Skip to main content

Why should you use xProcess with your development teams?

Occasionally I get asked questions that force me to re-consider my elevator-pitch for xProcess. So somebody just asked me why he should use xProcess with his development teams. Here's my reply:

"xProcess merges a continual process improvement capability (dynamic process management) with fully connected project collaboration and management (dynamic project execution).

"If you capture your processes in xProcess it means that the patterns of tasks, deliverables, quality criteria and workflows in the process can be realized by project managers and participants as actual elements in running projects. (Since all data in xProcess is fully versioned you also have a full audit trail of who changed what, when and even in some cases why.) This means it is much easier for people to be compliant with your corporate processes than not to be! Given the investment you are making in process improvement this is great news. However xProcess is not a straight-jacket. If project managers choose non-standard ways to do things they probably have good reasons (especially as it’s easier for them to be compliant than not!). Such non-standard approaches are captured and visible within xProcess so that different approaches can be analyzed and compared. If they are successful it is easy in xProcess to take these new patterns of working (and new templates for deliverables, and new quality criteria, etc.) and make them part of a new or extended process.

"Why do it? Because having the best possible process gives you the highest competitive advantage. Having no standard process is wasteful, confusing and lacking in control. Having the wrong standard process – even constraining teams to quite a good process – is costly in resources, quality and morale. xProcess delivers flexible processes to running projects in a way that they can easily follow them and modify them (in a fully auditable way) as they need to. It leverages the process knowledge in your teams as well as providing them with the best possible support from process experts. It’s the best way to start the optimization of processes that will make your teams more effective than the opposition."

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Does your Definition of Done allow known defects?

Is it just me or do you also find it odd that some teams have clauses like this in their definition of done (DoD)?
... the Story will contain defects of level 3 severity or less only ... Of course they don't mean you have to put minor bugs in your code - that really would be mad - but it does mean you can sign the Story off as "Done"if the bugs you discover in it are only minor (like spelling mistakes, graphical misalignment, faults with easy workarounds, etc.). I saw DoDs like this some time ago and was seriously puzzled by the madness of it. I was reminded of it again at a meet-up discussion recently - it's clearly a practice that's not uncommon.

Let's look at the consequences of this policy. 

Potentially for every User Story that is signed off as "Done" there could be several additional Defect Stories (of low priority) that will be created. It's possible that finishing a Story (with no additional user requirements) will result in an increase in…

"Plan of Intent" and "Plan of Record"

Ron Lichty is well known in the Software Engineering community on the West Coast as a practitioner, as a seasoned project manager of many successful ventures and in a number of SIGs and conferences in which he is active. In spite of knowing Ron by correspondence over a long period of time it was only at JavaOne this year that we finally got together and I'm very glad we did.

Ron wrote to me after our meeting:

I told a number of people later at JavaOne, and even later that evening at the Software Engineering Management SIG, about xProcess. It really looks good. A question came up: It's a common technique in large organizations to keep a "Plan of Intent" and a "Plan of Record" - to have two project plans, one for the business partners and boss, one you actually execute to. Any support for that in xProcess?

Good question! Here's my reply...

There is support in xProcess for an arbitrary number of target levels through what we call (in the process definitions) P…

Understanding Cost of Delay and its Use in Kanban

Cost of Delay (CoD) is a vital concept to understand in product development. It should be a guide to the ordering of work items, even if - as is often the case - estimating it quantitatively may be difficult or even impossible. Analysing Cost of Delay (even if done qualitatively) is important because it focuses on the business value of work items and how that value changes over time. An understanding of Cost of Delay is essential if you want to maximise the flow of value to your customers.

Don Reinertsen in his book Flow [1] has shown that, if you want to deliver the maximum business value with a given size team, you give the highest priority, not to the most valuable work items in your "pool of ideas," not even to the most urgent items (those whose business value decays at the fastest rate), nor to your smallest items. Rather you should prioritise those items with the highest value of urgency (or CoD) divided by the time taken to implement them. Reinertsen called this appro…