Improving Processes

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Software Measurement Services provides a range of consultancy and training, designed to assist clients improve their processes for software development, maintenance and support.

What is Software Process Improvement?

Software Process Improvement (SPI) is an iterative process to deliver change for the betterment of business performance. Relying on input and feed back from all the stakeholders, this means changes to not only the work processes, but also the human perspective, individual behaviour and expectations. The changes to support process technology must be effective with an internal infrastructure that enables the individuals to happily continue with these improvements.

Why is it useful?

The current business environment is unstable and highly dynamic. Outsourcing is increasing, as is the pace of technological change. Markets are more competitive, re-organisation, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions are frequent. In order to remain competitive, companies need to be adaptable.

SPI seeks to reduce this uncertainty by quickly finding solutions to the specific problems that need addressing. Typical goals include higher software quality, lower development and maintenance costs, reduced time to market. Better processes facilitate this through increased predictability and control of software products and processes.

How does it work?

At the outset senior management need to understand, support and champion the Software Improvement Process to ensure success. The required changes will be driven by the actual needs and business goals of the organisation. These will determine the improvements required, followed by identification of the appropriate actions and priorities. Involvement of the whole team, as well as the key stakeholders, is important to ensure understanding at every level and to avoid dysfunctional behaviour, which may negatively impact on the success of the project.

Once an understanding of the current processes and new goals has been gained through the initial stages of the project, a cohesively constructed plan of action must be produced for assessment of timescales, methodologies, risk, resources and budget. This is critical for the effective changes to be managed successfully.

Achievement of process improvement goals should be measured quantitatively to ensure that the project runs to time and budget.

SPI should be considered as a continuous improvement cycle, with change at its core. Each cycle has a series of specific improvement actions, to successfully introduce new or altered practices. Continual learning and evolution are prerequisites for competitive survival. Constant improvement is essential to maintain competitive advantage.

What does GIFPA offer?

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