Building systems is an integrated activity. When we make process changes to build up our capability, all the parts have to fit together. While incremental changes to, say, test management might be very effective, they are much more effective when implemented in concert with a set of systemic changes.
Corvus was instrumental in defining an entire software engineering process and curriculum for a major electronics manufacturer. From this, we learned how to design, direct, and implement holistic changes across large and small groups and organizations.
Viewing the process change elements as parts of a whole allows synergies that are not achieved piecemeal. Without linking process elements together, we run the danger of replacing one problem with another problem.
This world view requires an overarching pattern and approach to give it consistency and direction over the set of changes:• Analyze and assign metrics to existing problems across the organization
Knowing how business practices interact with project management which controls the development processes and technical capabilities allows a mapping of all the factors that need to be aligned.• Integrate with across-the-board change management
While most of the changes are inevitably in the technical capability environment, it doesn't work if you don't take care of the people. Corvus uses the philosophy that processes don't work, and tools don't work--people work. Using a rich array of cognitive and behavioral methods operating into the technical and managerial domain, companies can synchronize .• Apply well-defined continuous improvement models
Primarily using a seven stage technical version of Deming's Plan-Do-Check-Act companies can continuously reassess where the priorities lie and ensure the needed changes are really occurring.• Measure, change, measure
While different programs often address different issues: sometimes project planning, sometimes requirements management, sometimes test automation, the key elements is the measure-change cycle. The short feedback cycle allows the changes to be tailored, adjusted for changing market conditions, optimized for personnel and management styles and practices, but most to become effective.
These programs must be tailored for specific situations; one size does not usually fit all. Issues of scalability and technical challenge must be integrated with proven models. But companies that make this investment realize huge gains in cost containment, performance, and profitability.