This paper provides a human approach for building effective collaborative process improvement techniques. Rather than relying on specialized quality departments, these methods engage each employee in the process of delivering a quality product by collaboratively updating tasks and activities to include essential improvement elements. This laymenâ€™s approach has been effective in building improvement processes into the daily work life of every worker. The paper includes:
Rewarding and recognizing process improvement successes – every company needs a strategic reward system for employees that address these four areas: compensation, benefits, recognition, and appreciation. The problem with reward systems in many businesses today is twofold: They are missing one or more of these elements (usually recognition and/or appreciation), and the elements that are addressed are not properly aligned with the companyâ€™s other corporate strategies.
Getting behind your customerâ€™s eyes to see their view of quality – quality is in the eye of the customer, and as your customer changes, your measure of Quality will likely change. You need to be careful not to fall back into the rigid, unchanging processes. As soon as you are certain you have decided on the most effective process and the method to document it, someone will find a way to improve it.
The paperâ€™s approach and style evolved from the authorsâ€™ hands-on experience in software, semiconductor, and computer industries. The paper contains summaries, aids such as checklists, templates, exercises, tips and pitfalls to facilitate quick execution of the topics discussed. Most importantly, the paper addresses collaboration in human terms and gives the reader real world examples that are tangible and understandable to anyone regardless of their role in an organization.
Celeste Yeakley is an organizational leader with more than twenty years of experience in software/systems engineering and process improvement. She is a broad-based team lead and participant, with proven skills that focus teams by applying creative and innovative business planning processes. She is accomplished in business strategy, business planning, team/project management (certificate in Software Project Management), software capability enhancements, and organizational leadership. As an internal assessor, she either participated or led software process evaluations for organizations in the United States, Brazil and Russia. A University of Texas at Austin graduate with a Masterâ€™s degree in Science & Technology Commercialization, Celeste has collaborated at small start up companies as well as large corporate giants such as Dell and Motorola. She has contributed to her profession by serving on the UT Software Quality Institute board from 1993-2003 as well as in community quality assessments. Her passion is for helping people understand how to work together using established frameworks like CMMI and ISO to their best advantage. She encourages lateral thinking and uses every day examples to drive people to understand the big picture and how it fits into their software worlds.
Jeff Fiebrich is a Software Quality Manager for Freescale Semiconductor Inc. He is a member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and has received ASQ certification in Quality Auditing and Software Quality Engineering. He is also an RABQSA International Certified Lead Auditor and has achieved CMMI-Dev Intermediate certification. He has previously worked as a Quality Manager for Tracor Aerospace in the Countermeasures Division. A graduate of Texas State University with a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics, he served on the University of Texas, Software Quality Institute subcommittee in 2003 – 2004. He has addressed national and international audiences on topics from software development to process modeling. Jeff has over twenty years of Quality experience as an engineer, project manager, software process improvement leader, and consultant. As both an internal and external consultant, he has played significant roles in helping organizations achieve ISO certification and Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Maturity Levels. He has led numerous process improvement initiatives in many areas of software engineering including project management, employee empowerment, software product engineering, quantitative management, training program management, and group problem solving. Jeff has worked extensively on efforts in the United States, Israel, Europe, India, and Asia.
Celeste and Jeff are the authors of the recently released book, â€˜Collaborative Process Improvementâ€™, Wiley-IEEE Press, 2007.
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