Neil Potter and Mary Sakry have been my friends and respected colleagues for many years. The goal-problem approach to process improvement that they advocate seems simple--but many organizations fail to understand it. Process improvement efforts that target business objectives and use models such as CMMI for Services or standards such as ISO 9001 have a good chance of achieving their objectives; improvement efforts driven by a customer requirement such as "you must be Level 3 to bid on this opportunity" or a slogan usually only build a facade.
No matter what process improvement model you are imple- menting--CMMI, Lean, ISO, etc.--this book applies. It's a practical approach to implementing change that makes sense, but more important, it works! This method reminds me of the old joke, "How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? One, but you have to make the light bulb want to change." This book helps an organization want to change by focusing on addressing their issues first, and worrying about achieving maturity levels second. If you do the right things, the levels will come and this book embodies that philosophy.
In this book Neil Potter and Mary Sakry keep you focused on identifying and addressing real business goals, and give detailed practical advice on the nitty-gritty that most books gloss over -- how to actually plan your approach, build support, and make progress. If you don't believe in formal improvement frameworks, this book is all you need. If you DO believe in frameworks (ISO, SEI, etc.), this book will help you make them relevant.
Neil and Mary provide sound, practical advice on the challenges facing service delivery organizations in planning and implementing performance improvements. You will benefit from their goal-problem approach that focuses on your organization's business goals and tying improvement activities to the key problems related to your service-specific work.