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Oct 2012
Agile development with SCRUM: Experiences with Organizational transition to Agile
by Lee Vallone
Interactive discussion of the fundamental principles of Agile development with SCRUM followed by discussion of some challenges many organizations may face as they make the transition from more traditional methodologies. [pdf].

Sept 2012
Adaptive Lean Six Sigma.
by John Muka, Ph.D of AptoLean, LLC.
John Muka, Ph.D of AptoLean, LLC discusses a powerful but "Minimally Invasive" philosophy of Adaptive Lean Six Sigma. The goals of Customer value, and reducing delays, waste and defects are approached from within existing working groups instead of being imposed from the outside. The focus is on the immediate and constant elimination of the multiple but small issues that contaminate work processes followed by the maintenance of effective sustainment methods to avoid relapse. Learn how this can simplify IT implementation by eliminating waste before implementing new IT systems, and do this without significant upfront costs and training. [pdf].

April 2012
Turbo-Charging Agile Software Development with Lean Methods and Systems Thinking.
by Hillel Glazer, Principal & CEO, Entinex, Inc.
The concept of process improvement has been around for quite a while. Many methods have been defined to conduct and pursue improvement. Then why isn't everyone already an expert at it? We seem to never lack for "improvement" content, as if it's fresh -- which it's not, and exciting -- which it's not. Could it be because so much of what's been espoused hasn't worked? But why? This presentation examines several long-held assumptions about process improvement, proposes plausible flaws, and reveals new levels of empirically sound understanding that have allowed breakthroughs in performance. At issue is: too much focus on practices without honoring the underlying principles or internalizing values. There's too much worrying and arguing over practices instead of working towards results; worrying and arguing over what constitutes "compliance" instead of moving forward. And, too much emphasis on process improvement -- as a "program" -- rather than breakthrough performance results. What's the relationship between values, principles, and practices? Why does this matter? How can and understanding of values, principles and practices make concepts such as CMMI and Lean/Agile work together? And, how can this understanding be leveraged towards becoming a high performance operation, sailing through appraisals and audits, and never again wondering whether a change to your process will negatively impact your ability to maintain those ratings and audit results. [slides].

March 2012
Turbo-Charging Agile Software Development with Lean Methods and Systems Thinking.
by Dr. Satish Thatte.
Agile software development and project management methods (such as Scrum) are proving that they can deliver high value to customers, while increasing productivity of software producers without sacrificing quality. Agile methods are enjoying a growing momentum in software industry. I will present a brief overview of agile software development methods. I will then present how agile methods can be turbo-charged and be made more effective by applying lean methods and systems thinking. Lean methods focus on eliminating waste, leveling the work, reducing work-in-progress queues, and increasing the value flow. Systems thinking helps us understand cause-effect-cause feedback loops and delays in organizational systems, and optimize the whole-systemperformance by thinking holistically instead of sub-optimizing parts. Systems thinking not only helps us better understand and improve agile Scrum team organizational behavior dynamics, but also makes the agile development more effective and impactful in the context of a larger company-wide organization beyond software groups. All three methods (agile, lean and systems thinking) are very complementary and synergistic in nature. [pdf].

Nov 2011: Agile Panel Discussion on Incremental Development, Instrumented Agile templates and Agile Mindset.
Abstract 1: Incremental Development Speaker 1: Don Borcherding. Incremental development is an excellent way to control risk. Begin by breaking activities into high risk paths and execution path. Then strategize how to make incremental handoffs from the high risk paths to the execution paths to maintain progress even things go wrong. Incremental development can be used with any type of development process. [pdf]
Abstract 2: Instrumented Agile Templates Speaker 2: Dr. Satish Thatte. Agile templates embed agile/Scrum process elements with built-in examples to allow standardized use of agile practices throughout an organization. Several agile templates listed below will be demonstrated as concrete examples: Engineering work (features) templates: * Daily availability, capacity and workload calculation template, * Sprint backlog ordering template, * Daily Scrum template, * Sprint Retrospective template. These templates ensure consistency across all agile projects in an organization, eliminate reinvention of the wheel, reduce process errors, help comply with a standardized agile lifecycle process with minimal process overhead, improve overall agile team productivity, and help scalability of agile processes to handle large projects. Most of these templates are also instrumented to allow quick metering and measurements (with minimal overhead) of estimated and actual efforts for each sprint, which is the critical information needed at the Sprint retrospectives to improve the agile process sprint by sprint. These templates are based on familiar Microsoft Office tools (can also be used as Google Docs), and can be used with popular agile project management tools of your choice, such as Rally. [pdf]
Abstract 3: Agile Mindset Speaker 3: Bob Small. How the agile mindset differs from the classical worldview and why it matters to the success of your agile initiative. [pdf]

Oct 2011
Achieving On Time Quality
by Don Borcherding.
To achieve On Time Quality more emphasis must be placed on managing risk to reduce and eliminate delays. The four core principals are: *Understand the Project Risk *Develop a Successful Project Strategy *Manage the Project Strategy *Ensure Quality Deliverable.

Sept 2011
Overview of Microsoft's Application Lifecycle Management Ecosystem
by Jason Keicher and Dan Shea, Microsoft Developer Technology Specialists.
This presentation will cover a broad overview of Microsoft's Application Lifecycle Management ecosystem. Several new products in the 2010 lineup including Visual Studio Test Professional 2010 and Lab Manager will be discussed and why they're important to you. We'll also take a look at the new features in vNext which will make you a more integral team member throughout the entire lifecycle, and provide you with greater clarity around the status of projects. * Visual Studio 2010 Overview * Microsoft ALM Overview * Test Professional 2010 and Lab Manager * Microsoft ALM vNext.  [pdf1] [pdf2].

