The article asks why "there is an increasing gap between program cost, schedule and technical performance requirements and the capabilitiy of program teams to realize them," particularly given the "increased process focus within DoD programs."
The analysis indicates "software, systems engineering and management processes... were primary contributors to poor program performance." [emphasis added]. The authors also observe that "in 80 percent of the assessed programs where no process adherence issues of merit were found, process capability issues were still discovered." In other words, 80 percent of the time the project teams followed the process, but still had performance problems. The processes themseles were causing poor performance.
How could this be? Isn't "Process" supposed to improve things? The authors explain "Process adherence is mistakenly seen by too many program teams to automatically equate to process capability..." Further, "adherence-oriented models... are based on a generalized organizational standard of what most projects require, not on what any specific project requires. While these process models are intended to be tailored for specific program needs, the data suggests that in practice they often are not..." [emphasis in original].
The point is that there's a big difference between compliance & adherance on one hand, and creative, imaginative application on the other. Processes are supposed to be tailored. If we don't tailor them, we miss the whole point, because as Alex said in yesterday's post, "projects are unique."