Chapter 3. Establishing Your Process Program

ISO 9001:2000, THE CAPABILITY MATURITY MODEL INTEGRATION, AND SIX SIGMA ARE NOT REALLY process programs, though many people think of them in that way. The better description is to say they are frameworks you can use to create your process program. ISO, CMMI, and Six Sigma wrap a series of practices, areas of focus, and methods into an approach that can support definition, control, and improvement of your technology projects. They are a great foundation, taken alone or in combination with one another. But creating a process program—a big one or a small one—is an effort that requires more than adopting a model or a standard. It requires customization. In fact, one could say it is an effort that relies on customization.

Successful process programs are typically ones that have been carefully tailored to the needs of an organization. They are based on the way the organization works—or knows how it should work. And they capitalize on what it is the organization does well. It may be tempting at times to introduce something “fresh” from the outside, something that may look to hold the promise of addressing many of the issues the IT shops deals with. That may help, but real success rarely lies in something outside the organization. A tool like Photoshop might help someone be a better artist, but it probably won’t make them a good artist to begin with. It’s the same with ISO 9001, CMMI, and Six Sigma. You can use these tools to make your process ...

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