June 2011
The Interview in the 21st Century
by Alex Freund.
We interpret the act of interview as we used to know it from past years however this method of selecting the perceived ideal candidate has gone through several stages of evolution. A candidate who does not know about it or understand it is hugely at disadvantage and will never find out why the jobs keep going to others. This presentation reveals many aspects and the hidden pitfalls of the 21st century interviewing. This session will be interactive, and will address, among others, the three most common interview questions. [pdf] [bio].

April 2011
IT Project Management Challenges with Open Source
by George Pace.
Open Source is a significant change agent that has had a tremendous impact on the software industry. In this financial climate, the usage of Open Source within the enterprise continues to grow but project managers should be aware of various issues that need to be considered / addressed during the Project Lifecycle, some of which include: Risk Identification (Licensing, Organization Acceptance), Risk Quantification (How will it be used, how will you obtain it), Risk Control (Understanding what teams can / can't do, support), and Operational readiness (How will you handle support). During his presentation, George Pace will level set the audience on what Open Source is and how it can be managed. He will also provide more information on the above issues and how to deal with them. [pdf] [bio].

March 2011
Information Security – From Code to Cloud
by Joe Cupano.
This session raises awareness of application owners of the security threats they need to be aware of and best practices in defending against the in the development, deployment, and maintenance of their applications. The discussion starts with a brief history of application security starting from the garden walls of the corporate network to how applications need to be available from anywhere across a variety of devices and what defenses should you be thinking about throughout the lifecycle of the application. Since it’s all about the data, threats and best practices with data protection will be covered as well. [pdf] [bio].

January 2011
To PMO or not to PMO?
by David Herron of David Consulting Group.
This presentation first explores the basic issues of why we need a PMO and how PMO’s are organized. The natural evolution of maturing PMOs along with ideas on improving PMO effectiveness is then discussed. Finally, the presentation focuses in on four key practices that are essential to improving the overall level of PMO performance. [pdf] [bio].

November 2010
How to Radically Streamline Your Business Processes Relevance
by Vic Nanda.
This presentation is relevant to companies that think they have too many or too complex processes and want to streamline them but do not know where to begin and how to proceed. Learn how Motorola overcame this challenge in a concerted ten month effort to significantly streamline its product and service delivery processes in IT, impacting over 5,000 practitioners worldwide. * The CIO and IT senior leadership of Motorola directed the IT Process & Quality organization to significantly streamline the product and service delivery processes in IT to make them easier to understand and follow without compromising quality and compliance to regulatory requirements. * Motorola leveraged Design for Six Sigma to systematically redesign current IT processes, focusing on value-added activities. * The project resulted in significant simplification to the processes, reducing time spent on process activities by 15% for over 5,000 IT practitioners and saving the company several Million dollars. [bio].

October 2010
Applying Agile Practices to Improve Software Quality
by Arlene F. Minkiewicz. of PRICE Systems.
Increased frustration with failed software projects coupled with the need to keep up with rapidly changing business needs is driving software development organizations to revisit the way they go about building software. Agile development has emerged as one possible solution to the woes of the software industry. Agile enthusiasts claim significant increases in the quality of their software while detractors cite instances where rapid development and loose structure lead to decreases in quality. This happens because not all ‘agile’ is created equally. Some agile practices are more likely, when implemented correctly, to impact quality than others. This article discusses specific agile practices which have been proven to have a positive impact on quality and offers practical advice about how best to implement them to maximize their impact on quality. [pdf] [bio].

Sept 2010
The Decision Model
by Barbara von Halle. of Managing Partner of Knowledge Partners International
Decades ago, the Relational Model changed the way we perceive and manage data. Now, in 2010, the Decision Model is doing the same for business decisions and rules. Business analysts and business SMEs use it today to represent business logic and rules as a web of normalized Rule Families. For the first time, a business’s logic is explicit with its own unique look-and-feel. Inconsistencies, gaps, and redundancies become obvious. This shift is having a profound effect on certain industries already. The timing is intriguing because Decision Management itself is gaining momentum, according to Harvard Business Review (Tom Davenport, “Make Better Decisions,” HBR, Nov 2009). This presentation is based on the recent book, The Decision Model: A Framework for Business Logic Linking Business and Technology (von Halle and Goldberg, 2009, Taylor & Francis LLC, ISBN 1420082817). [pdf] [bio].

June 2010
Decision Behaviors for the Process Professional: Increasing your Effectiveness
by Tom Clarke.
Understanding the 'business,' effectively executing the methods and procedures of process professionals, and knowing the technology are all critical skills for being an effective Process Professional. But those skills are not enough. You, the Process Professional, also need to make decisions in a way that builds trust and loyalty with you and your team; we call them "Decision Behaviors." * What are the various ways that decisions are made? * How do you build consensus when there are stong, divergent opinions? * How do you make sure that everyone follows through on the consensus decision? * What can you do before management makes a decision that affects you? * What can you do after the decision is made? * And finally, what decision behavior is a 'career killer?' [pdf] [bio].

May 2010
Forecast for SPI, Software Factories, and the Software Life Cycle….. Cloudy!
by Gunther Lenz.
How do the Cloud, Software Process Improvement (SPI), Software Factories, and the Software Life Cycle fit together? Which Cloud is it anyways? Does this compute? Gunther Lenz, ISV Architect Evangelist @ Microsoft will discuss how all these buzzwords, paradigms, and concepts fit into our daily lives. Or don’t they? Gunther will explore the cloud from the Windows Azure perspective and show how this paradigm relates to the Software Factories paradigm, tools and the Software Process. Gunther will share his experience with ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) that are already leveraging the cloud for their products and the impact it has on their Software Development Organization. Gunther will discuss: patterns he sees with companies that successfully transitioned to the “cloud” by using the platform continuum, how Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s new cloud platform, VSTS2010, and iterative development processes play into success strategies, what happened to Software Factories.... [pdf] [bio].

April 2010
Identifying Software Quality Best Practices.
by David Herron of David Consulting Group.

