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Human Centred Process Improvement Group

The HCPIG is an informally-constituted group of over 50 usability specialists.   It is International and  cross-sector. It does not have any formal constitution or money. As such it  complements more formal organisations such as BHCIG, Ergonomics Society, IEE, UPA, HFES, SIGCHI, IOSH etc.It includes the heads of most of the large usability departments in Europe and has members in the US and Japan.  Membership ranges across many sectors of industry and also includes academics and consultants.  The group was founded in 1996.  It developed ISO TR 18529 Human-centred lifecycle process descriptions and defined the USP approval scheme for consultants providing usability services.  Membership is informal, based on perceived benefit.  The group has a part-time convenor and secretary (Jonathan Earthy of Lloyd's Register of Shipping jonathan.earthy@lr.org) who was funded as part of European R&D projects (INUSE, TRUMP, UsabilityNet).

It was set up to assist in the achievement of a specific aim (to make HCD  routine, established and professional) with specific objectives in an International, cross-sector manner. The extent to which each objective has been  achieved is summarised below.

Development and maintenance of HCD standards and associated standards.

This has been quite successful, and has the potential for considerably more  success. The major achievements include:

  • The inclusion of HCD material in ISO/IEC 15288;
  • The inclusion of a usability process in ISO 12207;
  • The development of ISO TR 18529;
  • The inclusion of the definition of Quality In Use in ISO 9126;
  • The development of the Human-Systems model (may still be undermined by BSI).

Establishing a body of practice, lessons learned, metrics

This has been almost entirely unsuccessful. There had been a hope to use the SPICE database, but for personal reasons (retirement) this did not prove possible. It is an activity that needs (continuity of) resources and facilities,  and as such is not something that the HCPIG as presently formulated could undertake. It is still vital.

Establishing competence

There has been some success here and the groundwork is being laid for further  work. There was a near-miss in setting up a competence scheme within the HCI community. There is potential for joint activity with the IEE and INCOSE in a System Engineering context, and with IEE and the Ergonomics Society in an HF  context.

Training material has been developed to support ISO TR 18529 and the Human-Systems Model.


This objective is concerned with promoting the application of HCD standards  to specific sectors, preferably using a structured Process Improvement approach.  Some work here has been started in the UK safety-related sector and with the UK '13407 for Government' initiative. Both are showing signs of promise.


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