How to Define a Process


DiBasio, Darcie   (1999, American Society for Quality)   DiBasio Consulting, Clinton Township, MI

International Conference on Software Quality, October 4-6 1999, Cambridge, MA    Vol. 9    No. 0
QICID: 13826    October 1999    pp. 199-209
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Article Abstract

The defining of a process involves three roles (sponsor, facilitator, process definition team) and nine steps.

  • First, assess the documentation of items such as vision, mission, process description, process scope, process goals, and customers.
  • Second, hold a kick-off meeting to: discuss process goals and scope; provide an overview of the definition task; and set up team rules and schedules.
  • Third, practice team skills, using tools such as negative brainstorming, cause/effect analysis, and multivoting.
  • Fourth, maintain an implementation issues list, paying special attention to human factors.
  • Fifth, document global process information (such as process objectives, scope, and owner), and diagram the process flow.
  • Sixth, document process steps, measures, and metrics. Each process step is to be characterized by its:
    • purpose,
    • roles,
    • responsibilities,
    • entry criteria,
    • inputs,
    • next step,
    • exit criteria,
    • outputs,
    • work instructions,
    • tools,
    • techniques, and
    • special considerations.
  • Seventh, acquire or develop forms, tools, standards, and examples.
  • Eighth, implement a formal inspection process that examines software deliverables and documentation.
  • Ninth, plan and execute the implementation issues listed earlier.
These steps serve to reduce variation, non-critical work, and rework; increase cooperation; and improve quality, estimations, and cycle times.


Documentation,Process management,Process improvement,Process analysis

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