Richard Bechtold, PhD, Abridge Technology

Dr. Richard Bechtold has over 30 years of systems and software full lifecycle experience. During this time he has held a variety of positions from software engineering, to line, middle, and executive management. In parallel to this work he has remained actively involved in various training, quality, and process improvement initiatives. Currently, Richard is the President of Abridge Technology, a Virginia-based company he founded in 1996. Abridge Technology provides consulting, training, support services, and appraisals in the areas of project and process improvement, and organizational change. Richard has assisted government and industry with implementing standards and multi-model frameworks since 1992. His expertise spans organizations of all types and sizes. Abridge Technology is an SEI/CMU Partner, and Richard is a Certified Appraiser and Instructor for various CMMI models.

QUEST 2014 Conference and EXPO Sessions:

Half-Day Tutorial: Improving Quality through Self-Sustaining Process Improvements

Tuesday, April 8: 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM

A well-known principle within manufacturing is that product or service quality is nearly always a function of process quality.  However, improvement efforts often end up requiring excessive time, effort, or money and yield only a fraction of the expected benefit.  This tutorial describes a set of key methods that can be used to improve product and service quality through the design and implementation of process improvements that are readily implemented, effective, and self-sustaining.  Central to this set of methods are principles of objective proof, positive feedback loops, and self-correcting systems.  Improvement methods described include: clarifying quality objectives, identifying process alternatives, leveraging quality standards and models, determining feasibility, analyzing trade-offs, designing process experiments, deploying incrementally, evaluating impacts, verifying and validating process capability, and managing security and risk.  This session is not only for people relatively new to process and product improvement, but also for experienced quality veterans looking to increase success rates and benefits. This material is designed for attendees with virtually any level of responsibility, from hands-on developers and testers to executive decision-makers.

  • Understand fundamental principles of introducing and implementing new processes and techniques
  • Design improved processes that are intentionally self-correcting and self-sustaining
  • Increase the objectivity of your techniques for tracking and managing improved processes, and for demonstrating and communicating improvement results

Workshop: Improvement vs. Innovation: Which to Apply, When, and How?

Thursday, April 10: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

People frequently talk about “product improvements” or “product innovations” and even more abstractly about “process improvements” or “process innovations,” yet there is often fairly little discussion relating to the differences between improvements versus innovations.  Because these terms are definitely not synonyms, this workshop examines the similarities and differences between improvements and innovations specifically relating to processes and methods for testing and evaluating software and software-intensive products and systems.  Come to learn strategies you can use that will help you identify when process change is essential, and help you distinguish whether it is better to pursue improvements or innovations. The TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) system will be introduced and its application to process improvements and innovations in system and software testing will be described.  Special emphasis will be given to introducing innovative thinking and solution techniques in combination with your other process improvement efforts.

  • Understand the concept of improvement vs. innovation
  • Learn to assess where you are and where you need to be
  • Determine if your strategy will get you there.