<-Prev Next->

You need to understand that deploying software reliability engineering is a change like any other, and that people resist change. Some of this is desirable. It protects the organization against uncritically considered ideas and hasty decisions. It prevents disruption of processes that are functioning well. Some of the resistance is undesirable but natural. Change disturbs people, forcing them to invest extra efforts in learning new knowledge and skills and in adapting. Thus you can expect some hostility, whether or not it is justified.
To overcome the resistance, you need to show people how software reliability engineering will help them personally and to minimize any problems it may cause them. “Management by machismo” (i.e., ordering change or asking a manager to order change) does not work. You may obtain the appearance of deployment, but it will occur grudgingly and without much consideration or thought. Consequently, the results will usually be of questionable quality.
In my experience, organizations adopted software reliability engineering practice most readily when we were able to show each person in that organization how he or she would benefit in working more productively on the job and improving his or her competitiveness (and hence job security) in the marketplace.
We had to show each manager…

The consultee should place great importance on the process of selecting the consultant. The extra cost of a consultant of superior quality is negligible with respect to the likely greater benefits. It is important for you to realize that you are not just “buying” expertise from the consultant but trying to apply expertise effectively in the solution of project problems. Therefore, you must be open and honest in providing the consultant with information. It is desirable to truly incorporate the consultant as a part of your team. Invest some effort in determining the needs and problems of your project and conveying them to the consultant. Provide any technical background information that may be relevant to the problem, and give the consultant some guidance about which information is likely to be most important. If you provide a set of reports and memoranda, a rank ordering of the value of this material is useful.
One area of information that is frequently overlooked, but that is vital, is that of organizational power structure and politics. The consultant may develop good ideas, but it is likely that they will wither on the vine without this knowledge. You need to help the consultant help you by identifying the key people on the project with respect to the particular area being addressed. These may be people with power in either the formal structure (for example, managers) or the informal structure (for example, people generally recognized as technical innovators, initiators, or mentors among their peers).
The following may sound strange with respect to someone you may be hiring, but…