Identifying Software Quality Best Practices is really about identifying your software quality best practices. We all have ideas about what constitutes software quality best practices, but what best practices are you really executing and how well are you performing those quality practices. This presentation addresses how to assess your current development practices to gain insight into your software quality processes. The discussion then moves to the task of measuring quality and an organizations overall level of performance. We will discuss some of the basic measures of quality and learn about a critical measure that many organizations fail to consider. [pdf] [bio].

March 2010
Business Architecture's Role Within Enterprise Architecture. [Joint meeting with NJIIBA]
by Terry Merriman of OAD Consulting.

Enterprise Architecture consists of four key architectural views: business architecture; application architecture; data architecture; and infrastructure architecture. This presentation will introduce all four, but will focus on the business architecture. In fact, many of the techniques to be discussed can be used for business modeling alone. However, the benefits increase exponentially when the business architecture is incorporated into the overall enterprise view. Topics include: * How to formally model the business architecture in precise and unambiguous manner so that it can be related to the other architectural views. * How to map the business processes to the underlying technology for both current and future state plans. * How to include business requirements and use cases in the business model, making them first class architectural elements. * How to trace use cases to the technology elements that realize the use cases. An example UML model will be used to demonstrate the discussion topics. [pdf] [bio].

February 2010
A Categorization of Ethical Dilemmas in Software Engineering.
by Brian Berenbach of Siemens Corporate Research.

A name is a powerful thing. Naming a disease, for example allows doctors to identify and share information about it, hopefully leading to a cure, and even better, prevention. In the field of philosophy, certain behaviors are named to better identify them, e.g. “bandwagon effect”. In software engineering, no such names exist for cases of unprofessional behavior or ethical dilemmas. Even worse, practitioners sometimes engage in unprofessional or unethical behavior without realizing it. Unethical and unprofessional actions can perturb the software lifecycle, resulting in additional downstream unethical or unprofessional behavior. Propagated unprofessional or unethical behavior may occasionally have catastrophic consequences. In this talk, Brian will identify, categorize and name nine specific ethical and professional dilemmas in software engineering with the hope that giving such behavior a name will increase awareness and decrease the frequency with which they occur. These dilemmas are placed in the context of the IEEE code of conduct. [pdf] [bio].

January 2010
IT Project Review Board Roll out: An experience sharing by Credit Suisse.
by Ramesh Kalkere.

Project Reviews are powerful tools in assuring customer satisfaction. While the technical part involved in performing Reviews need Subject Matter Expertise, establishing a methodology and a framework to enable such Reviews catering to varied disciplines, varied subjects and to diverse section of an enterprise poses several challenges that are sometimes complex as well as brain teasing. Policies, Tools, Methods, People and Organizational dynamics have to be carefully examined before embarking on a mission to introduce governance that sometimes will mean questioning work performed or making a deep dive to closely study what we have done to meet customers expectations. Ramesh Kalkere, VP - Global TIS PRB Manager, Technology Infrastructure Services, Credit Suisse will speak about the platform and the environment that was created to successfully establish Project Reviews across IT of Credit Suisse. This short presentation is aimed at sharing Credit Suisse's experience in establishment Global Project Review Board specifically, in one of its IT division. We will have some insights on how a large enterprise took on the challenges and complexities in rolling out a robust methodology for technical reviews of projects. [pdf] [bio].

September 2009
Clear the Runway - Multi-Model Reviews are Possible!
Critical Activities to Successfully Integrate Multi-Model Appraisals.

by John Voss and Marc Matrulli of Accenture.

Do you have all the money you require to execute your appraisal program? Do you have tools that you can use to support an individual PM or groups of PMs at low cost and low impact? Do you truly know how well you are currently performing and where your most critical risks are? This presentation will answer these questions and more. You need to be able to walk away knowing how to conduct appraisal quickly, with minimal impact to you and your engagements, and to do so at a low total cost of ownership. When you leave this presentation you will: * Understand why you need a rapid appraisal strategy *Understand the value it can provide to individual engagements, sets of engagements, or distributed locations, * Understand how to execute this type of process * Understand that actual cost savings and be able to communicate them effectively to leadership * Understand next steps you will require to implement this type of approach.
Our testimonials tell us that this approach is the most pain free CMMI based appraisal they've every participated in and that they were amazed with the quality of the findings in such a short period of time. You will know how to get 80% of the benefit at 20% of the cost and be able to make it happen for your organization today. Please join us for a very engaging presentation and discussion that will help you to with understand your key cost, appraisal issues and how you can reduce the burden and increase success. You will be provided the tools to develop and use this rapid appraisal approach immediately: * In using this technique, you will know with minimal cost and effort the level of process capability for your project team or sets of teams * The total cost of ownership of your appraisal program will be dramatically reduced. [pdf] John Voss and Marc Matrulli[bio]

June 2009
Organizational Change Management (OCM): The missing Process Area.
by Will McKnight.

The benefit of compliance to the CMMI can not be realized if an organization is unable to adapt the behavior of its people to comply with their defined process. This presentation will define the Goals and Practices of Organizational Change Management, describing the “what” so organizations can define the “how” that will enable change within their organization. All the material delivered will be supported by accepted theories in change management. The goals identified will be compatible with recognized three-step change processes first introduced by Kurt Lewin in 1947 This model of change is based on the theory that change occurs through three phases, commonly referred to as unfreeze, change, and refreeze.

May 2009
CMMI for Services - A Cost Effective Approach to Early Adoption.
by Marilyn Ginsberg-Finner

Released ahead of schedule 26 February, the CMMI for Services (CMMI-SVC) is a CMMI constellation that covers the activities required to manage, establish, and deliver services. Currently, some service organizations apply CMMI-DEV to their work, but this requires significant interpretation.CMMI-SVC is relevant to any organization concerned with the delivery of services, including enterprises in sectors such as defense, IT, health care, finance, and transportation.

