Since 1990, we have performed seminars, workshops and consulting for more than 470 companies in the U.S., U.K., Switzerland, Canada, India, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Singapore, China, Saudi Arabia, and Japan.
“Neil Potter has been supporting the process improvement efforts of Lockheed Martin CDL Systems, a division of Lockheed Martin Canada, and its predecessor CDL Systems Ltd for past 8 years.
Twelve years ago we have adopted Agile software engineering principles for developing mission critical software. Neil provided very practical guidance and advice on our processes tailored to our type of business. His understanding of Agile software development principles and knowledge of CMMI process areas helped us in aligning our Agile practices with CMMI process areas. He was excellent in communicating with our team providing areas for improvement during the appraisals.”
Venkat Mantripragada, Lockheed Martin CDL Systems, a division of Lockheed Martin Canada.
“The Process Group’s Agile/Scrum class provided useful guidance on how to combine Agile/Scrum methodologies with software engineering lifecycle processes, creating a powerful combination of adaptability and predictability for software development.”
Margaret Bailey, Engineering Process Group Lead, Sonalysts, Inc., Waterford, CT.
“Working with Neil on Scrum and Agile implementation removed a lot of the initial frustration our teams felt about incorporating the processes. Understanding the added benefits and seeing measurable improvements brought everyone on board.”
Mark Schulte, Software Branch Manager, KIHOMAC, Dallas TX.
“If you are looking for a typical improvement consultant, Neil’s not your man, because his approach to the discipline is pragmatic, results-driven and rife with common sense. He has demonstrated this time and again through the years. His straightforward approach to often complex issues has been a lifesaver for several organizations I have supported. I’ve always appreciated Neil’s honesty and propensity for telling you how it is. I would not hesitate to hire Neil again, or recommend others to do the same.”
Rob Wyatt, IT Director at Dell Inc., TX.
“DSS initially engaged The Process Group to help us expand CMMI ML 2 practices into other areas of the organization. The Process Group effectively assisted us with overcoming a variety of obstacles along the way including unrealistic expectations, misunderstandings, and indifference. Neil helps us focus on improving how we run our business, not just on the rote use of published frameworks. Our successes with The Process Group’s support were leveraged with our subsidiaries to implement CMMI ML 2 practices there as well. DSS continues to work with The Process Group as we work on maturing our development practices.”
Richard T. Lea, PMP, Director, BPM, DSS, Inc.
“I have worked with Neil for over 7 years, his expertise in project management, and systems development practices are un-paralleled. He and his business partner Mary Sakry, and their company The Process Group, have been instrumental in the improvement of the technology service and systems engineering processes at both Peerless and Mark IV. If you want to see long term return on the software development and services propositions in your organization, I would highly encourage you to engage his services and the services of The Process Group.”
Ross Sivertsen, CIO, Peerless, TX.
“The Process Group is focused on business results and engineering the lightest weight processes to help you achieve them. They helped us mature our development life cycle to CMMI Level 3 in a timely and efficient manner without limiting our innovative research and product delivery capability.”
Jim Congdon, Core Software Engineering Manager, Information Science and Engineering, Logos Technologies LLC, Raleigh, NC.
“We have worked with Mary for many of our clients in China. She is professional while easy-going, and she cares to help clients get better.”
Li Huabei, Director, CEPREI Certification Body, Guangzhou.
“I consider myself very lucky that we found Mary when we needed help for some CMMI High Maturity appraisals. She understands how to use statistics to help process improvement in a practical way.”
Wang Hua, Translator, CEPREI Certification Body, Guangzhou.
“Mary is an expert in CMMI field, she knows CMMI and process improvement very well, and she knows how to help clients to improve. I really enjoy working with Mary, she is very nice to everyone.”
Li Xue, Translator, CEPREI Certification Body, Guangzhou.
See additional testimonials on LinkedIn “Recommendations.”: Click here
Inspection (Peer Review)
“Several of our Pittsburgh- and Boston-based software development groups have taken the Process Group’s inspection (peer review) class, and found it to be extremely worthwhile. Lightweight, quick and easy to use, the inspection process presented in the class has helped us find defects in our software development work products, and also helped us to quickly adopt one of the topic areas for our SEI level 3 assessment.”
Gina Fontanesi, Mellon Project Office, Mellon Financial Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA.
“Software for life-critical medical devices must be reliable and safe. Inspections are an important part of our software verification activities at Medtronic. The Process Group has provided the training we need to assure effective inspections. We have been very pleased with the classes they have taught, and with their willingness to tailor their materials to reflect our environment. By licensing the materials they have created for us, we have been able to continue to add new trained inspection moderators. We look forward to continuing the productive relationship we have with the Process Group.”
