NEWS AT SEI
This article was originally published in News at SEI on: March 1, 2001
As software-intensive organizations increasingly recognize the need for guidance in seamlessly introducing new software tools and technologies, many practitioners are discovering they lack the skills necessary to champion successful adoptions.
To help organizations systematically analyze, select, and implement new technology, the SEI in collaboration with Computer Associates has developed a high-level approach for technology implementation known as the IDEAL-Based New Technology Rollout (INTRo). INTRo is a Web-based resource that guides software professionals through technology change management through organizational and technological assessments, proven practices, and methodologies that foster learning.
INTRo builds from IDEAL, a comprehensive approach to long-term software improvement through the five key process stages for which it is named: Initiating, Diagnosing, Establishing, Acting, and Learning. IDEAL serves as a model for planning and implementing effective improvements. "We wanted to take advantage of the lessons learned from using IDEAL in software process improvement, and to extend and apply those lessons to the new domain of information technology (IT) and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software selection and deployment," says Linda Levine of the SEI. "INTRo goes further by providing a greater level of detail, content, and support for users."
Using INTRo, an organization can introduce new software tools and technologies by following a series of structured and informative process steps, tutorials, tips, checklists, and sample process outputs. The model emphasizes the importance of sharing information and disseminating knowledge practices throughout an organization in order to develop more lasting and complete business solutions. Further, INTRo addresses change across the dimensions of process, technology, people, and culture. While typical change models tend to focus on one or two dimensions, INTRo provides a more customized method across multiple variables.
As interactive learning and collaborative practice were integral to developing INTRo, Levine hopes to stimulate an online community around the use of INTRo by developing a Web-based forum for users to share lessons and explore alternative approaches to technology adoption. "Such a forum for exploration and learning would allow the SEI to extend its interactions with its partners and constituency and to build a community of practice," Levine says.
INTRo is designed to meet the needs of large efforts, including multi-site, cross-organizational, enterprise-wide rollouts. INTRo is most applicable to organizations at maturity level 3 and higher on the Capability Maturity Model® for Software (SW-CMM). For small projects, such as a development team of a few engineers adopting a new tool, INTRo may be applied informally or in part. In the case of such informal and partial use, adoption results will vary.
IDEAL-Based New Technology Rollout consists of seven stages: Project Initiation, Problem/Domain Analysis, Solution Definition, Technology Customization and Testing, Whole-Product Design, Breakthrough, and Rollout.
INTRo is available for pilots or early customer use. Plans are currently being made for additional pilots. Please contact us if you are interested in being an early adopter.
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