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Many technology company leaders may be overlooking one very effective approach for optimizing the quality and effectiveness of their solutions and services -- and improving the company's bottom line. The investment of a little commitment and patience at the executive level can go a long way toward enhancing a company's software development process.



There is significant business value in operational improvement. Although this has been in question for many years, if not decades, you can achieve optimized operations and improved profitability if you fully explore your available options, gain buy-in from executives and other stakeholders, and apply the right mix of quality principle, operational method, and improvement technique for the project.

Exploring your options

The variety of models and methodologies that can have a profound effect on business is wider than many organizational leaders realize. Few take the time to consider all of the suitable options first, simply plugging a system into place and expecting results.

Exerting some effort into investigating this field -- and keeping an open mind -- is really the key to accomplishing their objective. You must understand that there is not one best approach and explore all of your available options before jumping into a process improvement initiative.

In addition, the models that are implemented often receive little or no revision to fit the individual needs of the organization, and too often there is not proper follow-up during the course of a project. The result is teams of engineers and researchers who are hamstrung by an unwieldy set of guidelines and beset by low morale. It gives even a successful outcome a bitter image. This can be prevented with the appropriate consideration and planning at the outset.

The right mix

Once you have explored your options, the first step in approaching a software process improvement initiative in order to realize the greatest outcome is to identify the right mix of:

  • quality principle
  • operational method
  • improvement technique

It might be helpful to consider the following analogy: in many cases, it's not a question of which apple we like better. It's about which apple and which nuts we like and how we can put them together to make a Waldorf salad.

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