Volltext: IT & Finance

Process Purpose. Together with the process outcomes (see hereafter), it is the 
basis of the definition of process. The ISO/IEC 15504 standard makes an explicit link 
between the process purpose of a process and the set of objectives expected to be 
fulfilled when performing that process [8 sec. 6.2.4]. 
Process Outcome. The achievement of a process purpose must be demonstrated 
by the collection of outcomes. Each outcome can be described with a sub-goal. The 
ISO/IEC 15504 gives three types of outcomes: the fulfillment of a specified 
requirement (or constraint), a change of state, or the production of an artifact. The 
main difference between the purpose and its full refinement into the collection of 
outcomes is that the outcomes must be observable and measurable. 
Assessment Indicator. The definition of assessment indicators increases the 
quality of the assessments because they enhance the rigorous observation of the 
fulfillment of the outcomes and the purposes. The ISO/IEC 15504 gives the example 
of three kinds of indicators: practices, work products and resources needed for the 
performance of the process. 
Assessment Instrument. These are used to help the assessors to collect a complete 
set of evidences concerning the fulfillment of the purposes and outcomes. The usual 
examples of assessment instruments are checklists and questionnaires. 
With goal-oriented method, when indicators and outcomes are related to their 
corresponding assessment instruments (e.g. specific questions), it is easier to 
understand the focus of the questions during an assessment. More importantly, this 
link with goals gives the main focus of each question that can be referred to by 
assessors when preparing an assessment or during an assessment when the assessment 
context 1s unusual. 
Goal-oriented methods have been used to build such kind of instruments. An 
example is the Goals-Questions-Metrics method (GOM) that has been used in the 
field of quality improvement [10]. Just like here, in the GOM method the design of 
questionnaires starts with the definition of goals and organizational unit's processes. 


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