Subject:Applying business quality improvement methodology to a department that produces technical documentation.Key Point:Talking to business managers in their own language about the value of documentation standards to their organization.Note:I’m not a graphic artist and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time researching or developing graphics. Some of my slides show documents in lieu of graphics. I’m not expecting you to actually read these slide for content. They’re just to give you some idea of what I’m talking about. If you want to see the actual documents, we can deal with that later.
CDO Technologies, Inc. (CDO) is a small, minority-owned business. Historically, CDO’s core business has been project-based DoD contracts. CDO is also expanding our work for federal, local government, and commercial clients. CDO’s core competencies lie in the areas of: Asset Management and Visibility Engineering and Logistics Services Information Assurance and Security IT Consulting Systems IntegrationIn order to remain competitive, CDO maintains an ongoing a quality improvement program. CDO initially formed their Process Improvement Team in 2006.
The Product Delivery Department is responsible for developing, editing, and delivering documentation at CDO. Product Delivery works on a variety projects for internal and external customers.
Stakeholders are individuals whose interests will be positively affected by project execution; and also exert influence over the project results. CDO officers, directors, and managers are stakeholders in our quality improvement effort. The following people at CDO are stakeholders in the documentation process. Vice President of Operations Vice President of Business Development Product Delivery Manager Department Directors Contracts Manager Marketing Manager
The aim of the stakeholders is measurable results to meet business goals.Measurable results: Improved quality Improved efficiency Predictable outputsTo meet business goals: Increase market share by raising customer satisfaction Cut costs by reducing wasted time, labor, and materials Develop repeatable processes based on lessons learned and best practices
The Systems Engineering Process Group (SEPG) currently is responsible for implementing the quality improvement program at CDO. SEPG chose to implement Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) for our process improvement program. The CMMI Product team maintains CMMI products with support from the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University Rates organizational capability maturity in levels (1-5) Widely used for software development, acquisition, and services
Quality improvement programs rely on statistical methods to evaluate results. These methods require quantifiable measures (metrics) of quality and improvement. Each program has its own methods and terms, but they have similar lifecycles: Observe and document the existing processes and results. Identify target areas, strategies for improvement, and appropriate measures. Measure the initial state, implement changes, measure the end state. Assess results to capture lessons learned and best practices. RepeatNote: Graphic source: wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Characteristics_of_the_Maturity_levels.jpg.
In accordance with CMMI methodology, SEPG developed the CDO Measurement and Analysis (M&A) Process Description to measure our the success of our quality improvement program.The M&A Process Description provides a high-level description of how we determine if business or project goals or objectives are met.The M&A Process Description guidance specifies that process owners must: Identify, in plain language, what information is needed to understand if a goal or objective is met. Identify the components necessary to derive or collect the information needed. Collect and store the measurement data. Analyze, report, and store department or project-specific data.
How our department handles (develops, edits, and delivers) documentation.Product Delivery uses three tools to manage the documentation process in accordance with CMMI methods: The Product Delivery Management Process Description The Product Delivery Management Procedure The Product Delivery Measurement Plan
The Product Delivery Management Process Description provides a high-level description of our department operations.It defines eight activities: Develop a rough order of magnitude (ROM) estimate for the bid. Facilitate the Documentation Kickoff Meeting after contract award. Validate the contract delivery schedule. Perform configuration management . Respond to changes in the document status. Develop the documentation. Review and edit the documentation. Capture the review and edit measures for quality improvement.
The Product Delivery Management Procedure provides more detail on department operations.It fulfills the following functions: Defines stakeholders’ and Product Delivery department members’ roles and responsibilities. Identifies the tools to use to accomplish the activities. Describes when activities occur in relation to the document status.Some activities occur concurrently (4, 5, 6, and 7). Breaks each activity down into tasks (but not step-by-step directions).
We also use a style guide, job aids, and templates. These tools cut development time for technical documentation. They also improve the consistency and quality of our technical documentation.Most of our contracts specify delivery in Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat format. Our development tools reflect this.
How our department measures and reports on how well we meet our goals and objectives.(Repeated from slide #8)Measurable results: Improved quality Improved efficiency Predictable outputsTo meet business goals: Increase market share by raising customer satisfaction Cut costs by reducing wasted time, labor, and materials Develop repeatable processes based on lessons learned and best practices
The Product Delivery Measurement Plan identifies the information needed to document our department performance and describes how it is measured.Information: Did Product Delivery meet the contract milestone (schedule) requirements? Did the Documentation Kickoff Meetings identify the requirements accurately and effectively? Are the Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) and Basis of Estimate (BOE) efforts accurate?Measures: Planned deliveries vs. Actual deliveries Planned documentation requirements vs. Actual documentation requirements Planned Product Delivery hours vs. Actual Product Delivery hours
For quality improvement, we track: Number of pages (or slides, or screens) Planned hours versus actual hours required Type of work (baseline, edit, develop; MS Word or other format; organizational or project-specific standards) Lessons learned
We store our data in the Product Delivery Metrics Log.The Product Delivery Metrics Log: Calculates estimated hours based on the previous year’s performance. Compares actual to estimated hours required by job. Compares average pages per hour for the current and previous year.For reporting purposes, we group completed entries as follows : Compliant – Editing reviews of documents that follow organizational standards. Non-Compliant – Editing reviews of documents that do not follow organizational standards. Development – Developing new documents, as well as developmental and structural edits of work in progress. Baseline – Formatting and copy editing non-compliant documents to comply with organizational standards. Commercial – This is a new market for CDO with higher development costs. Formats other than Microsoft Word – PowerPoint , CBT, online help, etc.
