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Tim Lister

Atlantic Systems Guild, Inc.

A software consultant at the Atlantic Systems Guild, Inc. in New York City, Tim Lister divides his time consulting, teaching, and writing. Tim is a coauthor with his Guild partners of Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies: Understanding Patterns of Project Behavior; coauthor with Tom DeMarco of Waltzing With Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects—both Jolt Award winners as General Computing Book of the Year. Tim and Tom coauthored the classic Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, 3rd Edition. Tim is in his thirtieth year as a panelist for the American Arbitration Association, arbitrating disputes involving software and software services.

Speaker Presentations
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 8:30am
Half-day Tutorials
Risk Management: Project Management for Grown-Ups

Many organizations are childlike. They blithely plan the project as if nothing will go wrong. And then, when something does go wrong, they are shocked and dismayed. Risk management is not just worrying about your project, and it is not about running away from risk. Risk management for software projects is all about when you make decisions and when you take action. How do you deal with uncertainty? When do you decide to deal with a risk while it is still just a risk, and when do you decide to wait to see if the risk does turn into a problem and manage it then? When done with utmost skill and to its greatest advantage, risk management starts before a project is even born. Tim Lister presents the advantages—and the dangers—of practicing risk management like a grown-up. Tim offers a process for you to consider tailoring for your organization and discusses how your organization can grow up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 1:00pm
Half-day Tutorials
Get the Requirements Right―the First Time

One group—customers, users, and business—need a software system to help them work more efficiently or make more money, but they don’t know how to build it. Another group—software developers and testers—know how to build the system, but they don’t know what it is supposed to do. Bridging this gap is where requirements—the work products describing the system accurately and concisely while at the same time not missing important customer and user needs—are essential. To get the requirements right the first time, you need strategy, tactics, and a practical process for discovering the real requirements—which may not turn out to be what the users think they need. Tim Lister presents a strategy to get accurate and explicit requirements, tactics to efficiently develop these requirements, and a process to keep everything glued together when tackling a large, complex job. Take back an 85-page, annotated requirements specification template to help get your requirements right—the first time

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 1:30pm
Projects & Teams
We Need It by the End of the Year: What's Your Estimate?

Letting good estimates made by smart people be overwhelmed by the strong desires of powerful people is a cardinal sin of project management. Accurate estimates are the foundation of all critical project decisions regarding staffing, functionality, delivery date, and budget. How do we properly estimate in a world where tradition declares that the deadline is set before the requirements are even known? Tim Lister offers practical advice on dealing with this thorny issue. Tim presents strategies and tactics for project estimating and describes his favorite estimating metric—the Estimating Quality Factor (EQF). By thinking of your project this way—goals are important and so are good estimates—you will be on the road to better quality and better projects. If you can learn to start the project and estimate continuously as events unfold, your goals and estimates will eventually converge.