This presentation provides an overview of the new service Process Areas and suggests a cost-effective approach to early use. [pdf] [bio]

April 2009
A Primer on Practical Software and Systems Measurement (PSM).
by Cheryl Jones

Practical Software and Systems Measurement (PSM) was developed to meet today's software and system technical and management challenges. It is an information-driven measurement process that addresses the unique technical and business goals of an organization. The guidance in PSM represents the best practices used by measurement professionals within the software and system acquisition and engineering communities. PSM: * Is sponsored by the Department of Defense and the US Army, * Provides Project and Enterprise Managers with objective information needed to successfully meet cost, schedule, and technical objectives, * Is based on best measurement practices of DoD, government and industry, * Is a flexible process, * Defines an information-driven analysis approach, * Supports current software and system acquisition and measurement policy, * Provides a basis for enterprise level management, * Is compatible with the ISO/IEC and IEEE 15939 standard, Measurement Process. [pdf] [bio]

March 2009
Doing More With Less: A Leaner More Agile Approach.
by Barry Mullan of Rally Software.

In difficult economic times adopting a set of agile methods to consistently deliver higher quality customer focused products makes sense. This presentation will describe the motivations behind the agile manifesto, the set of methods that make up the scrum framework and the benefits your team can achieve by adopting agile. This presentation will be of interest to anyone involved in software product delivery, from product managers to developers, qa analysts and business analysts. What you will learn: * Motivations for a lighter weight and flexible project management framework, * The elements of the agile manifesto and framework, * The concrete benefits of adopting agile. [pdf] [bio]

February 2009
Offshore Testing ROI: Pitfalls & Remediation.
by Vikram Chandna.

Abstract: Majority of test off shoring decisions are undertaken on the face value of offshore rates and are structured with contracts that promote non-performance and hinder excellence. Risk and reward mechanism are not commonly built in. What makes the matters more complicated is that Testing ROI as a concept is not well defined in the industry. Low cost per se does not provide high ROI. ROI should be expressed in number considering all associated costs and returns. This white paper presents quantitative analysis of offshore testing ROI, examines the pitfalls and offers practical remediation options. [pdf] [bio]

January 2009
Aspect-Oriented Requirements Engineering Explained.
by Yuri Chernak of Valley Forge Consulting, Inc.

Abstract: Aspect-oriented requirements engineering (AORE) is a new methodology that can help us to further improve the analysis, structure, and cost of development of software requirements. AORE does not replace but rather complements any of the existing requirements methodologies. In this presentation Yuri Chernak explains to software practitioners the AORE concept and techniques, illustrates how these techniques can be applied on software projects, and discusses the benefits of AORE. [pdf] [bio]

November 2008
Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks.
by Dr. Carl Singer of the Bank of New York Mellon.

Abstract: This presentation is geared towards an audience which goes well beyond project managers. In the broadest sense this presentation is meant for anyone who wishes to share his or her specialized professional knowledge with others. Since many of us work within project defined boundaries, and thrive or suffer as a result, consider the following constituents: * anyone who manages projects, * anyone who manages project managers, * anyone who works within a project framework, * project stakeholders including customers and other project participants. [pdf] [bio]

September 2008
CMMI Constellations for Development, Acquisition, and Services.
by Matthew J. Fisher of the SEI's Software Engineering Process Management Program.

Abstract: The presentation briefly explores the development and evolution of CMMI constellations for development, acquisition, and services. After a short reminder of the CMMI-DEV, primarily as a reference, a brief overview of the CMMI-ACQ is given, including a history of its evolution, comparison with the CMMI-DEV, components in the ACQ product suite, authorization, and status. Subsequently, the presentation covers the CMMI constellation for services as currently configured, showing differences with the CMMI-DEV and status of its development. Finally, the vision for the future evolution of these three constellations is discussed. [pdf] [bio]

June 2008
Using Lean Six Sigma to Accelerate CMMI® Implementation.
by Diane A. Glaser of US Army CECOM LCMC SEC Communication Software Engineering Support Division and Michael D. Barnett of ASQ SSGB, BAE Systems, Inc.

Abstract: The celebrations are over; we achieved an enterprise-wide CMMI Maturity Level 2. Now what? The Process Group is collecting lessons learned, and we need to further institutionalize our processes as we move on to Maturity Level 3. At the same time, the Army has mandated that Lean Six Sigma (LSS) be used to facilitate improvement. The US Army Materiel Command issued a policy letter that recognizes that the Warfighter is our ultimate customer, to focus on projects that have high value to our customer, and to use LSS as the continuous improvement "starting point" while adapting other best practices to unique demands.
How can we leverage our newly trained Green Belts and Black Belts in expediting our process improvement efforts? This is the unfolding story of the Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command’s Software Engineering Center in its endeavors in implementing continuous process improvement using LSS and CMMI.
Main objectives of the presentation: Overview of LSS and how they combine in practice, Why the Army is adopting LSS, How our location intends to leverage LSS to accelerate CMMI implementation to support the Warfighter. [pdf] [bio1] [bio2]

May 2008
Appraisals and CMMI Gotchas - Lessons in CMMI Use and Appraisal Preparation.
by Mary Sakry of The Process Group.

Abstract: Are you thinking about using CMMI or conducting a CMMI-based appraisal and arriving at Maturity Level X soon? Or maybe you are burned out with CMMI and are looking for a fresh perspective? Here are some lessons learned that can help you spend your efforts well and avoid some common hazards on your journey. This session is for managers and practitioners who are starting to use CMMI, or ones that are preparing for an appraisal. In this session, participants learn about these common process improvement mistakes and how to address them and how you can rethink your CMMI approach to make sure that it is meeting your organization’s needs. Address common blind spots related to size, configuration audits and using thresholds to trigger corrective actions and prepare for your appraisal with minimal overhead. [pdf] [bio]

April 2008
Patterns of Project Behavior: Adrenalin Junkies and Template Zombies. by Tim Lister (tlister@earthlink.net) of the Atlantic Systems Guild.

