Skip to main content

Testing & Quality Leadership Summit

Leadership in the Face of Change

Thursday, May 2 (evening) and Friday, May 3 (all day)


Testing & Quality Leadership Summit

Jeff Payne

Coveros, Inc.
Summit Chair


The business world is changing faster than ever. Dynamic global markets are forcing organizations to adjust to meet ever-changing customer demands. Advances in technology are providing both opportunities and challenges for our software product lines. Join the conversation with your peers as experienced business executives share ways to manage quality in the face of change. Discover how seasoned leaders deal with change and learn tactics for delivering high quality software in the face of it.

At the 2013 Testing & Quality Leadership Summit, program chair Jeff Payne brings together senior industry leaders—Martin Colburn, executive vice president and CTO, FINRA; Ron Hulen, senior director of Customer Engagement Technology, Fannie Mae; and Polyanna Pixton, founding partner of Accelinnova—for an interactive exchange of ideas and experiences.

Bring your biggest issues and most difficult challenges to the Testing & Quality Leadership Summit where you can draw on the knowledge and experiences of these industry leaders and your fellow managers who may already have faced and solved some of your issues. You’ll hear what’s working—and not working—and have the opportunity to share your experiences and successes. The Testing & Quality Leadership Summit is a perfect opportunity for you to:

  • Participate in insightful and informative sessions focusing on leadership issues
  • Meet and network with your peers in the industry
  • Join in the “think tank” discussion with industry veterans
  • Develop new ideas and action plans for innovation within your organization

5:30 PM Reception—Think Tank Issues Identification: As a Leader, What Is Keeping You Up at Night?
                                      Jeff Payne, Coveros, Inc.


8:00 AM • Registration and Breakfast

8:30 AM • Summit Session 

Leadership in the Face of Technology Shifts
Martin Colburn, FINRA

Rapid shifts in technology can be either a boon or curse. When dealt with properly, technology shifts can result in strategic competitive advantages while acting as barriers to entry for others. If ignored, technology shifts can put an entire organization at risk. Business technology executive Martin Colburn discusses how to lead an organization during technology shifts. Learn about the impetus for technology change and how to lead through it. Discover how to take advantage of technology shifts to help your organization succeed. Explore the tradeoffs of being a technology innovator or a laggard and find out how to determine which strategy is better for you. Take back ideas to help you lead effectively in the face of shifting technology.

As executive VP and CTO for FINRA, Martin Colburn provides strategic and operational oversight for all of FINRA's technology. He manages the technology staff and oversees all technology-related, third-party service contracts. Martin began his tenure with the organization in 2001 as part of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), which consolidated with NYSE Member Regulation in 2007 to form FINRA. Before joining NASD, Martin was the COO and the chairman of the Australia Asia Joint Venture for Metiom, Inc. Previously, he worked for Fannie Mae in a variety of executive positions. Prior to 1988, Martin was an executive and technologist at both Sovran Bank and Marriott Corporation.

9:30 AM  Networking Break

9:45 AM • Summit Session


Leading the Creation of an Agile Culture
Polyanna Pixton, Accelinnova

Even today, to the detriment of agile success, most organizational cultures remain delivery date-driven—resulting in delivery teams that are not focused on creating value for the customer. So how can we redirect stakeholders, the business, and the project team to concentrate on delivering the greatest value rather than simply meeting dates? Pollyanna Pixton describes the tools she has used in collaboration sessions to help participants begin the process of adopting customer-centric agile methods. These tools include laying out an end-to-end customer journey, forming reusable decision filters to help prioritize backlogs, converting features into actionable user stories, and developing a solid process for making group decisions and communicating those decisions. Pollyanna shares questions that product owners and managers can use to define the problem while making sure they don't solve the problem. After all, that is the responsibility of the delivery team.


An international leadership expert, Pollyanna Pixton developed the models for collaboration and collaborative leadership through her thirty-eight years of working inside and consulting with many organizations. She helps companies create workplaces where talent and innovation are unleashed—making them more productive, efficient, and profitable. Pollyanna is a founding partner of Accelinnova, president of Evolutionary Systems, and director of the Institute for Collaborative Leadership.


10:45 AM  Networking Break

11:00 AM  Think Tank Discussion: Leadership Solution Brainstorm


Join with your peers in an engaging and highly interactive session to discuss the issues
that affect you most. Using answers to the question “as a leader, what is Keeping You
Up at Night?” posed at thursday’s evening reception, participants will form small groups
to work on finding solutions to pressing test management issues. Discussions will review
identified issues, barriers to change, and focus on innovative strategies and practical
next steps. at the end of the think tank, all feedback will be collected and posted online
to encourage further collaboration.


Jeff Payne is CEO and founder of Coveros, Inc., a software company that builds secure software applications using agile methods. Since its inception in 2008, Coveros has become a market leader in secure agile principles while being recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Prior to founding Coveros, Jeff was chairman of the board, CEO, and cofounder of Cigital, Inc., a market leader in software security consulting. Jeff has published more than thirty papers on software development and testing, and testified before Congress on issues of national importance, including intellectual property rights, cyber terrorism, and software quality.


12:30 PM • Networking Lunch Buffet 

1:30 PM • Summit Session


Achieving Quality in the Face of Organizational Change
Ron Hulen, Fannie Mae

Development and maintenance of high-quality software is a challenge for any organization, especially organizations with well-defined structures and processes. The challenges are even greater in the midst of organizational change, placing strain on both the project team and the stakeholders who interact with the development process. In turn, the project team must be cohesive even though it may be composed of new divisions or separate companies. Moreover, it is essential that management expectations, project team roles and responsibilities, and constraints outside of the project are well understood and managed. Ron Hulen shares a framework to help ensure high-quality software development and maintenance while an organization is undergoing change.


Fannie Mae’s senior director, Customer Engagement Technology, Ron Hulen is responsible for both internal and external Corporate Portal Systems. Ron’s responsibilities include monitoring the progress of solution delivery and ongoing execution through systematic evaluation of quality assurance, risk, cost, and timeline metrics. Before joining Fannie Mae, he was the CTO for Command Information where he led the product management and development of the first IPv6 Cyber Security product. Prior to his role at Command, Ron was the senior vice president of technology at Digital Focus.


2:30 PM  Wrap-up and Ongoing Informal Discussion with Speakers and Attendees