Chapter 8. Process Improvement Case Study

Much of the transition from one [SEI] level to the next is cultural. Consequently, one has to go from the stage of anarchy through a stage of informal consensus before reaching a stage of formal processes for system development.

—Edward Yourdon, Decline and Fall of the American Programmer

Years ago, our small group of five software engineers decided to embark on a course of process improvement. We had just moved into a new department and were starting off with a new team leader. The impetus for change was a sense that we had stagnated in our ability to systematically absorb and apply better practices, and that we had no strategic vision for the group’s future and little technical leadership. It was ...

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