Abstract: Tim Lister, a Principal of the Atlantic Systems Guild, along with five of his partners at the Guild, have been compiling project patterns from their combined 150 years of project consulting, for their book that was published in 2007. We all talk about "best practices" but a tiny minority of organizations actually practices them all. But not to worry, think of "best practices" for human health. We know all about them, but very few of us actually practice them all. (Maybe if someone did arduously practice all health practices they would forget to have a life.) Tim has come to believe that project patterns are stronger than best practices. They are the habits, the decision practices, and the unstated rules of corporate culture that dominate office life. The first key is to identify your own organization's patterns. If they are positive, how can you perpetrate them across all projects? If they are negative, how can you break the habit? Tim will get you started by describing some patterns at the individual, the project, and the organizational levels. [pdf] [bio]

March 2008
Develop More Products without More Resources. by Donald A. Borcherding.

Abstract: Development teams are challenged to develop more products, in a shorter timeframe with the same or fewer resources. As we all know this is a difficult challenge and if not handled correctly will create a fast paced, dynamic and often chaotic, frustrating environment. Since most organizations exhibit a consistent behavior when planning and executing projects, a new method called RISQ can be used to profile this behavior as: Responsive, Innovative, Strategic and/or Quality focused. By comparing a RISQ profile to the development environment the most beneficial improvements can be made. This works very well for selecting Process Areas for the CMMI Continuous Representation. All attendees will have an opportunity to complete a RISQ Profile and interact during the presentation to fully understand their profile and how to make improvements that will better align the two and create a more effective and productive organization. [pdf] [bio]

February 2008
Putting The Engineering In Software Engineering: Technology Infrastructure In Process Improvement. by Lee Vallone.
by Dorota Huizinga and Adam Kolawa.

Abstract: Like other engineers, software developers transform ideas into usable products. Unlike other engineers, they create a product that is inherently invisible, not completely testable and often transitional. Moreover, a software product in an interim development stage is often unusable, producing free-floating anxiety in developers and users alike. Behavioral science tells us that invisibility and the effect of "all or nothing" are psychological factors that negatively affect developer effectiveness. Mundane tasks, such as repeated testing, often result in frustration, while the transitional nature of software creates a false notion that the defects can always be removed in the future. Moreover, there is growing realization that we humans are incapable of fully applying and maintaining our own best practices. Based on aforementioned factors and the concepts described in the recently published book, the co-authors, Huizinga and Kolawa, will explain how to establish an automated technology infrastructure that supports effective software development. This infrastructure defines people roles, necessary technology, and interactions between people and technology. This infrastructure provides product visibility, automates repetitive tasks, tracks project status, and seamlessly collects project data to provide measures necessary for decision-making. This infrastructure forms a software production line, thereby putting the engineering into software engineering. Most of all, by putting the engineering into software engineering this infrastructure sustains and facilitates the improvement of human-defined processes. [pdf1] [pdf2] [bio1] [bio2]

January 2008
Developing High Performance Teams.  by Lee Vallone.

Abstract: The objective of the talk is to explore attributes that help create high performance development teams along with factors & behaviors that can impair team performance or even set-up teams for failure. The format for the discussion will be interactive and span topics such as "peopleware", environmental and political issues and their impact on team performance . The background for much of the discussion will come from the author's experience both in the classroom and leading successful teams - complemented by insights from some of the software industry's most notable pundits. [pdf] [bio]

November 2007
From Rogue Process Improvement to Workflow Breakthrough.  by Robert Zotti.

Abstract: When might it be appropriate for believers in project and process improvement to "go it alone" in their organizations? Can one person doing "just enough process improvement" really make a difference? Robert Zotti has had success with this approach in his post at Stevens Institute of Technology. After spending 10 years in the IT division of a Fortune 500 company where few had ever heard of the SEI or CMM, Zotti became the Director of Online Learning at Stevens. In this post, he managed his unit's transition from a new and highly ad-hoc operation to an efficient and structured one. Zotti's latest challenge is to optimize and automate the core processes of the school's online learning unit through the deployment of a modern website. During the presentation, Robert will focus on how cross-functional workflow procedures began and evolved across online learning functions at Stevens. Next, he will explain how using CMM and PMP techniques had prepared his unit for a golden opportunity to modernize and optimize its operations when the opportunity presented itself. Zotti's presentation will summarize the website development project and its effect in streamlining core processes. In a SPIN first, the presentation will conclude with the opportunity for SPIN members to get practical hands-on experience in a website testing. [pdf] [bio]

October 2007
SQA Sojourn – Lessons Learned from 6 Appraisals.  by Lenny Eng.

Abstract: David Letterman’s has his top tens, but so does Lenny with his Lenny-ism. Based on 6 successful assessments/appraisals, he gleaned his lessons learned from 3 distinct industries: telecommunications, financial and the military. Though these organizations are totally different in culture, but when it comes to process improvements, there are quite a lot of similarities. Lenny took a light-hearted approach in turning a rather dry topic to something that one would find more entertaining but also more memorable. Lessons learned should not be lessons forgotten! [pdf] [bio]

September 2007
Large-Scale Adoption of Agile Development: Lessons Learned.  by Eugene Levin of Citigroup.

