Return On Process (ROP): Getting Real Performance Results from Process Improvement

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Features

    • Details a comprehensive and coherent end-to-end process for integrating organizational performance objectives and measures to process improvement activities
    • Provides "how to" information based on three role categories: executive, manager, and practitioner
    • Includes many examples and case studies that illustrate the major concepts
    • Describes non-traditional and innovative ways to achieve process and performance improvement
    • Includes action plan guides at the end of each chapter

    Summary

    Although there are countless books about process improvement and business performance, there is a dearth of literature on how process improvement yields business performance results. Filling this need, Return On Process (ROP): Getting Real Performance Results from Process Improvement provides strategic and tactical guidance on how to achieve a positive ROP.

    The book details a comprehensive and coherent end-to-end process for integrating organizational performance objectives and measures to process improvement activities. Describing how to achieve real business performance results from process improvement, it supplies sound, proven advice on how to improve your organization’s software and systems development and delivery processes in ways that affect your business.

    Defining the relationship between performance and process, the book presents metrics for business performance and explains how to set performance and process improvement goals, measure process improvement results, and lead a performance culture.

    Filled with examples and case studies that illustrate key concepts, it provides "how to" information based on three role categories: executive, manager, and practitioner. Describing non-traditional and innovative ways to achieve process and performance improvement, the book includes action plan guides at the end of each chapter that provide clear-cut guidance on exactly what you should and shouldn’t do.

    Table of Contents

    Real Performance Improvement
    What Do You Think? What Do You Believe?
    What Is Real Performance?
         Case Study: Fast, Simple Technology Improvement
         Case Study in Not Thinking Systemically
    Learn What to Improve and Why
         Determine What to Improve
         Determine Why to Improve Something…and How Much to Improve
              Case Study in Understanding What to Improve and Why
    The Place for "Best Practices" in Performance Improvement
    Establishing Performance Objectives
         Framing the Challenge
         Defining the Performance Objective Language
         Getting to the Real Performance Objective
         Using Criteria to Evaluate Performance Objective Statements
    Establishing Performance Measures
         The Measure of Success
         What Gets Measured and Unintended Consequences
         Context-Based Performance Measures
         The Effect of Watching or Measuring
              Case Study
         Defining the Performance Measurement Language
         Types of Measures
         Defining Your Performance Measures
    Focusing the Improvement: People, Process, and/or Technology
    Planning and Managing the Performance and Process Improvement Project
         The Most Important and Most Overlooked Measure: The Performance Baseline
         Process Improvement Life Cycle
         "Projectize" the Work
         Initiate the Project (Inception)
         Plan the Project
         Develop the Solution
         Transition the Solution
    Putting It into Practice
         Putting It into Practice: Defining Performance Objectives
    Do’s and Don’ts
         Do
         Don’t
    Reflect and Plan: What Did You Learn?
    What Will You Do?
         What?
         Who?
         When and How Much?
    Endnotes

    Real Process Improvement
    What Do You Think? What Do You Believe?
    Establishing Process Performance Objectives
         A Story of an Unbalanced Scorecard
         From the Strategy to the Performance Objective to the Process Performance Objective
              Strategic Process Alignment
              Performance Objective Process Alignment
    Understanding Defined Process versus Performed Process
    Improving the Performed Process
         Accelerating Process Performance
              Reducing Process Performance Tasks
              Reducing Process Performance Lag or Wait States
              Parallel Process Performance
              Process Representation
              Sentiment Can Ruin Efficiency
         Improving Process Performance Efficacy
         Improving Process Performance Output and Results Quality
              Preventive Quality Process Improvement
              Corrective Quality Process Improvement
    Improving the Defined Process
         The Process Is a Product
         Build the Process for Its Users
         Design the Process for the Way Users Work
         Establish Process Design Standards
         Provide Meaningful Process Tailoring
              Tailoring Is a Process Performance Activity
              Tailoring Is Based on Criteria and Rationale
              Tailoring Criteria and Guidelines
              Tailoring Guidelines
         Design to the "-ilities"
         Don’t Define Inconsequential Processes
    Synchronizing the Defined and Performed Processes
         Stage 1: Equalize the Defined Process with the Performed Process Example Modeling
         Stage 2: Define the "To Be" Process
         Stage 3: Perform the Defined Process
         Stage 4: Institute Synchronization and Continuous Improvement
              Using Defined–Performed Process Variance for Improving the Defined Process
              Using Defined–Performed Process Variance for Improving the Performed Process
              Continuous Improvement, Synchronization, and ROP
    The CMMI and Process Improvement
         Ways to Think about Best Practices
         Where Improvement Begins in the CMMI
    Putting It into Practice
         Putting It into Practice: Defining Process Performance Objectives
         Putting It into Practice: Improving the Defined Process
         Putting It into Practice: Improving the Performed Process
         Putting It into Practice: Synchronizing the Defined and Performed Process
         Putting It into Practice: Measuring the Process Improvement
         Putting It into Practice: Progress toward Higher CMMI Maturity Levels
    Do’s and Don’ts
         Do
         Don’t
    Reflect and Plan: What Did You Learn? What Will You Do? 
         What?
         Who?
         When and How Much?
    Endnotes

