by Dinesh Thakur

Changes in the process are unavoidable and should be made to improve the productivity and quality of the process. These changes can be applied by using Process Change Management (PCM), which is a technique to improve the software processes in the organization. Thus, this technique helps in increasing productivity and quality by improving software processes for the developing software.

Process change management determines the process improvement goals, identifies, evaluates and implements improvements to the standard software process in the organization and defines software processes for the new projects to be developed. The organization follows a written policy for implementing software process improvements. The policy follows the steps listed below.

1. The organization has the quantitative and measurable goals to improve the software processes and tracks performance against these goals.

2. The organization's process improvement is directed towards improving the quality, increasing productivity and decreasing the time for the development of the product.

3. The organization's staff members participate in the process improvement.

Process improvement does not take place in a single stage; it is a continuous process which goes through different stages as listed in Table. The software process improvement activities are managed according to a documented procedure, which is maintained in the central repository. Review of the processes is conducted in a phased and structured manner to ensure that continuous process improvement activities are conducted and monitored.

                                           Table Process Improvement Stages



Process analysis

Model and analyze existing processes.

Improvement identification

Identify quality, cost or schedule bottlenecks.

Process change introduction

Modify the process to remove identified bottlenecks.

Measure improvement

Compare outputs between previous and changed processes.

Process change training

Train staff involved in new process proposals.

Change tuning

Evolve and improve process improvements.

Training programs are established to enable and encourage individuals in the organization to participate in the process improvement activities. Improvement opportunities are identified and evaluated, which benefit the organization. When software process improvements are approved for general practice, the organization standard software process and the project-defined software processes are revised appropriately.

Software process change management follows a procedure for improving the software processes in the organization. This procedure specifies the following steps.

1. The improvement of the software process requires a proposal to be submitted, which includes the organization's software process improvement goals and recommendations for software process assessment. In addition, it contains analysis of data on the performance of the project as compared to the quality of the software and the productivity goals.

2. The proposal is evaluated to ensure whether to implement it. The decision for implementing the proposal is then documented.

3. The benefits expected from the software process are determined. These benefits include quality of the product, end user satisfaction, and so on.

4. The priority of software process improvement proposals is determined, according to which selection for the implementation is made.

5. Implementation of the software process improvement actions resulting from the proposal is assigned and planned.

6. The actions for software process improvement, which require significant effort, are assigned to the team responsible for implementing the actions.

7. The status of each process improvement proposal is monitored.

8. Software process improvement proposals whose responses are unusually long are identified and acted upon.

9. The user reviews the changes before they are implemented, which are estimated to have an impact on the quality of the product.

10. When the actions of the software process improvement are completed, they are reviewed and verified.

11. The submitter of the software process improvement proposal receives acknowledgement of proposals and notification of the disposition. of the proposals.

When a decision is made to transfer software process improvement into general practice, the improvement is again implemented according to a documented procedure, which specifies the following steps.

1. The resources required to manage the changes in the software process are established.

2. The strategy to collect data for evaluating and monitoring changes in the performance of the software process is reviewed, agreed and documented. The individuals, who are implementing the software processes affected by the change, agree to this strategy. The support tools are instrumented accordingly to record the required data automatically.

3. Training is provided before installing the process change for general use. Training courses are updated to reflect the current software processes.

4. Appropriate process changes are incorporated into the organization's standard software process and the project-defined software processes.