Abstract: Agile practitioners are aware of the business benefits that can be derived from faster and more effective software delivery. At the same time, companies in many industries are facing increasing regulatory compliance issues. How do you apply agile practices that treat documentation as "barely sufficient" and "just enough" and rely on tacit communication in an audited, regulated industry? Compliance audits are fundamentally documentation reviews. How do you put more value on an undocumented process with good interaction of people on the team over a documented process but with perhaps hostile interactions? Since November 2005 Eugene has been involved in the definition and rollout of Citi's Disciplined Agility process. This process has been piloted on almost 30 completed and 115 active projects. In his presentation Eugene describes the challenges related to using a light-weight agile methodology in a regulated industry, the experience of defining Citi's Disciplined Agility process, and the lessons learned from the large-scale rollout of agile development. 1) Challenges of Developing Software in a Regulated Environment 2) Defining Agile Development 3) Overview of Citi's Disciplined Agility Framework 4)Citi's Agile Rollout Approach 5) Pilot Projects Selection Criteria 6) Lessons Learned. [pdf] [bio]

June 2007
All Software is Defective – Implications for the Software Industry.  by Steven R. Rakitin of Software Quality Consulting Inc.

Abstract: The impact that software has on all sectors of society is staggering. More than ever, people rely on software to perform tasks from the mundane to mission critical - and everything in between. Yet, all software is defective. How is it that we are so dependent on products that are inherently defective? As Watts Humphrey says, it is because "… defective software works". Well, most of the time anyway. Major industries such as healthcare and biotechnology, banking and financial services, aerospace and defense, consumer electronics and automotive, have become so dependent on software that software is often the critical path for new product development. And our dependence is only increasing. This dependence has led to several high profile examples of software failures that have resulted in significant financial loss as well as loss of life. Because software engineering is an inherently human process, it is not possible to develop software with zero defects. The past five decades of software engineering history has proven this. And this is not likely to change in the near future. This talk discusses the implications of defective software from the perspective of developers, testers, and managers and suggests techniques that can be used to reduce the impact defective software has on your business, your customers, and society in general. [pdf] [bio]

May 2007
Web 2.0.  by Ed Yourdon of NODRUOY Inc.

Abstract: The paradigm of Web 2.0 is that of "content" being created by customers and the entire Internet community, as well as corporations and the "mainstream" media. Sometimes this grass-roots content is aggregated and distributed by the traditional publishers; but often it exists as tiny, stand-alone creations on the Internet - such as the millions of blogs, photographs, and video clips that have sprung into existence in the past few years. What does this mean for companies in today's competitive environment? Click here to get the latest version of the Web 2.0 PDF of the presentation. [bio]

April 2007
Disciplined Agility.  by Bob Small of the Systems and Software Consortium.

Abstract: This presentation will discuss some of the current challenges in information systems development and the hallmarks of an agile software development process. It will emphasize the "discipline" how agile can add value from the perspective of the customer, the developers, and quality stakeholders in the organization. [pdf] [bio]

Mar 2007
The Real Costs of Developing COTS Software.  by Arlene F. Minkiewicz of PRICE Systems, L.L.C.
Abstract: Planning and budgeting for the development of a software system composed primarily of COTS components present unique challenges to those with project and process responsibilities. Intuitively, we expect the costs and schedules for COTS-based systems to be reduced substantially compared to those associated with building the same functionality from scratch. Unfortunately, we often lack the knowledge and historical information to properly quantify these reductions. Even those who have progressed far enough up the process ladder to master software cost and schedule estimation have trouble predicting the impact of COTS-based systems on their project plans. This presentation will discuss activities that are unique to COTS-based development such as evaluation, selection, and tailoring, as well as how traditional activities such as design, code and test differ when applied to glue code development and modifications of COTS. Attendees will leave this presentation with an understanding of what factors drive the cost of COT-based development and how to quantify these to support successful project planning. [pdf] [bio]

Feb 2007
Taking Software Requirements Creation from Folklore to Analysis - The Lambda Protocol.  by Prof. Larry Bernstein
Abstract: Large software systems are too often late, costly and unreliable. Too often the requirements are not well understood or wrong. Understanding and bounding the requirements in a specification is an essential step to solving this problem. As early as 1970 Royce pointed at that invalidated requirements leads to unmanageable projects. In particular, requirements complexity drives effort required to build software intensive systems, the time it takes to build them and their inherent reliability. Complexity management is critical and by enhancing existing simulation environments used by system engineers to formulate alternative system designs, software engineers can understand the sensitivity of requirements complexity to the likelihood of producing a workable system. Model-Driven Software Realization is a current practice for achieving this understanding. Combining functional and performance simulations with sizing and effort estimation efforts leads to a holistic understanding of feature, form, cost, schedule and trustworthiness. [pdf] [bio]

Jan 2007
An intro to ITIL an IT Service Management and Improvement Framework  by Sudhendu Das
Abstract: ITIL is a framework of process improvement best practice approaches intended to facilitate the delivery of high quality IT services. ITIL outlines an extensive set of management procedures that are targeted to support businesses in achieving both quality and return on investment in IT operations. These procedures are supplier independent and have been developed to provide guidance across the breadth of IT infrastructure, development, and operations. [pdf] [bio]

Nov 2006
Measuring the Requirements Process  by Steve Janiszewski of PS&J Software Sigma
Abstract: The CMMI's placement of the Measurement and Analysis Process Area at maturity level 2 emphasizes the importance of a structured approach measurement early on in an organization's quality journey. This emphasis on measurement falls nicely into line with another prominent approach to process improvement, Six Sigma, where a fundamental tenet is "What gets measured gets managed." Many organizations perceive that the requirements development sub-process is the weak link in their overall software development process. This presentation provides a road map for setting up a measurement framework for requirements. Three fundamental measures are required for any measurement framework: size, effort, and defects. Many organizations are comfortable with measuring effort and defects but have difficulties picking an appropriate size metrics. We illustrate the process of picking an appropriate size metric in some detail and explore is use in estimating. We also address quality measurements, stability, and the relative importance of requirement defects vs. implementation, design, and test case defects. We identify common pitfalls and mechanisms for avoiding them. The presentation includes sample data and results from several organizations. [pdf] [bio]