Sherman Eagles, Technical Fellow, Medtronic, Minnesota.
“The Inspection course provided by The Process Group was excellent. It had the right mix of theoretical and practical exercises to give a better understanding of how to plan and moderate an inspection. The instructor really knew her subject matter and delivered it in an effective manner.”
Cindy Tutt, Computing Devices Canada, Ontario.
“The Inspection course (by the Process Group) has been successfully adopted by our software organization of approximately 120. To date we have inspected approximately 20-30 documents. The inspection process concentrates on finding defects, in an efficient and non-emotional way. I have also noticed that the defect logging sessions also contribute to team building. I find myself constantly referring to the text provided by The Process Group. It is comprehensive, efficiently organized, and a useful tool. In summary, the Inspection Process works! It is straightforward, easy to assimilate, and can quickly be implemented.”
Mike Wood, Development Manager, Xerox, California.
“The hands-on exercises conducted during the Inspection course allowed me to start moderating inspections the day after training. Course materials are extremely well prepared and presented.The insights and recommendations Neil provides on managing group dynamics are applicable to a variety of situations. He truly understands the reality of implementing positive change in the work environment.”
Mike Leach, Senior Developer, Corillian Corporation (e-commerce), Oregon.
“Neil from the Process Group was with the Bank for a very fruitful and successful 6 days, training Business Users and Technology in Requirements Engineering and Management. “In Search of Excellent Requirements” taught us practices in requirements gathering and definition. These best practices are here to stay and will contribute to overall cycle time reduction in our software development projects.”
Sunil Thomas, Saudi American Bank – Technology, Saudi Arabia.
“The Process Group develops and delivers real time, pragmatic learning forums that are always focused on us, the end user – really enables us to take what we learn, use it, and see results.”
Barbara Marasco, North American Information Management, Xerox, New York.
CMMI Appraisals / Improvement
“The Process Group adapted very nicely to the needs of our World-Wide Software development organization at Texas Instruments, successfully understanding the different cultures and guiding us along our path to achieving CMMI Level 3. They provided effective training around the globe, and helped us identify gaps that mattered (like better estimation techniques) with solutions to address and close the gaps, as they applied to our business needs. All in all, it has been a pleasure working with the Process Group.
Geetha Ram, Senior Director, Cellular Systems Software Development,
Texas Instruments, Dallas, Texas.
“Neil Potter visited us on-site for an informal review of our processes. Neil’s knowledge of applying CMMI in a Scrum environment enabled him to quickly understand our processes. Neil understood our process related challenges and provided set of recommendations to address those challenges. Neil communicated clearly and provided good examples throughout the visit. We look forward to apply Neil’s recommendations as we move forward on our process improvement project. I highly recommend Neil for any organization trying to implement CMMI.”
Venkat Mantripragada, Software Process Architect, Calgary.
“Our selection of The Process Group to lead us through the CMMI appraisal process proved to be an excellent decision. Neil took us through a mini-appraisal that identified several weaknesses and he provided both realistic guidance and some tools to aid us in resolving the weaknesses. We had Neil back to train our appraisal team in the CMMI and the SCAMPI process a few months later. Despite the dry nature of the material, he received very positive evaluations from everyone participating in the training. Since Neil was heavily booked on other projects, with some trepidation we scheduled our SCAMPI Class A appraisal with Mary. Our concerns proved unfounded as Mary led us effectively and efficiently through the formal appraisal. Incredibly, what looked like a very tight schedule with multiple long days, proved to be adequate to get the job done with some time to spare and no late evening sessions required. The results from Neil’s thorough mini-appraisal and continued guidance from both Mary and Neil via email between the two appraisals were very effective in helping to prepare us for a successful SCAMPI A and achievement of a maturity level 3 rating. I am looking forward to working with both Mary and Neil in future CMMI appraisals of this and other organizations within the company.”
John Latimore, Senior Manager, Software Engineering,
Sierra Nevada Corporation, Nevada
“Choosing The Process Group to support our process improvement program was the best decision we made. Their professionalism and pragmatic approach to process improvement allowed us to quickly assess our weaknesses and develop a plan for moving forward. As a result, our first organization was able to achieve CMMI Level 2 in just 17 months, with the added benefit that process improvement efforts are viewed very positively in the company. Along the way, Neil and Mary provided spot-on advice and training that helped us to address risk areas early and come up with innovative solutions to our process issues.”
