not just about cost and schedule. Developers (Systems engineering, software engineering, hardware engineering) are responsible for developing and monitoring specific processes related to their work. Project Managers, as part of being responsible for getting a quality product out on budget and on schedule, have personal responsibility for the the processes that ensure that the organization has the capability to do this. Process Improvement Managers have insufficient authority to make real changes and are not positioned to see the project as a whole.
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