Sept 2006
FP Lite™ – Is It a Statistically Valid Method of Counting?  by David Herron of The David Consulting Group
Abstract: Function Point Analysis (FPA) is an industry accepted sizing technique that was developed by IBM in the mid-seventies. It has been adopted worldwide and is supported by a user group, The International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG), which maintains the defined FPA methodology, supports the current counting practices and certifies professional counters. However, not everyone has adopted FPA as their sizing technique of choice. Past criticisms of the methodology have included concerns that it takes to long, it requires too much detail, it is too difficult to implement and it cost too much. A recent study has shown that an adaptation of the FPA methodology - FP Lite™ - is a reasonable alternative to the detailed FPA method and in fact addresses many of the criticisms that have been levied in the past. This paper introduces the FP Lite™ methodology, the results of two studies designed to statistically understand the accuracy of the FP Lite™ methodology in contrast to the detailed FPA method. [pdf] [bio]

June 2006
The Limitations of Effort Estimation in Software Development  by Professor Linda Laird of Stevens Institute of Technology.
Abstract: What is reasonable to expect for the accuracy of an effort estimation? Is +/-10% good or bad? What are the factors that influence the accuracy? How can you improve? How should you deal with the uncertainties? This presentation focuses on explaining the inherent limitations of effort estimation: what they are, why they occur, and what can be done about them. [pdf] [bio]

May 2006
Simulation: Development Metrics and Dashboards - Managing Your Projects in Real Time  by Jim Winder of MKS Inc.
Abstract: All organizations measure some aspect of their performance, with the goal of managing and improving their processes and products. Unfortunately many organizations get bogged down in the measurement process - developing too many measures (or too few), overly complex implementations, failing to use metrics for improvement initiatives, or failing to link metrics with top-level strategies or actual work processes of the employees. [pdf] [ppt]

January 2006
Just Enough Process Improvement  by Bob Zotti of the On-line Learning at Stevens Institute of Technology.
Abstract: You have supported information systems that seemed like they were thrown together without much thought. You have endured the sneering of management when you tell them that the things they keep asking the system to do can not be accomplished. You suffered through ugly Y2K upgrades for legacy systems that were originally scheduled to be decommissioned in the mid-1990's. And you gladly buy into the CMM and CMMI methodologies to help bring order to the chaos of software projects. You become a proponent of metrics, a cheerleader for quality, and a champion of standards. For this presentation, Bob draws heavily on the lessons learned from his experience with IT projects, including website development and maintenance, a corporate transition to Lotus Notes, Y2K testing, the selection & implementation of web conferencing systems, and the rough-and-tumble world of supporting national and international audiences of up to 70,000 users. Bob will describe the implementation of the CMM model at Prudential, and the challenge of using CMM or CMMI practices within a small or medium organization. Finally, Bob will describe which practices apply (and which ones don't) within smaller operating environments. [pdf] [ppt] [bio]

June 2005
Understanding the Specifics of Use-Case-Driven Testing  by Yuri Chernak, Valley Forge Consulting, Inc.
Abstract: Use-case-driven testing has some important specifics compared with traditional requirements-based testing. In this presentation Yuri Chernak gives the "big picture" of use-case-driven testing and discusses its important specifics. The main point of this presentation is that test analysis becomes a critical activity when testers deal with complex use-case models. In this presentation we discuss some test analysis techniques that can help software testers make better decisions in test planning and test design. Finally, this material is primarily intended for IT professionals who are familiar with the RUP methodology, use cases, and UML. [pdf] [ppt] [bio]

May 2005
Building Humane Computer Systems  by Gregg Vesonder of Stevens Institute of Technology and AT&T.
Abstract: This talk discusses how to create effective, efficient and enjoyable (and hence humane) human computer interactions using both standard and emerging techniques. The talk draws not only from current understanding of the psychological foundations of human computer interaction but also from the anthropological, artificial intelligence and ethnographic foundations that are emerging as important disciplines in the quest for humane computer systems. [pdf] [ppt] [bio]

April 2005
Outsourcing Metrics  by Barbara Beech of AT&T.
Abstract: The types of metrics that are needed in an outsourcing contract and also the processes and procedures needed to manage the outsourcing metrics. Also discussed will be benchmarking and how that can help set the appropriate improvement plans and targets for the metrics. I will also review what has worked and not worked well and also discuss improvements we have seen over the last 5 years while measuring the outsourcing metrics. Note that these topics can also apply to internal application development or operations environments. [pdf] [ppt] [ppt-1] [ppt-2] [ppt-3] [bio]

March 2005
In Praise of Defects  by Professor Linda Laird of Stevens Institute of Technology.
Abstract: Could a system with no reported defects really mean that it is "bug free," or could it mean that no one is using it? This talk is about defects - their patterns, their rhythms, their predictability, and the stories they can tell, to any and all who will listen. Most people view Software Defects as undesirable and just want to get rid of all of them as soon as possible. The quantitative software engineer sees them a little differently (although still wanting to avoid them and get rid of them quickly.) Defects are real, observable manifestations and indications of the software development progress, process, and quality. They have their own behavioral patterns and dynamics that need to be understood to manage and control software development projects and processes. You can see them, count them, predict them, and trend them. Defects are actually one of the best and most useful pieces of data available in software development, and to those who pay attention, defects can give a wealth of understanding and insight. [pdf] [ppt] [bio]

February 2005
Establishing a CMMI-Compliant Measurement Program  by Steven Lett, Managing Senior Consultant, David Consulting Group.
Abstract: In front of a packed lecture hall at AT&T's Piscataway facility, Steve Lett of the David Consulting Group gave a timely presentation on the implementation of aCMMI Level-3 measurement system. As organizations pursue SEI CMMI Level 3, they have difficult decisions to make in designing and implementing a measurement program that is fully compliant with the measurements required by the CMMI Level 3 Specific Practices and Generic Practices across the various Process Areas, including the Measurement and Analysis Process Area. This presentation started by covering the steps needed to be taken by an organization to establish an effective measurement program. It then described the measurement requirements contained within the SEI CMMI Maturity Level 2 and 3 Process Areas (PAs). A recommended set of measurements was presented that can effectively address all of the PA requirements with examples of how the measurements can be utilized. [pdf] [ppt] [bio]

