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Go To:  Manage | Measure | Process | Test | Define | Design | Develop

Manage sessions In today’s complex and often distributed development team environment, you have to work with a limited pool of people with varying skills and experience, and other resources and time constraints. Learn how to manage responsibilities and reduce conflicts of priorities to ensure projects are delivered on time.
 W1 Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 11:30 AM
Avoiding Scheduling Games — A Management View
Johanna Rothman, Rothman Consulting Group, Inc.

Software managers, project leaders, and developers often complain that “Management” sets unreasonable schedules for delivery of software projects. Sometimes, your managers ask you to estimate the resources and duration of projects before you have all the information you need. Or, your team always feels under pressure to deliver projects faster and with fewer defects, but little time is allotted for training and improvement work. Or, users don’t understand why it takes so long to make that “small change” they requested last week. Sound familiar? If so, join Johanna Rothman for a surprising view from Management’s eyes on software project scheduling. Learn how to address the underlying problems and how to change the rules of the game. Find out what Management is thinking and how you can influence their behavior and reduce your stress.

• Indicators of scheduling games and other dysfunctional behaviors
• A senior management perspective on scheduling games
• Strategies to solve scheduling games in your organization

 W2 Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 1:45 PM
Scrum — The Art of the Possible
Brad Grant, Charwick

Scrum is an agile, lightweight and team-based process to manage software and product development within iterative software development lifecycles. By wrapping around existing engineering practices such as XP or RUP, Scrum generates many benefits of agile development with the advantages of simple implementation. Properly understood and implemented, Scrum significantly increases productivity and facilitates adaptive, pragmatic systems development. Scrum is a proven way to improve communications, increase cooperation, and remove things that get in the way of delivering products. Brad Grant, a Certified ScrumMaster, shares his knowledge and experiences facilitating stakeholder involvement with Scrum and improving the engineering practices of development teams. Join Brad to discover the roles, practices, team dynamics, and metrics that make up Scrum projects, and find out if Scrum is right for your team.

• The practices that implement Scrum within different development lifecycles
• Roles, meetings, team dynamics, and artifacts of Scrum
• Why Scrum works and how to implement Scrum on your projects

 W3 Wednesday, September 29, 2004, 3:00 PM
Software Project Poker: Should We Keep Betting or Fold?
Payson Hall, Catalysis Group, Inc.

Software projects are like stud poker hands — all have great potential at the beginning, additional information becomes available as they progress, and it's hard to remain detached from the emotion of the game. The goal of an interim project review is to offer an independent analysis of the current state of a project and a pragmatic assessment of the project's chances of success or likelihood of failure. Learn the steps for performing an objective project assessment, getting the facts, and keeping emotions in check. Find out how to determine if a project can be saved or if it should be stopped. See examples of how to effectively present bad news to executives who might be tempted to throw good money after bad.

• A model for conducting an interim project review
• Questions to assist with an assessment of project health
• Present difficult findings to encourage good business decisions

 T1 Thursday, September 30, 2004, 10:15 AM
Questions to Ask a Software Vendor about Security (and Verify) before Purchase
Ed Adams, Security Innovation

How do you choose which software vendor's product to buy? For a long time, CRM packages, ERP systems, and other commercial software selection criteria have come down to factors such as performance, compatibility, reputation of the vendor, support, and price. Security, though, has become a looming factor in the total cost of ownership and the risk of selecting one software product over another. Ed Adams describes the tough questions you need to ask vendors about security and how to extract critical information from them. Find out the steps to verify that their statements are accurate and their answers complete. With an approach for quantifying security risk before purchase, your organization will make more informed acquisition decisions.

• A security assessment approach for purchased software packages
• Quantifying security risk in software packages before purchase
• Assess existing packages for security integrity

 T2 Thursday, September 30, 2004, 11:30 AM
Teamwork and Good Communications are Key ''Process'' Areas, Too
Isabel Evans, TestingSolutions Group Ltd.

Most of the emphasis for development groups seeking improvement is to change processes and project management practices. But what are we missing? Why does our software often disappoint customers? One reason is quite simple — systems are built by people. People must work together, communicate well, learn from each other, and change personal behaviors based on experiences. In short they must operate as a team for the software to meet their customers’ functional and quality needs. Based on her book, Achieving Software Quality through Teamwork, Isabel Evans offers a unique viewpoint on how to succeed in software development. Learn ways you can encourage (or stifle) teamwork; how to promote mutual understanding and tolerance of different communication styles; how different assumptions about quality can lead to failure or success; and methods for integrating teamwork and better communications into your existing processes and practices.

• Communications within the team and with the customer
• How customers and development define quality differently
• Teamwork as a means to achieve high quality software

 T3 Thursday, September 30, 2004, 1:30 PM
Key Factors for Making Offshore Development Work
Bhushan Gupta, Hewlett-Packard Company

Inexpensive and technically competent labor in developing countries has made outsourcing some software development and testing activities an attractive alternative. As a result, more and more US-based companies are looking to India, China, and other countries to develop software. The success or failure of an outsource operation and whether or not it is a viable alternative depends upon some key factors important to both the outsourcer and the software provider. Using his personal experiences and others at Hewlett-Packard, Bhushan Gupta discusses the aspects of program management, communications, teamwork, process, interim deliverables, and cultural issues that will make or break an outsourced development project. Find out what types of outsourcer—vendor relationships work and ones that will most likely lead to failure, and get a first hand view of outsourcing at the ground level.

• When offshore outsourcing works and when it does not work
• The processes and protocols for a successful project
• Operational problems to expect and what to do about them

 T4 Thursday, September 30, 2004, 3:00 PM
The Task Stack Project Planning and Tracking Approach
Gerold Keefer, AVOCA, Germany

Task Stack Planning (TASAP) is a novel approach to systematic and quantitative project management. With this process you break down work into small “packages” that form the basis for comprehensive planning, tracking, and reporting activities. Team members participate in bottom-up planning activities, allowing unplanned work to be seamlessly integrated into the operational planning process. The operational plan is updated weekly with all results fed back into the overall plan. The TASAP approach is compatible with CMMI® operational planning requirements and is scalable to support large projects with low incremental overhead. Discover how to implement this integrated project planning process that supports distributed team settings.

• A project planning process for accurate schedule, cost, and quality predictions
• The linkage of operational and long-term planning
• Satisfy relevant CMMI® project planning requirements

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