Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University

Mastering Process Improvement

This three-day course introduces participants to a series of effective practices for process improvement. These practices address the intertwined challenges faced by change agents in conducting a process improvement effort. This course is appropriate for members of a process group (e.g., PG, EPG, SEPG), for those leading and facilitating process improvement activities, and for those preparing to adopt a model to guide process improvement in their organization.

The SEI's IDEAL model, which is a high-level description of the phases of process improvement, serves as the framework for the approach taught in this class. The course provides a brief overview of the first two IDEAL model phases (initiating and diagnosing), then introduces the Process Change Methodology (PCM), which identifies activities needed to apply the last three IDEAL model phases (establishing, acting and learning). The eight stages of the PCM include: organizing and preparing for process improvement; conducting an organization scan; establishing technical working groups; understanding projects' current states; redesigning processes; developing whole product solutions; conducting pilots and evaluations; and facilitating organizational learning. The course discussion of each stage consists of activities and skill sets that a process group employs to accelerate broad adoption of new processes and technologies that support model goals.

The course consists of lectures and exercises that reinforce key course elements with ample opportunity for participant questions and discussion. After attending the course, participants will understand the activities necessary to implement process improvement in their organizations.

Who should attend?

  • process group members (e.g., PG, EPG, SEPG)
  • those responsible for leading and facilitating process improvement in their organization
  • those preparing to adopt a model to guide process improvement in their organizations


  • process improvement life cycle
  • process group and process improvement infrastructure
  • process change methodology (PCM)
  • skills and knowledge associated with the PCM


  • understand the process improvement life cycle
  • implement an effective process improvement infrastructure
  • be an effective process group team lead or member and understand what is required for a group to work well
  • understand a systems-level view of how process improvement is planned and implemented using a capability maturity model
  • know what knowledge and skills are important for process group members and how they can be applied
  • apply a toolkit of relevant process improvement and change management skills and techniques within their organization
  • begin gaining confidence in their ability to perform their role in the process group


Before registering for this course, participants must have completed at least one introductory course in a process improvement model.


On the first day of the course, participants will receive a student course notebook, a student exercise notebook, and tools in the form of a resource notebook, one book, and a CD-ROM that contains an electronic copy of the notebook materials.


This 3-day course meets at the following times:
Days 1-3, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (U.S. locations)

Days 1-3, 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (non-U.S. locations)

Course Details

Course Fees [USD]

U.S. Industry: $2000

U.S. Government/Academic: $1600

International: $2800

This course may be offered by special arrangement at customer sites.

For More Information

Phone: 412-268-7622