January 2005
Cost Effective Use of Class B and Class C Appraisals  by James H. Heil, Team Leader at L3 - ILEX Systems.
Abstract: Just about everyone understands the “full-blown” requirements for a SCAMPI (Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement) Appraisal to actually obtain a Level Rating. However, the Class B and Class C Appraisals can be quicker and more cost-effective for many purposes when a rating is not required. All three classes of Appraisals are based on the SEI’s Appraisal Requirements for CMMI SM, Version 1.1 (ARC, V 1.1). For many purposes, the time and cost of a “full-blown” Class A Appraisal is not warranted. These other purposes include Initial Assessments for Baselining purposes, Gap Analysis, Improvement Monitoring, and Incremental Appraisals. This paper discusses where and when to use Class B and C Appraisals, and what are the exact differences between Class A, Class B and Class C SCAMPI Appraisals. Recommendations will also be provided for each Appraisal purpose. [pdf] [ppt] [bio]

December 2004
Making the Most of Use Cases of Use Cases  by Lori Montanari Gottshall.
[pdf] [ppt] [bio]

November 2004
Agile Management Methods; Old Goats vs Young Bucks - A Young Goat's Observations on Productivity Metrics and Internet Speed Deadlines  by Michael Mah.
Abstract: Michael Mah will talk about cultural clashes in the software industry, agile management methods, death march projects, and the race for productivity. Michael has 20 years of industry experience and is a contributing author and senior consultant with Cutter Consortium's Business Technology Trends & Impacts, Measurement and Benchmarking, Agile Software Development & Project Management, and Sourcing & Vendor Relationships Practices. [pdf] [ppt] [bio]

October 2004
Interpreting the DoD-biased CMMI for Commercial Industries  by Dr. Michael D’Ambrosa, Engineering Process Director for BAE Systems CNIR.
Abstract: The SEI’s CMMI clearly has a huge advantage over its predecessor, the SW-CMM, due to its broad applicability and generic language. But nevertheless it is still funded by the US Department of Defense and retains some of that bias in its language and emphases. This bias presents some commercial IT-based initiatives with an interpretive challenge. The presenter has been on both sides of the DoD-IT fence and uses his dual experience to flesh out critical differences. In particular the choice of a representation, interpretations of terminology, ramifications of extensive outsourcing, and PA-specific issues are discussed. All of these support the author’s premise that the CMMI can provide much more business benefit than the SW-CMM, but only if it is interpreted in a manner that fits the business. [pdf] [ppt] [bio]

September 2004
How to Deal with the Generic Practices  by James Heil and Sharon Miller, ILEX Systems.
Abstract: Just about everyone understands the “full-blown” requirements for a SCAMPI (Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement) Appraisal to actually obtain a Level Rating. However, the Class B and Class C Appraisals can be quicker and more cost-effective for many purposes when a rating is not required. All three classes of Appraisals are based on the SEI’s Appraisal Requirements for CMMI SM, Version 1.1 (ARC, V 1.1). For many purposes, the time and cost of a “full-blown” Class A Appraisal is not warranted. These other purposes include Initial Assessments for Baselining purposes, Gap Analysis, Improvement Monitoring, and Incremental Appraisals. This presentation discusses where and when to use Class B and C Appraisals, and what are the exact differences between Class A, Class B and Class C SCAMPI Appraisals. Recommendations will also be provided for each Appraisal purpose. [pdf] [ppt] [bio1] [bio2]

April 2004
Establishing the Right Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with your Vendors to support your Business  by Barbara Beech from AT&T Labs.
Abstract: Establishing the right service level agreement with your vendors is key to achieving a successful project outcome, yet many companies do not know how to accurately identify their service needs. Identifying, negotiating and documenting your needs with the vendor upfront can avoid common client/vendor problems. This presentation will focus on how to determine key metrics that are vital to your project and your business, and on how to translate those metrics into a comprehensive service level agreement with your vendor. Examples will be used of what has worked well for AT&T, what has not, and why. [pdf] [ppt] [bio]

March 2004
Estimating Software Earlier and More Accurately  by David Herron of the David Consulting Group.
Abstract: Software practitioners are frequently challenged to provide timely and accurate software project estimates. It speaks poorly of the software community that the issue of accurate estimating, early in the lifecycle, has not been adequately addressed and standardized. This session will consider the use of a basic estimating model utilizing functional sizing as one of the key components. The value to be gained from utilizing a functional sizing technique, such as Function Points, is primarily in the capability to accurately estimate a project early in the development process. [pdf] [ppt] [bio]

January 2004
Using Controlled Failure to Teach Software Development Process to New Developers  by Professor David Klapholz and Professor Larry Bernstein, Stevens Institute of Technology.
Abstract: It has long been assumed that technical people have an aversion to software development process because of their introverted personalities. Regardless of whether this is the case, technology is easier to swallow than is process because its validity can be derived from first principles or directly demonstrated by correctly-executing code. The need for software development process is, unfortunately, learned, if it is learned at all, by experiencing project failures over a relatively long period – and understanding the causes of their failure. We have developed a method, Live-Thru Case Histories, for quickly convincing new developers that development process is critically necessary – by causing them to fail in small development projects, each one emphasizing a specific process issue. Live-Thru Case Histories have been used, to good effect, over a number of years in Larry Bernstein’s (undergraduate) Senior Project course at Stevens and in Barry Boehm’s graduate Introduction to Software Engineering at USC. [html] [ppt] [bio]

[Click here to access presentations prior to 2004]

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