Thursday, December 29, 2011

What is a Process Team? Guest Blogger Shawn Rapjack!

Dear Readers,

While I take a day or two off from my blogging exploits (hey, I flew 125,000 miles in 2011, give me a break!), our good friend and CMMI super-expert Shawn Rapjack is going to share some of his secrets about Process Improvement Teams with us.  

Enjoy - and thanks Shawn!

What is a Process Improvement Team?

An organization’s process team spearheads implementation of engineering improvements.  The team meets regularly and is treated as a ‘sub-project’ – it has managers, schedules and plans.

This small team is committed to an organization’s path to greatness. Team members will likely have dual roles – they will have their ‘day jobs’ but will have process team responsibilities as well.  The profile includes people who have different thinking styles, are good communicators, are team players and are diverse representative of the organization (including managers, developers, testers, etc.).

The team’s activities include:
      Self-assessing the organization.  This early step helps the organization  understand business goals, identify areas of special concern or gaps, and create action plans.

      Creating high-level plans.  The team prepares documents like project improvement management, communication and training plans.

      Establishing resources.  Resources include measurement and lessons learned repositories, mechanisms to record process improvements, and process asset libraries.

           Tailoring. The team works with stakeholders to adopt and then tailor solutions. These solutions must be logical and have buy-in from stakeholders and focus groups. Associated documentation will be peer reviewed, managed and maintained.
      Piloting.  The team judiciously introduces processes into the organization to ensure a logical fit to the ‘real world’.

      Institutionalizing. The team ensures engineering solutions are established, performed and effective. 

            Communicating processes.  Team members educate employees about processes through indoctrination and training.

      Coordinating CMMI training. (Broadsword offers comprehensive CMMI training)

      Mentoring. Team members provide practical guidance to the organization’s leadership and employees.

           Identifying and communicating best practices.

           Coordinating appraisals. (Broadsword can help)

      Making the organization’s process improvement journey fun and beneficial! Team members engage with employees to provide a positive, participatory environment for improvements.
     Like this blog? Forward to your nearest software or engineering exec!    

      Shawn Rapjack is a CMMI expert and leader who works for Science Applications International Corproation (SAIC)
Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead AppraiserCertified CMMI Instructor, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI trainings and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

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