Skip to Content

Return On Process (ROP)

Getting Real Performance Results from Process Improvement

By Michael West

Auerbach Publications – 2013 – 390 pages

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartHardback: $69.95
    978-1-43-988639-7
    March 24th 2013

Description

Although there are countless books about process improvement and business performance, there is a dearth of literature on how process improvement yields business performance results. Filling this need, Return On Process (ROP): Getting Real Performance Results from Process Improvement provides strategic and tactical guidance on how to achieve a positive ROP.

The book details a comprehensive and coherent end-to-end process for integrating organizational performance objectives and measures to process improvement activities. Describing how to achieve real business performance results from process improvement, it supplies sound, proven advice on how to improve your organization’s software and systems development and delivery processes in ways that affect your business.

Defining the relationship between performance and process, the book presents metrics for business performance and explains how to set performance and process improvement goals, measure process improvement results, and lead a performance culture.

Filled with examples and case studies that illustrate key concepts, it provides "how to" information based on three role categories: executive, manager, and practitioner. Describing non-traditional and innovative ways to achieve process and performance improvement, the book includes action plan guides at the end of each chapter that provide clear-cut guidance on exactly what you should and shouldn’t do.

Reviews

Gone are the days of process improvement for efficiency sake. Process is a critical component of innovation and business growth. This book tells you not just how to improve, but more importantly where to improve. This is the key to maximizing your return on your process. Every process professional must read this book.

—Stephen Shapiro, Author, Best Practices Are Stupid

Trust Michael West not only to take on the subject most process improvement professionals seem afraid to raise, but to do so in such an enjoyable, practical, and easily digestible way. I thoroughly recommend reading the book from cover to cover, but once you have, you'll want to keep it close by because you will find yourself referring to it again and again. Nobody contemplating a process improvement program should proceed without first reading this book; but if you're already well on the way, I can only say 'watch out!', you might not like finding out what you've already missed!

—Rob Wyatt, IT Director, Product and Supply Chain, Dell

Michael West's insights completely rebuild and restore the long abandoned and decrepit bridge between investment in process improvement and the return on that investment . A must read for any business leader who wants his or her business to still exist in the near future!

—Marc Vandenplas, Executive Strategy Consultant

Contents

Real Performance Improvement

What Do You Think? What Do You Believe?

What Is Real Performance?

Case Study: Fast, Simple Technology Improvement

Case Study in Not Thinking Systemically

Learn What to Improve and Why

Determine What to Improve

Determine Why to Improve Something…and How Much to Improve

Case Study in Understanding What to Improve and Why

The Place for "Best Practices" in Performance Improvement

Establishing Performance Objectives

Framing the Challenge

Defining the Performance Objective Language

Getting to the Real Performance Objective

Using Criteria to Evaluate Performance Objective Statements

Establishing Performance Measures

The Measure of Success

What Gets Measured and Unintended Consequences

Context-Based Performance Measures

The Effect of Watching or Measuring

Case Study

Defining the Performance Measurement Language

Types of Measures

Defining Your Performance Measures

Focusing the Improvement: People, Process, and/or Technology

Planning and Managing the Performance and Process Improvement Project

The Most Important and Most Overlooked Measure: The Performance Baseline

Process Improvement Life Cycle

"Projectize" the Work

Initiate the Project (Inception)

Plan the Project

Develop the Solution

Transition the Solution

Putting It into Practice

Putting It into Practice: Defining Performance Objectives

Do’s and Don’ts

Do

Don’t

Reflect and Plan: What Did You Learn?

What Will You Do?

What?

Who?

When and How Much?

Endnotes

Real Process Improvement

What Do You Think? What Do You Believe?

Establishing Process Performance Objectives

A Story of an Unbalanced Scorecard

From the Strategy to the Performance Objective to the Process Performance Objective

Strategic Process Alignment

Performance Objective Process Alignment

Understanding Defined Process versus Performed Process

Improving the Performed Process

Accelerating Process Performance

Reducing Process Performance Tasks

Reducing Process Performance Lag or Wait States

Parallel Process Performance

Process Representation

Sentiment Can Ruin Efficiency

Improving Process Performance Efficacy

Improving Process Performance Output and Results Quality

Preventive Quality Process Improvement

Corrective Quality Process Improvement

Improving the Defined Process

The Process Is a Product

Build the Process for Its Users

Design the Process for the Way Users Work

Establish Process Design Standards

Provide Meaningful Process Tailoring

Tailoring Is a Process Performance Activity

Tailoring Is Based on Criteria and Rationale

Tailoring Criteria and Guidelines

Tailoring Guidelines

Design to the "-ilities"

Don’t Define Inconsequential Processes

Synchronizing the Defined and Performed Processes

Stage 1: Equalize the Defined Process with the Performed Process Example Modeling

Stage 2: Define the "To Be" Process

Stage 3: Perform the Defined Process

Stage 4: Institute Synchronization and Continuous Improvement

Using Defined–Performed Process Variance for Improving the Defined Process

Using Defined–Performed Process Variance for Improving the Performed Process

Continuous Improvement, Synchronization, and ROP

The CMMI and Process Improvement

Ways to Think about Best Practices

Where Improvement Begins in the CMMI

Putting It into Practice

Putting It into Practice: Defining Process Performance Objectives

Putting It into Practice: Improving the Defined Process

Putting It into Practice: Improving the Performed Process

Putting It into Practice: Synchronizing the Defined and Performed Process

Putting It into Practice: Measuring the Process Improvement

Putting It into Practice: Progress toward Higher CMMI Maturity Levels

Do’s and Don’ts

Do

Don’t

Reflect and Plan: What Did You Learn? What Will You Do?

