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Chapter 6: Disciplined Development > 6.2 The Seven Step Plan - Pg. 222

222 Chapter 6 high quality software, their tepid buy-in all too often collapses when under fire from looming deadlines. 2. The path from level to level is long and torturous. Without a passionate technical visionary guiding the way and rallying the troops, individual engineers may lose hope and fall back on their old, dysfunctional software habits. CMMI is a tool. Nothing more. Study it. Pull good ideas from it. Proselytize its virtues to your management. But have a backup plan you can realistically implement now to start building better code immediately. Postponing improvement while you "analyze options" or "study the field" always leads back to the status quo. Act now! Solving problems is a high-visibility process; preventing problems is low-visibility. This is illustrated by an old parable: In ancient China there was a family of healers, one of whom was known throughout the land and employed as a physician to a great lord. The physician was asked which of his family was the most skillful healer. He replied, "I tend to the sick and dying with drastic and dramatic treatments, and on occasion someone is cured and my name gets out among the lords." "My elder brother cures sickness when it just begins to take root, and his skills are known among the local peasants and neighbors." "My eldest brother is able to sense the spirit of sickness and eradicate it before it takes form. His name is unknown outside our home." 6.2 The Seven Step Plan Arm yourself with one tool--one tool only--and you can make huge improvements in both the quality and delivery time of your next embedded project. That tool is: an absolute commitment to make some small but basic changes to the way you develop code . Given the will to change, here's what you should do today : 1. Buy and use a Version Control System. 2. Institute a Firmware Standards Manual. w ww. n e wn e s p res s .c om