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Payson Hall

Catalysis Group, Inc.

A systems engineer and project management consultant, Payson Hall is a founding member of Catalysis Group, Inc. Formally trained as a software engineer and computer scientist, Payson has performed and consulted on a variety of hardware and software systems integration projects in both the public and private sectors throughout North America and Europe during his thirty-year professional career. He has been a writer and featured speaker on topics of systems integration, project management, and risk management. Payson's rare combination of IT project management experience and communication skills has made him a valued member of many project review and project oversight teams.

Speaker Presentations
Monday, November 10, 2014 - 8:30am
Half-day Tutorials
The Secrets of Estimating—ANYTHING

Given the choice between providing an estimate or getting a root canal, most people would choose the dentist―not because they enjoy pain, but because the pain of the drill is short lived and the pain of a poor estimate may last for months. Payson Hall believes there is a science to estimation that is learnable and that much of the pain can be avoided with a repeatable process. In this experiential workshop, Payson shares a way to estimate just about ANYTHING and demonstrates it with numerous examples. He introduces an estimation model that can be applied to any task and shows how to harness the dangerous power of assumptions as a force for reason. When well-estimated tasks are collected into dependency networks, projects often overrun their dates. Payson shows you why this happens and what you can do to better defend your schedules from common sources of delay. Come and estimate.

Monday, November 10, 2014 - 1:00pm
Half-day Tutorials
Twelve Risks to Enterprise Software Projects—and What to Do about Them

Every large software project is unique—each with its own complex array of challenges. When projects get into trouble, however, they often exhibit similar patterns, and succumb to risks that could have been anticipated and prevented—or detected sooner and managed better. Common responses to the problems—blaming, deferring action, or outright denial—only make things worse. Payson Hall reviews a dozen patterns he has observed over and over again on troubled projects during his thirty-year career: trouble with subcontractors, challenges with project sponsors, friction within the team, perils of interfacing with adjacent systems, issues with data cleansing and conversion, and more. Payson shares the tools he uses to help identify the symptoms of common risks, reduce the likelihood of risks occurring, facilitate early detection of problems, and establish a foundation for helpful responses when problems arise. This session is designed for project managers, team leaders, project sponsors, and anyone responsible for building or rolling out large enterprise systems.

Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 11:30am
Agile Leadership
Is Agile the Prescription for the Public Sector’s IT Woes?

Information technology (IT) projects are notorious for exceeding budget and schedule estimates, and high visibility failures are common. IT projects in the public sector are particularly challenging. State, provincial, and federal governments worldwide have sponsored noteworthy disasters in the past twenty years. As agile methods have evolved, become more mainstream, and demonstrated their value in the private sector in the past decade, they are often cited as a remedy for the public sector’s IT misery. Payson Hall examines the gap between current public sector IT project challenges and the often-suggested agile solution. Payson explores the challenges to effective vendor-delivered public sector agile projects and possible responses to those challenges. He answers the questions: Is agile ready for large public sector projects? Is the public sector ready for agile? Leave with a better understanding of the problems public sector entities and vendors face and ideas for overcoming some of those barriers.