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Software Process Improvement: Practical Guidelines for Business Success (SEI Series in Software Engineering) Paperback – 21 Jan 1998

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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` In addition to talking about process improvement, Sami Zahran provides useful guidance from a practitioner's perspective....Most importantly he discusses the issues which you, the user, will face as you pursue process improvement on your own'
Watts Humphrey, Software Engineering Institute

` Regardless of the approach selected, building competitive advantage should be focused on improvement, not on achieving a score... Dr Zahran's book should help the reader understand the trade-offs and issues associated with effective software process improvement.'
Mark C. Paulk, Software Engineering Institute

`This is exactly the kind of book that is needed to spread awareness of the potential of Software Process Improvement and how to succeed in it.....It is to be warmly welcomed and recommended.'
Colin Tully, Independent Consulting Software Engineer

" Software Process Improvement-Practical Guidelines for Business Success provides comprehensive guidance on implementing software process improvement and more..... The concluding sections of the book provide excellent summaries of the various Software Process standards/guidelines covering the SEI/CMM, ISO/IEC 15504 (SPICE), Bootstrap, ISO 9000, Trillium and others..... With a forward from Watts Humphrey, a preface by the SEI's Mark Paulk, well ordered layout and copious use of diagrams, charts and tables, Dr Zahran's book will provide rewarding reading and an excellent reference work for anyone who is intent on bringing about software process improvement."
The Software Manager

From the Back Cover

((Shelving Category)) Software EngineeringSOFTWARE PROCESS IMPROVEMENTPractical Guidelines for Business SuccessSami Zahran‘This is exactly the kind of book that is needed to spread awareness of the potential of Software Process Improvement and how to succeed in it. As well as presenting current models and methods it contains new ideas and approaches. It will interest and inform not only those who have prior knowledge of this critically important field, but also those who come new to it. It is to be warmly welcomed and recommended.’Colin TullyIndependent Consulting Software EngineerEvery year, software failure is responsible for huge losses both in financial and human terms. While businesses and individuals depend increasingly on their information systems, it is imperative that software is developed to be all the more reliable and robust.This book will help you to manage and control the quality of your organization’s software products. Continually dealing with the problems caused by software defects can be both time-consuming and demanding but Sami Zahran’s pragmatic approach will take you from reactive fire-fighting to a preventative culture of disciplined and continuous process improvement.This book will help you:· establish a process-focused software development organization· design and implement procedures for developing quality software in time and within budget· benchmark your organization against the industry standards for the software process, including the Capability Maturity Model (CMM), ISO 9001, the new standard ISO/IEC 15504 (originally known as SPICE) and Bootstrap.‘In addition to talking about process improvement, Sami Zahran provides useful guidance from a practitioner’s perspective. He clearly explains the purposes and methods of process improvement, and compares the leading methods, their principal features and characteristics. Most importantly, he discusses the issues which you, the user, will face as you pursue process improvement on your own.’Watts HumphreySoftware Engineering InstituteAbout the author:Dr. Sami Zahran is one of the chief advocates of software process improvement and its impact on organizations. He has over three decades of experience in the software industry assuming senior positions with large organizations including ICL (International Computers Limited), the United Nations, Digital Equipement Corporation, and currently with IBM. He was trained in Software Process Improvement at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr Zahran regularly teaches courses on the subject and is an invited speaker at numerous international conferences and workshops.Visit Addison Wesley Longman on the World Wide Web at:http://www.awl-he.com/computinghttp://www.awl.com/csengVisit ACM Press on the World Wide Web at:http://www.info.acm.org((Addison Wesley Longman logoSEI logo))