Pete Fuenfhausen, Senior Manager, Engineering Process Improvement Program,
Tellabs, Dallas, Texas.
“The Process Group has been my number one knowledge resource for applying CMMI to a 500 person IT group supporting a global manufacturing firm. Neil and Mary have provided CMMI courses tailored to our needs, and are always quick to respond with sage advice about how to apply CMMI. Without their help our SEPG and SQA group would have spent countless hours in rework fixing our poor decisions. I look forward to applying their advice as we move toward CMMI maturity level 3.”
Alan Zevenbergen, SQA Manager and SEPG team member.
“The Process Group has been instrumental in the implementation and adoption of CMMI Level 3 processes at Sonalysts. They have provided engaging process training to our organization as well as useful guidance on how to tailor processes to meet our specific development needs and corporate culture.”
Jodi Imms, Engineering Process Group Lead, Sonalysts, Inc., Waterford, CT.
“The Process Group was instrumental in our achieving CMM Level 3 within our cost and schedule constraints. They learned our culture and systems; then they worked with us to effectively integrate the CMM key practices, providing practical training when needed (requirements engineering and peer reviews / inspection). We learned by prioritizing and solving real problems, not by simply creating administrative procedures. Our relationship with the Process Group has been a very positive experience.
When we completed the first project using CMM level 3 practices (a complex marine machinery control and monitoring system), we were braced and ready for the usual end-of-project problems. Instead we found that integration testing went much more quickly than expected, with only minor problems and almost no revisions to the test procedure. It looks like the system will be ready early. This stuff really works.”
Peter G. Weber, Engineering Manager, Electronic Design, New Orleans, Louisiana.
“I strongly recommend this Software Engineering Improvement course for anyone who is a member of or closely affiliated with a company Software Engineering Process Group (SEPG). The result was two days of in-depth attention to specific issues confronting our group combined with a running dialog of presentations, handouts, and anecdotes drawn from The Process Group’s broad experience in process improvement. After only two days our group made tangible progress towards a number of our goals, and had the beginnings of a modified Software Process Improvement (SPI) plan to help focus our future efforts. The Process Group’s business-goal oriented approach to SPI really resonated with the managers who attended.”
Bill DiPierre, Baseline, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“After our initial interview, our steering committee agreed that Mary and Neil had the expertise to fully interpret the CMM, and the focus and dedication to assure an accurate, common sense assessment of our capabilities.
We launched our first external assessment using Neil as our assessor. In all of my dealings with Neil, I have found him to be very knowledgeable in the SEI CMM assessment process, as well as having practical, hands-on development expertise. His suggestions have been insightful. He holds us to a high standard, thus assuring little difficulty with subsequent Software Capability Evaluations requested by our customers. His suggestions for possible process improvements and review of new processes have proved to be invaluable. Neil has been very professional and focused on all the tasks he has undertaken for us. He has trained my internal assessment team so that they are very quick to catch potential process problems and know what changes will be necessary to comply with the CMM. He did an excellent job of presenting the assessment concepts and processes – as well as the final results of the assessment – to our upper management.”
Vicki Rainey, (Ph.D.), Director of Software Development, Raytheon E-Systems, Texas.
We called upon The Process Group for assessment services, courses, and consulting, and the feedback received from those within my organization who have participated in these services has been overwhelmingly positive. Personally, I have had the opportunity to work with The Process Group at more than one company over the past seven years and have always been extremely pleased with their professionalism and with the quality of their services. Here are some other reasons why I continue to use them:
Their willingness to share their experiences and their knowledge. Their responsiveness — we have grown to depend upon their responding to voice mail or e-mail within 24 hours! Their generosity with follow-up support (“We’re your friends for life — whether you need us or not.”) Their concern for meeting our needs and expectations, and their desire to help us succeed in implementing a culture that will support continuous process improvement.
I would highly recommend Neil and Mary to anyone who is looking for a simple, but effective, approach to processes and process improvement.”
Libby Dunn, Process Engineering Manager, Texas.
“The Process Group’s problem-goal approach to software process improvement (SPI) has been instrumental in helping us define and plan our Level 3 strategy. It provided us with a valuable mechanism where we could easily demonstrate the relationship of our SPI actions with organizational business priorities.
We also engaged the Process Group to assist in planning, both from a SEPG and project perspective. Their Project Planning and Management course has helped us institutionalize good planning practices, and their SEPG course was of great value in helping us understand the perspective and positioning of a Level 3 SEPG.
