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Bills is an independent consultant specializing in process improvement and project management. Prior to his retirement he worked as a project manager with MITRE Corporation and SRA International developing and implementing major government information systems. At SRA he managed 85 projects with a perfect cost, schedule and performance record. Since retirement, he has taught project management and systems engineering for American University and the Center for Systems Management. At CSM he developed and ran a process improvement practice that has conducted over 100 process assessments. Bill has been a frequent facilitator of process improvement workshops for government agencies and their contractors.
on March 17, 2013 :
This book offers an effective 7-step process to use with your teams. What I like about this book is that it is practical and tested vs theoretical or academic. The fact that this is an easy read written in a fun tone is a bonus.
The book refers to groups who have implemented these ideas, drawing on Bill's extensive experience and demonstrating the results that can be achieved. Bill's years of experience shine through and I appreciate being able to learn from his wisdom and lessons learned.
I also like that he shares common arguments against implementing formal process improvement and offers suggestions on overcoming those arguments.
Again, this is a practical, easy-to-read guide that will drive noticeable results.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Jan. 20, 2013 :
A review of
Draw What You Do
A Practical Approach to Process Improvement
Reviewed by Bob Pikul
This book is highly readable and provides a simple and systematic approach to process development and improvement for performing projects in any organization.
There is a good discussion of why clear and defined processes are essential to assuring that projects are performed in an effective manner so that estimates of costs, schedules, and performance are well developed and consistently achieved. In addition, the book addresses that successful application of the processes results in appreciative clients and provides satisfaction and pride for the performing staff within the organization.
A seven step approach is described ranging from selecting and defining explicitly the current process employed, to addressing the necessity for a continuous improvement by developing a “process improvement process” under the auspices of a Process Action Team. This organization is referred to in other treatises under various names such as a System Process Improvement Group.
In presenting each of the seven steps, the author describes the issues to be addressed. In several cases, important considerations are identified which essentially provide a convenient checklist for implementing the step. For example, Step 6, Make Process Improvement Continuous, identifies eight items to be addressed such as:
What workers will be affected by the change?
What training or re-training will be required?
Who will be responsible for implementing the change?
Will any other processes be affected?
The author also recognizes resistance to change within the organization
and discusses how to deal with these in order to “sell” and gain acceptance for implementing a formal process improvement program.
In addressing motivational issues, he shares with the reader good things to have and bad things to avoid.
Three attachments are presented for useful additional information:
1. Tangible benefits to be realized by making your process visible in the form of a chart for all to see
2. Other useful books on the subject
3. Insight and help on how to change negative attitudes toward formal process improvement
This book reflects the extensive practical experience of the author in being involved in and assisting other organizations in establishing process improvement programs.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)