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Seven ways of SPI. Risto Nevalainen, STTF Oy Continuous Process Improvement (CPI). Input. Output. ?. Input. Lessons learned from SPI in the past (SPIRE). activities should meet business needs investment has to be focused in areas with high ROI

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seven ways of spi

Seven ways of SPI

Risto Nevalainen, STTF Oy

lessons learned from spi in the past spire
Lessons learned from SPI in the past (SPIRE)
  • activities should meet business needs
  • investment has to be focused in areas with high ROI
  • strong correlation between practice & performance
  • essential to have management commitment
  • results do not happen overnight
  • results cannot always be quantified
  • an incremental approach works best
  • training is a key factor in the cultural shift necessary for success
seven ways to improve software processes
Seven ways to improve (software) processes
  • Competencies, skills, teams, motivation (peopleware, orgware)
  • Process definition and modeling
  • Process assessment and profiling
  • Process automation and technology support
  • Best practices adoption
  • Measurement and analysis
  • Innovation, benchmarking
1 skills and competencies
1. Skills and competencies
  • Focus first in technical competencies, otherwise you have nothing to improve….
  • Typical development topics:
    • Competence evaluations, skill cards, skill classifications, role descriptions
  • Examples of improvements:
    • Role descriptions
    • Delegation of responsibilities
    • Virtual networks of technical experts
2 process definition and modeling
2. Process definition and modeling
  • Define something quite early, improve later. Start from PM and SwE technical processes.
  • Typical development topics:
    • Process Map, Core process descriptions, Minimum requirements for processes
  • Examples of improvements:
    • Company level Standard Process Library
    • Intranet, templates for work products
    • Tailoring/scalability guidance
process map example 1
Process Map, example 1

Customer relationship process

Product Delivery process

Product Maintenance process

Operation support process

Consulting process

Support processes

Security management

Business management


Human resource management

ITC management


Quality Management

3 process assessment and profiling
3. Process assessment and profiling
  • When you have something done, understand how well it is in use and what is really needed
  • Typical development topics:
    • How processes are deployed and how motivate people in SPI, how internal audits and QA work
  • Examples of improvements::
    • Overview assessments first
    • Focused assessments later
    • Something all the time, not “Big Bang”
4 process technology support
4. Process technology support
  • Organisation and management > Methods > Tools and technologies. But not always.
  • Typical development topics:
    • Organisation level technology support, lisence management, well-managed upgrades
  • Examples of improvements::
    • from project level to company level CM
    • Test tools: management, records, special testing strategies, automation
5 best practice adoption
5. Best Practice Adoption
  • Best practice is always your own definition of it! Some say that they have only good practices….
  • Typical development topics:
    • Best internal practices, learning from customers, learning from networks
  • Examples of improvements:
    • Experience sharing
    • Project manager meetings to communicate typical problems and improvement ideas
    • Joint reviews with customers
6 measurement and analysis
6. Measurement and analysis
  • When all easy things are done, you need measurement and analysis to improve further
  • Typical development topics:
    • Core metrics, business metrics, project metrics, contract-based metrics
  • Examples of improvements:
    • Balanced Scorecard for strategy deployment
    • Product metrics (defect and test data etc)
    • Process metrics (resources, performance)
7 innovation and benchmarking
7. Innovation and Benchmarking
  • Finally, you can question all and do differently and even better than before
  • Typical development topics:
    • Radical vs. Continuous improvement, Extreme SPI, Agile processes etc.
  • Examples of improvements:
    • Process model for product business vs. customer specific work
    • Top level partnerships