Assessments and Audits are employed to measure an existing set of IT or Business processes against an agreed upon best practices framework, such as RUP, CMMI, ISO, ITIL, SOX, and so on. The result is usually a measurement of compliance with the framework, a set of "gaps" that should be filled, and recommended steps to take to address the gaps. Because of this comparison of current, actual processes against best practices, the assessment process educates the team on these best practices, providing the foundation for process improvement.
Assessments analyze how an organization works by providing a snapshot the way things actually work at that point in time. This often can be at odds with how team members think things work or how things ought to work. Because of this, many organizations are afraid of assessments, and only engage in them when projects are in trouble or an external mandate requires it. The reality is that Assessments are powerful tools to improve your organization, and should be considered as more like check-ups such as taking your car to the mechanic or yourself to the doctor.
Assessments can also be very beneficial to teams that have already started process improvement in a substantive way. These teams have already acknowledged the benefits of process improvements and have made strides toward adoption. The gaps identified by assessments for these teams will be different than those identified for teams new to process improvement or projects in trouble, but the ROI for filling them will often be just as great or greater, and because the teams have gone through the steps to improve process, the recommendations can be easier to adopt.
Common Problems Addressed by This Offering
- High defect rate or low quality
- Unknown, incomplete, or incorrect requirements
- No Architect / No Design
- Inability to deploy automation
- No estimation or poor planning
- External mandate