Today, technology has become too much a part of overall corporate success for its effectiveness to be left to chance. The stakes are too high. Fortunately, the idea of 'quality management' is being reinvigorated. In the last decade process programs have become more and more prevalent. And, out of all the available options, three have moved to the top of the chain. These three are: The 9001:2000 Quality Management Standard from the International Standards Organization; The Capability Maturity Model Integration from the Software Engineering Institute; and Six Sigma, a methodology for improvement shaped by companies such as Motorola, Honeywell, and General Electric.These recognized and proven quality programs are rising in popularity as more technology managers are looking for ways to help remove degrees of risk and uncertainty from their business equations, and to introduce methods of predictability that better ensure success. Process Improvement Essentials combines the foundation needed to understand process improvement theory with the best practices to help individuals implement process improvement initiatives in their organization. The three leading programs: ISO 9001:2000, CMMI, and Six Sigma--amidst the buzz and hype--tend to get lumped together under a common label. This book delivers a combined guide to all three programs, compares their applicability, and then sets the foundation for further exploration. It's a one-stop-shop designed to give you a working orientation to what the field is all about.