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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.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 4:15pm
Personal Excellence
The Magic of Assumptions

There are no “facts” about the future. Everything we think we know about tomorrow is based on what we think we know about the world today and our assumptions of where that will likely lead. Through a process of trial and error successful project managers, software developers, testers, and analysts usually develop a heightened sense of assumption recognition. But they often don’t think consciously about the assumptions they, their colleagues, business partners, and customers are making. Consulting project manager Payson Hall argues that improving your ability to detect and make assumptions explicit is a vital career skill. Payson will lead session attendees through a series of short experiential exercises to underscore the importance of identifying assumptions to facilitate problem solving, task definition, estimation, and conflict resolution. Gain insights that you can immediately apply in the workplace to improve your productivity and decision making.