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Capturing business benefits from process improvement: Four fallacies


Paul Bannerman



A basic assumption underlying any process improvement initiative is that it will have a positive impact on the organization. Therefore, it can become easy to assume that process change will in fact deliver benefits to business. This paper takes a practice-based look at some fundamental assumptions about process improvement that can be as fallacious as they can be true. The argument is supported by case scenarios. Also, some ways are suggested to manage around these fallacies to achieve net benefits rather than no impact or negative impacts on the business. Four basic fallacies are considered: that process improvement leads to business improvement; that process change equates to process improvement; that software processes are non-lethal; and the vision of the enterprise as an automated process. The paper concludes that the future success of process improvement as a management strategy is dependent upon the capability of organizations to capture material gains.

BibTeX Entry

    publisher        = {ACM},
    author           = {Bannerman, Paul},
    month            = may,
    year             = {2008},
    title            = {Capturing Business Benefits from Process Improvement: Four Fallacies},
    booktitle        = {ICSE Business Impact of Process Improvement Workshop},
    pages            = {1--8},
    address          = {Leipzig, Germany}