    Getting the Return on Process (ROP)
    What Do You Think? What Do You Believe?
    Measuring the Effects of Process Improvement on Performance
    Changing Process and Measuring the Effects
         Measuring the Performed Process Changes
              Measuring Process Performance Speed
              Measuring Process Performance Efficacy
              Measuring Process Performance Output Quality
              Measuring the Defined Process Changes
    Making Claims of Performance Results from Process Improvement
         Return on CMMI Use
    Putting It into Practice
         Putting It into Practice: Deriving the Return on Process
              Putting It into Practice: ROP Efficiency Gains
              Putting It into Practice: ROP Efficacy Gains
              Putting It into Practice: ROP Output Quality Gains
         Putting It into Practice: Progress toward Higher CMMI Maturity Levels
    Do’s and Don’ts
         Do
         Don’t
    Reflect and Plan: What Did You Learn?
    What Will You Do?
         What?
         Who? 
         When and How Much?
    Endnote

    Small Changes, Big Performance Improvement
    The Greatest ROP
    Use 20 to Do 80
         The Wrong Tool for the Work
         Learning to Save
    Make Meetings Work
         More Meeting Efficiency and Efficacy Tips
    Involve the Right People for the Right Work at the Right Time
         When Expertise Isn’t Useful
         More Ideas Don’t Produce Better Ideas
         Aligning People with the Work
    Learn One, Learn All
         Lessons Learned Definitions
         Lessons Learned on Lessons Learned
              How People Learn and the Relative Cost of Learning
              Lessons Learned Challenges
             Tips for Establishing a Successful Lessons Learned Program
         Recommended Approach
              Conduct a Lessons Learned on Lessons Learned
              Define and Promote the Lessons Learned Business Case
              Develop a Model and Attributes for a Lesson Learned
              Adapt Current Technology to Enable Lessons Learned
              Establish Incentives for Participation
              Monitor, Measure, and Publicize Progress and Success
    Do Only What Needs to Be Done (and No More)
         The Useful–Interesting Paradigm for Managing E-mail
              Parsing E-mail Using the Interesting–Useful Dimensions
              Parsing E-mail Using the Useful–Not Useful Dimension
              Parsing E-mail Using the Interesting–Not Interesting Dimension
              Using the Covey Quadrants to Manage E-mail
              Additional Approaches for Managing E-mail
              Broader Applicability of the Useful–Interesting Paradigm
         The Right Amount of Analysis
              Too Little Analysis
              Too Much Analysis
              Perpetual Analysis
              The Right Amount of Analysis
    Make Decisions Once and Make Good Decisions
              A Brief History of Decision Making
              The Importance of Structured Decisions
              The Decision-Driven Organization
              A Simple Decision Process
              Increasing Decision Capability and ROP
              Decision Making in the CMMI
    Do Less to Do More
         Activity Is Not Work
         Assume It Already Exists and Don’t Reinvent It
         Define Things Once
    The Multitasking Myth
    Endnotes

    Improving Process Improvement
    What Do You Think? What Do You Believe?
    Where It All Goes Right (or Wrong)
    Start with the Right Team
         Process Improvement Project Stakeholders
              Process Users
              Executive Leadership and Senior Management
         Business Development
         Finance and Accounting (Cost Accounting)
         Human Resources
         Defining Stakeholders
    Consultants
         What Does Your Organization Need and Why?
          Selecting a Consultant
    Process Design and Development
         What Is Process?
              A Useful Model for Process
         Process Representation
         The Dynamic Process
         The Smart Process
         The Almost Perfect Process
    Process Improvement Project Management 
         Scope
              Learn to Say "No"
              Learn to Say "Yes, and…"
         Resources
              Insufficient Resources
              The Wrong Resources
         Priorities
         Schedule
         Managing Stakeholders and Their Expectations
    Reflect and Plan: What Did You Learn? What Will You Do?
         What Are You Doing or about to Do? Why?
         Who Is Involved?
         Balance

    Process and Performance Myths
    Myth: Achieving Model or Standards Compliance Indicates Performance
    Myth: If We Develop Good Procedures, We’ll Improve
    Myth: If We Hire the Right People, We Don’t Need Processes
    Myth: If We Just Implement the Right Tools, We Can Automate Things and Accelerate Our Business
    Myth: We Need to Hire a Lead Appraiser to Improve Our Processes

    Index

    Author Bio(s)

    Michael West is a lifelong practitioner and student of process improvement. He is the co-founder of Natural Systems Process Improvement (Natural SPI), a consultancy specializing in designing, developing, and deploying process systems that enable performance improvement gains. Mr. West’s process insights and innovations have helped many organizations in various sectors of the economy achieve real process and performance improvement. His process consulting clients include ATK, Autodesk, AVL, BAE, BB&T, Crane Aerospace, DCS, Deloitte, Sandia National Labs, and the US Navy. Mr. West frequently presents and speaks at industry conferences and is the author of Real Process Improvement Using the CMMI (CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 2004).

    Editorial Reviews

    Gone are the days of process improvement for efficiency sake. Process is a critical component of innovation and business growth. This book tells you not just how to improve, but more importantly where to improve. This is the key to maximizing your return on your process. Every process professional must read this book.
    —Stephen Shapiro, Author, Best Practices Are Stupid

    Trust Michael West not only to take on the subject most process improvement professionals seem afraid to raise, but to do so in such an enjoyable, practical, and easily digestible way. I thoroughly recommend reading the book from cover to cover, but once you have, you'll want to keep it close by because you will find yourself referring to it again and again. Nobody contemplating a process improvement program should proceed without first reading this book; but if you're already well on the way, I can only say 'watch out!', you might not like finding out what you've already missed!
    —Rob Wyatt, IT Director, Product and Supply Chain, Dell

    Michael West's insights completely rebuild and restore the long abandoned and decrepit bridge between investment in process improvement and the return on that investment . A must read for any business leader who wants his or her business to still exist in the near future!
    —Marc Vandenplas, Executive Strategy Consultant