Our metrics support manpower estimates for costing and scheduling.Historical data serves as a basis for: Estimating project needs. Scheduling resources (manpower). Meeting project requirements (milestones, quality) Improving efficiency.The Product Delivery Manager uses this data to calculate: Rough order of magnitude (ROM) estimates for bids (before award) Level of effort (LOEs) estimates for projects (after award).
The Product Delivery Manager analyzes the data, identifies trends, and summarizes them in the Product Delivery Metrics Report. The report helps stakeholders evaluate department performance, target issues, and identify solutions.The Product Delivery Metrics Report summarizes the information in the Product Delivery Metrics Log.The Product Delivery Metrics Report provides the following data for the current and previous years:Average pages per hourTotal page countTotal planned hoursTotal actual hoursIt also includes lessons learned and best practices.Note: Current version is the Product Delivery Performance Report (April 2012). Update to more recent graphics and content when time allows.
When we analyze the data, what results do we get? Using standards saves the organization time and money Estimates based on historical data are remarkably accurate
The data shows a clear advantage to applying standards (the style guide and templates) to documentation.Despite year to year variances: Average review and edit time is always faster when documents comply with the standards. The overall difference is almost three pages per hour. Overall, compliance with standards appears to cut review and edit time in half. Note:The following factors may be responsible for variance by year: Training new technical writers in 2008 and 2009-2010. Implementing new software in 2009 (Word 2007) and 2011(Alfresco, JIRA, and Tortoise SVN). Adding new documentation categories broken out in 2011 (PowerPoint and Commercial). 2011 numbers are through November.
Do the math!In
The Product Delivery Manager uses the historical data to estimate the hours required to process documentation for ROM and LOE estimates. Planned hours are based on the previous year’s average pages per hour for the category of documentation. These estimates are remarkably accurate. Despite year to year variances: Overall estimate accuracy (planned versus actual) is 98%. Actual overall estimate accuracy (varies by year) is 80% and up. Actual estimate accuracy (varies by documentation category) is 70% and up.
The rule of five Ps – Prior planning prevents poor performance.Lessons learned include: Poor coordination between the proposal and/or project teams and Product Delivery leads to inaccurate estimates. Poor coordination between the project teams and Product Delivery leads to inefficient document development strategies that may not fulfill contract requirements. Not following documentation standards wastes time and money, and yields poor quality outcomes.Poor coordination between the project teams and Product Delivery makes it difficult to schedule technical writer labor efficiently and meet deadlines.
CDO best practices for documentation include using: Project documentation kickoff meetings to identify requirements and stakeholders. Software tool to communicate deadlines and schedule manpower.Standard processes, procedures, and plans to communicate how we operate. Style guide, job aids, and templates to cut development time for technical documentation.Style guide and templates to improve consistency and quality of technical documentation. Metrics and reports to measure and communicate results.
Documents referenced in this presentation: CDO Master and Guides Templates CDO Measurement and Analysis (M&A) Process Description CDO Product Delivery Management Process Description CDO Product Delivery Management Procedure CDO Product Delivery Measurement Plan CDO Product Delivery Metrics Log (remove data) CDO Product Delivery Metrics Report / Product Delivery Performance Report (name change) (remove data) CDO Style Guide for Technical Documents Standard (and Author Help Guide) Other quality programs (slide #30)
There are a variety of other quality or process improvement programs, including: International Organization for Standardization (ISO):ISO maintains thousands of international (quality) standardsISO 9000, ISO 14000, ISO 27000, ISO 22000Widely used in manufacturing KaizenJapanese for "improvement” or "change for the better“Developed in Japan after WWII based on the work of W. Edwards DemingWidely used in manufacturing, business, and personal development Six SigmaDeveloped at Motorola in the 1970s and 1980sRelies on Champions, Master Black Belts, Black Belts, Green Belts, etc. to lead and implementWidely used in manufacturing
Quality improvement for documentation case study 20120419
Rochester April 22-23, 2012Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
Quality Improvement for Documentation Case Study: CDO Product DeliveryCDO Technologies, Inc. 5200 Springfield St. Dayton, OH 45431 937-258-0022
Presentation Overview This presentation covers: • Who are we? • What is our quality improvement program? • How do we handle documentation? • How do we measure success for documentation? • Results 3
Using standards saves CDO time Average Pages Reviewed and Edited per Hour 8.0 7.0 6.0 5.0 4.0 7.3 3.0 5.9 5.7 6.1 5.4 4.5 2.0 3.7 3.7 3.6 3.2 2.9 2.6 2.8 1.0 2.0 1.4 0.0 2008 2009 2010 2011 Overall Documents that comply with department standards. Documents that dont comply with department standards. Variance 24
Using standards saves money Example: Cost to edit 100 pages. Compliant Non-Compliant Average pages per hour edited 5.4 PPH 2.6 PPH Hours needed to edit 100 pages 18.5 38.5 x Hourly cost $50 $50 Editing cost per 100 pages $926 $1,923 Cost difference at $50/hour $997 Cost difference at $100/hour $1,994 25