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Format: Paperback
The author clearly loves and understands this subject which in one way is sad for him but in another it makes a very good read! The book is well structured and allows a number of paths depending on the readers knowledge or interest. If you manage a software development outfit then spending a few hours reading this book could save you money in the long run. Enjoy.
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Format: Paperback
If you ever thought you knew what goes into the Software Process, think again. Sami Zahran does a very good job of looking at a range of disciplines, approaches and methodologies and their implementation. This book will be invaluable for anyone trying to get their Software Processes from chaos to order.
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By A Customer on 26 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
Very comprehensive and well written. I recommend it to anyone looking for information on approaches to SPI. Contains a lot of useful information in one place.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a classic book on process assessment and improvement. The concepts and applicable across all types of processes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Aimed more at Managers than QA Engineers 13 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book because of the good reviews and the 'practical' in the title. Overall this book does a good Job of presenting the 'What' of Continous Process improvement, Plan/Do/Check etc. but lacks the 'How To' which I was looking for as a SQA engineer. I would have liked more 'practical' examples of (e.g.) a compliant Configuration Management Process. The book does give a good 'Overview' of the various Process models - CMM, SPICE etc. but if your looking for a detailed 'How To' implemention guide then I would try elsewhere.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference manual for Software Process Improvement 19 Oct. 1999
By Jackie Weaver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is the best implementation guide on the market for Software Process Improvement. Whether you're a fledgling company trying to design quality software with no guidelines to go by or a well-developed organization with processes in place, this book offers up many ways you can improve your software quality.
It gives you a benchmark to compare your company with ISO 9001, CMM and others which is invaluable. If you're looking for help bringing your software processes into alignment - you want this book!
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rewarding reading and an excellent reference 29 Oct. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Dr Sami Zahran is a long time advocate and practitioner ofsoftware process improvement with a track record of work in ICL,United Nations, DEC and IBM.
'Software Process Improvement - Practical Guidelines for Business Success' provides comprehensive guidance on implementing software process improvement and more.
In five largely independent sections, Dr Zahran covers, Process Thinking, A Framework for Software Process Improvement, Making Software Process Improvement Happen, Current Models and Standards for Software Process Improvement and Business Benefits of Software Process Improvement.
Finally, there is some data on the benefits of software process improvement and more usefully, a number of detailed case studies of software process improvement experience gained in US and European environments.
With a forward from Watts Humphrey, a preface by the SEI's Mark Paulk, well ordered layout and copious use of diagrams, charts and tables, Dr Zahran's book will provide rewarding reading and an excellent reference work for anyone who is intent on bringing about software process improvement END
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good practical reference for business 16 Sept. 2004
By Amos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book provides a very good practical reference for business. I particularly like the step by step guidance on creating an SPI (Software Process Improvement) action plan in Chapter 9. The action plan provides a nice conclusion to part 2 ( a framework for software process improvement).

By the way congratulations on providing a framework for SPI. Coming from a development background I know how difficult it was to arrive at a framework for a modern Software Development Process (SDP), let alone SPI. For example, DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method) the current UK defacto standard,(launched 1995) took a quarter of a century to arrive. But I digress.

From a business point of view you cannot control what you cannot measure let alone derive any benefit from it. As Dr Sami states in Chapter 12 (Measuring the benefits of software process improvement):

"One of the major obstacles to the adoption of SPI is the reluctance of business management to invest ... because they do not have convincing evidence of the return on investment."

This is soon remedied in this same chapter as Dr Sami states:

"This chapter provides a summary of the evidence of the business benefits of SPI." with useful examples of process-related, project-related, product-related and customer-related measures. I would certainly recommend putting all that data in a database (e.g. SQL Server or Oracle) for analysis and, using a Service-Oriented Architecture view, providing the whole package as a service to the business. The data including graphs, charts, reports etc. could be nicely presented in a browser. Perhaps Dr Sami could provide a chapter or book about software support for SPI. But I digress again.

Evidence of business benefits does not stop in Chapter 12, but is continued in Chapter 19 (The evidence: business benefits of software process improvements) with facts and figures from the US Air Force, Hughes Aircraft and Raytheon's investments in SPI and gained direct benefits.

In Chapter 20 (Epilogue: future of SPI) Dr Sami advocates "Process discipline" as "a prerequisite for industrialisation". He mentions how process discipline is a necessary foundation for software industrialisation, with all the benefits that can bring. This is compared to the benefits of mass production brought about by manufacturing industry during the industrial revolution. How prophetic. Certainly with business-oriented initiatives such as the OMG's (Object Management Group - see [...]) introduction of Model-Driven Architecture (MDA - see [...]) and other software industry efforts for the continuous improvement of the SDP in order to bridge the semantic gap between users and developers and bring the whole process that much closer to the business, a software blueprint might actually emerge.

This is a good, thought provoking reference that I shall keep in my library for many years to revisit time and time again.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent source for undestanding the issues 9 July 1998
By JEFreitas@aol.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent reference source for understanding the concepts, issues, and initiatives concerning information system process improvement. It is well organized and flows logicallly. It is especially an excellent source document for managers who are responsible for setting the overall direction of their company's IT programs. The book should be read by anyone who is concerned with software process improvement.
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