13th International Conference on Software Quality

Software Division of
The American Society for Quality

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Tuesday Concussent Sessions
Gerald Weinberg
Karl Wiegers
Robin Goldsmith
Neil Potter
Mark Paulk


Neil Potter - Invited Speaker

Neil Potter has 18 years of experience in software design, engineering and process management. For six years, Neil was a Software Design Engineer in Texas Instruments, Dallas. The last two years at TI he was a manager of a Software Engineering Process Group performing consulting within TI in America, England and India. Consulting included software project planning, risk management, estimation and inspection. Neil is an SEI authorized lead assessor for CBA-IPI assessments and has performed CMM assessments for 12 years with The Process Group. He has a B.Sc Computer Science.


Presentation:  Practical CMM and CMMI: Focusing improvement on business goals and project problems.

Common approaches for process improvement include heavily documenting all processes and marching towards the achievement of an SEI CMM level. The result is often a stack of paper that is either ignored or seen as an unnecessary tax on development. In the light of a goal stating, "Achieve CMM Level 3 by December," the activity of documenting all processes is reinforced and might even appear natural. This process-centric approach can work but has a high risk of failure. 

An alternative approach is to start with the business goals and problems of the organization and tie all improvement activities directly to the organization's current project work. 

In this presentation, the attendees will learn how to plan an improvement program based on project problems and goals. By adopting this approach, organizations are able to make significant progress on real issues and make progress on the maturity model they are using. The result is an improvement plan that is staged in manageable phases and directly tied to the business goals of the organization. 

Several detailed examples will be provided from development organizations.