What?

Who?

When and How Much?

Endnotes

Getting the Return on Process (ROP)

What Do You Think? What Do You Believe?

Measuring the Effects of Process Improvement on Performance

Changing Process and Measuring the Effects

Measuring the Performed Process Changes

Measuring Process Performance Speed

Measuring Process Performance Efficacy

Measuring Process Performance Output Quality

Measuring the Defined Process Changes

Making Claims of Performance Results from Process Improvement

Return on CMMI Use

Putting It into Practice

Putting It into Practice: Deriving the Return on Process

Putting It into Practice: ROP Efficiency Gains

Putting It into Practice: ROP Efficacy Gains

Putting It into Practice: ROP Output Quality Gains

Putting It into Practice: Progress toward Higher CMMI Maturity Levels

Do’s and Don’ts

Do

Don’t

Reflect and Plan: What Did You Learn?

What Will You Do?

What?

Who?

When and How Much?

Endnote

Small Changes, Big Performance Improvement

The Greatest ROP

Use 20 to Do 80

The Wrong Tool for the Work

Learning to Save

Make Meetings Work

More Meeting Efficiency and Efficacy Tips

Involve the Right People for the Right Work at the Right Time

When Expertise Isn’t Useful

More Ideas Don’t Produce Better Ideas

Aligning People with the Work

Learn One, Learn All

Lessons Learned Definitions

Lessons Learned on Lessons Learned

How People Learn and the Relative Cost of Learning

Lessons Learned Challenges

Tips for Establishing a Successful Lessons Learned Program

Recommended Approach

Conduct a Lessons Learned on Lessons Learned

Define and Promote the Lessons Learned Business Case

Develop a Model and Attributes for a Lesson Learned

Adapt Current Technology to Enable Lessons Learned

Establish Incentives for Participation

Monitor, Measure, and Publicize Progress and Success

Do Only What Needs to Be Done (and No More)

The Useful–Interesting Paradigm for Managing E-mail

Parsing E-mail Using the Interesting–Useful Dimensions

Parsing E-mail Using the Useful–Not Useful Dimension

Parsing E-mail Using the Interesting–Not Interesting Dimension

Using the Covey Quadrants to Manage E-mail

Additional Approaches for Managing E-mail

Broader Applicability of the Useful–Interesting Paradigm

The Right Amount of Analysis

Too Little Analysis

Too Much Analysis

Perpetual Analysis

The Right Amount of Analysis

Make Decisions Once and Make Good Decisions

A Brief History of Decision Making

The Importance of Structured Decisions

The Decision-Driven Organization

A Simple Decision Process

Increasing Decision Capability and ROP

Decision Making in the CMMI

Do Less to Do More

Activity Is Not Work

Assume It Already Exists and Don’t Reinvent It

Define Things Once

The Multitasking Myth

Endnotes

Improving Process Improvement

What Do You Think? What Do You Believe?

Where It All Goes Right (or Wrong)

Start with the Right Team

Process Improvement Project Stakeholders

Process Users

Executive Leadership and Senior Management

Business Development

Finance and Accounting (Cost Accounting)

Human Resources

Defining Stakeholders

Consultants

What Does Your Organization Need and Why?

Selecting a Consultant

Process Design and Development

What Is Process?

A Useful Model for Process

Process Representation

The Dynamic Process

The Smart Process

The Almost Perfect Process

Process Improvement Project Management

Scope

Learn to Say "No"

Learn to Say "Yes, and…"

Resources

Insufficient Resources

The Wrong Resources

Priorities

Schedule

Managing Stakeholders and Their Expectations

Reflect and Plan: What Did You Learn? What Will You Do?

What Are You Doing or about to Do? Why?

Who Is Involved?

Balance

Process and Performance Myths

Myth: Achieving Model or Standards Compliance Indicates Performance

Myth: If We Develop Good Procedures, We’ll Improve

Myth: If We Hire the Right People, We Don’t Need Processes

Myth: If We Just Implement the Right Tools, We Can Automate Things and Accelerate Our Business

Myth: We Need to Hire a Lead Appraiser to Improve Our Processes

Index

Author Bio

Michael West is a lifelong practitioner and student of process improvement. He is the co-founder of Natural Systems Process Improvement (Natural SPI), a consultancy specializing in designing, developing, and deploying process systems that enable performance improvement gains. Mr. West’s process insights and innovations have helped many organizations in various sectors of the economy achieve real process and performance improvement. His process consulting clients include ATK, Autodesk, AVL, BAE, BB&T, Crane Aerospace, DCS, Deloitte, Sandia National Labs, and the US Navy. Mr. West frequently presents and speaks at industry conferences and is the author of Real Process Improvement Using the CMMI(CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 2004).

Name: Return On Process (ROP): Getting Real Performance Results from Process Improvement (Hardback)Auerbach Publications 
Description: By Michael West. Although there are countless books about process improvement and business performance, there is a dearth of literature on how process improvement yields business performance results. Filling this need, Return On Process (ROP): Getting Real Performance...
Categories: Management of Technology & Innovation, Software Engineering & Systems Development, Management of IT