Neil and Mary have a very flexible, yet personal approach to consulting. They take the time to get to know the organization, the individuals within it, and are always just an e-mail away. They have been very supportive in meeting our requests for help in a quick and professional fashion, and have been very helpful in tailoring their expertise and courses to meet our needs and expectations.”
Mary Segnit, Software Process Manager, Xerox, New York.
“The Process Group has been instrumental in introducing the SEI-CMM to our organization. In addition to their role as independent assessors, we have employed The Process Group to provide training in the implementation and assessment of specific processes, such as Risk Management.
We count on the Process Group to provide accurate and up-to-date guidance on software processes. Mary and Neil always provide Bell Helicopter with guidance and training fitted and paced to our current needs and abilities.”
Greg Simpson (Senior Engineer) & Elaine Vaught (Director of Software Development),
Bell Helicopter, Texas.
“I’m impressed with Neil and his ability to relate to all levels of the organization and speak their language. The Process Group has provided education in project planning, inspection, and process improvement.
Facilitating change is challenging. Listening skills are imperative. Discerning true needs and concerns and dealing with them in an open, positive way is crucial to success. Neil has done that for Bradley Company in every class and session in which he has been involved. We’ll continue to use his services.”
John Zitzner, CEO, The Bradley Company, Ohio.
“Neil Potter of The Process Group gave a CMM Level 3 workshop to managers and the SEPG in the Advanced Imaging Platform Development (AIPD) group at Xerox. We found his presentation to be very informative and enjoyable. Neil is very knowledgeable about the CMM. He made Level 3 easier for us to understand and gave clarifying answers to all our questions. I think the most important feature of this class was the excellent approach Neil suggested for deploying Level 3. We have enthusiastically adopted it in AIPD. I would strongly recommend this class to any group embarking on Level 3 activities.”
Fran Farrand, Software Engineering Process Group, Xerox, California.
“We were impressed with their ability to understand what we were doing and respond with a tailored approach that met our needs. Groups that were a little stuck are now working fine!”
Irene Allen, Manager of Process Improvement, Xerox, New York.
“I just want to reiterate that I was extremely impressed with your training skills and the content of the training class. The Delphi process and risk assessment methods will drive immediate benefit into our process. I would recommend this class and your training to any of my colleagues.”
Lance Grow, Product Design Manager
“Before working with The Process Group, our company was in crisis mode. Creeping requirements, schedule slip, and errors found in the field were at an all-time high. So was the stress level of our employees. Three months after working with The Process Group, we saw significant improvement in all areas. Now, after almost a year, we are a company with fewer defects, consistently delivering a high quality product on time with high customer satisfaction. Not to mention the fact that we are actually enjoying our jobs! Thank you, Process Group!”
Randy Reetz, Development Manager, The Bradley Company, Ohio.
“Mary and Neil of The Process Group have expert knowledge of the Capability Maturity Model and related topics, such as software project management. They excel in presenting simplified process models, which make it possible for an organization to start a process improvement effort.
For example, the Risk Management course offers simple tools and guidelines, which can be used out of the box. I found it very easy to explain the process to our project management team. Mary and Neil responded promptly and in detail when I needed clarification.
The Inspection Moderator course is one of the best classes I have taken. Mary and Neil practice what they preach. The excellent quality of the training materials convinced me of the effectiveness of the inspection process they teach. We easily adapted the process and materials to our company culture.”
Hilly Alexander, SQA and Process Manager, Cotelligent, Oregon.
“Your Risk process presentation reminded me once again how a simple, well executed process can make a big difference. You and Mary are my heroes when it comes to elegant process definition!”
Margie Davies, DAT Services, Oregon.
“Thank you for teaching us Software Project Planning and Management. I have been working on Software projects for 10 years with mixed success. Your training has really provided a vision for effective and efficient organization of our development projects. You hit our needs exactly. You applied the class material to my company’s problems and issues in such a way that it should result in large improvements on our software projects.
Not only do we have a vision of how an effective software group should work, but you also helped us develop action items to get from the chaos we are in to a whole new level. We have had other trainers who basically just came and read the book to us. You made the Software Project Planning practices come alive and be meaningful to our environment. We can never thank you enough. I recommend you and The Process Group in the highest manner.
One of our Senior Engineers, with eight years of experience in software development who goes to many conferences every year, said the following: This is the absolutely best training session I have ever participated in. This is what we needed five years ago when we began this huge re-architecting project.”
Phil Foell, Senior Engineer, The Bradley Company, Ohio.