Process Improvement

Articles about process improvement programs and how to run them

Seven Tips on Designing & Implementing Methodologies

I have been involved in the development and implementation of many methods in my career. Often these are related to project management or change management, but I have also been involved in the development and rollout of consulting engagement management processes, new product development processes and improved software development approaches.

Obviously I have learned a great deal about this subject. I would like to share some tips about how it is best to approach the design and implementation of different methodologies, inside your business organisation(s), so that you are more successful in achieving your real goals.

Project Management Methodologies: Guidance or Rules?

The development of standardised approaches, the capturing of best practices and the creation of project management accreditations have improved the project management profession significantly over the past few decades. Arguably, it is only since we have these things that we can really call ourselves a profession rather than just a loose affiliation of people with a relatively similar role to perform.

Anyone who has read much of my project management writings will soon realise that whilst I welcome standards, best practice and accreditation – it is a somewhat cautious welcome that I give to them. In this article I want to talk a little more about methodologies. There are three things I want to mention specifically: the source of methodologies, the danger of a “one size fits all” mentality and the application of methods as rules and the consequences of doing that.

4 Project Management Lessons Learned from Lean and Six Sigma

Two of the biggest recent trends in management have been Six Sigma and Lean. These were originally separate approaches, but they are often conflated nowadays into Lean Six Sigma. In this article I treat them as one discipline, although each brings different tools, areas of focus and value.

I do not see Lean Six Sigma as a panacea for all business problems, as some of its staunchest advocates present it, but it has proven its value. Lean Six Sigma is not exactly leading edge thinking, but it has powerful lessons for project managers and project teams which are new to many practitioners.

Best Practice, Continuous Improvement and Progress in Project Management

I am really interested in the development of our discipline, and how we can continue to make it better. With this in mind, I want to talk about three, possibly seemingly unrelated, project management topics: best practice, continuous improvement and the adoption of new project management practices.

Process Improvement Programs - What Methodology to Choose

It is time to continue our series of articles on Process Improvement Programs. In the first episode we have talked about Process Improvement Programs - When Are You in Need of One?. Continuing from the brief introduction, I will share an overview on what is available out there in terms of Process Improvement models, and in what kind of scenarios they work best.

Process Improvement Programs - When Are You in Need of One?

We all have encountered various process improvement efforts in the organizations we’ve been engaged in: starting with simple analysis of key processes and trying to make them more efficient to implementing more complex process improvement models like Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), Six Sigma or others. One way or the other, process improvement has been the news for IT organizations for over a decade now - and you might wonder - do we really need it? Why should we do it?

In this article I will try to kick off the discussion by quickly reviewing what is generally meant by process improvement and then going through a few possible problems which might trigger organizations to start considering process improvement efforts.

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