Archive for the ‘David Anderson’ Category

SEPG North America – Tutorial Day

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

So today started out with a bus ride from the hotel to the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center rather than the expected ferry ride over the river.  A container ship in the port managed to get damaged and leaked fuel into the Savannah River on Sunday immediately closing the river to non-clean-up traffic, including the otherwise convenient cross-river ferry.

Be that as it may, the bus ride gave me an opportunity to connect with Michele Moss from Booz-Allen, Hamilton.  A kindred spirit in things related to "the future of process".  She and I had plans to meet anyway some time today to discuss ideas about "bringing ‘younger people’ into the field" and a related topic, addressing modern-day issues such as cyber, agile and value as these concerns are manifested in processes and process improvement.

First order of the day after registration was to co-create what I perceived as a rather successful (and well-attended) tutorial with Judah Mogilensky on a tailoring for SCAMPI appraisals that increases efficiency, collaboration, and reduces time and cost, we called "One-Stop Shopping".  Immediately following, Michele and I met with Bob Rosenstein, the events and conferences manager at SEI.  David Anderson, just arriving to the venue, was a very beneficial addition to the discussion, conveying his experience with creating communities and conferences specific to a community such as his LSSCDana Hanzlik and Danny Pipitone from SEI’s PR group also sat in on the conversation.  About the only definitive expectation to come out of this meeting (other than our commitment to come to the retrospective with with data from the Peer-to-Peer), was that SEI will be open to more closely tying into other gatherings.  Not bad since we had no expectations going in, and, even if we had, it wouldn’t have been reasonable to have expected any commitments.

Much came up in just under an hour with Bob.  We’re planning to include bits of this topic in our end-of-conference committee retrospective on Thursday.  Part of what will feed into that retrospective will be a Peer-to-Peer session on Wednesday afternoon that Michele and I will be co-creating and was planned with David’s help.  Our Peer-to-Peer is being billed as, "Where do we go from here? Value, Agile, Cyber, and all things Future Processes."

The mind-map of the problem-space was really intriguing.  This will not be an easy matter.

After a conference lunch with David and Michele, we split up and I attended the invitation-only advanced overview of the changes to "high maturity" to CMMI v1.3.  Good stuff, really.  Way too geek for here.

After getting as much as I cared to get from the high maturity campfire (which coincided with the moment I sensed my lunch moved far enough down my digestive tract to make room (literally) for a run) I decided to go back to my hotel to squeeze a run in before the evening gorge-fest that includes the opening of the trade-show floor, a board meeting, and later, a surprise opportunity to attend a special reception, all of which were to include food (and in order of continually improving quality at that).

Before I could get back across the river, I nabbed an opportunity to comment on a frequent occurrence here, on the Savannah River:

Several lovely hours later of socializing (albeit, mostly work-related) I’m back at the room planning my day ahead.

Field notes from SEPG-NA 2009 – Wednesday

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

IMGP0705-400San Jose, CA.  Behold: Alistair Cockburn.  At the end of SEPG-Europe 2008, I was in a conversation with SEPG program chair, Dr. Caroline Graettinger.  We were discussing the theme of the 2009 series of SEPG conferences on Next Generation of process.  I immediately thought of and fired off an email to Alistair.  Intrigued, he said that he’s working on a very similar sounding set of ideas calling them, Software Development in the 21st Century, and accepted shortly thereafter.

This ideas are based in metaphors to help really manage software development the way software is really developed.  Cooperative Games, Craft, and Lean.  The details of this talk are on Alistair’s web site.IMGP0719-400

Alistair was poignant (despite mentioning me by name) and funny and fielded questions from the audience.  Kudos my friend.

Another Jim as Sr. Director for Software Quality, Jim Sartain, currently at Adobe, came next.  Previously at Intuit and before then HP.  Leading with the fact that TSP goes where he goes.  (See more later.)  He showed the same slide from yesterday’s Intuit presentation showing "most admired companies" where Intuit is #1 and Adobe is #2.

ANOTHER "quality" person with a REAL personality!  A clean-sweep for great SEPG speakers!  Too bad the economy kept more people from experiencing them!IMGP0720-400

Jim spoke about giving engineers the tools and work-life balance that can double their productivity and morale. Note: research this when there’s time.  And while I’m at it, research why it’s the commercial companies of the world who truly embrace quality culture and the government-oriented ones don’t.  (Never mind, that’s rhetorical.)

Wanna "get" how serious they are?  They frakking flew Watts Humphrey in to San Jose to launch TSP and brought as many engineers from around the world in to hear it.  But since their operations in India are so significant, they did it again in India!

Their results with TSP are beyond quality improvements, but work-life balance, team commitment, team self-direction, senior leadership buy-in (removing IMGP0723-400obstacles).  TSP provided a means of measuring the effort and using that data to negotiate better expectations.  (Both Alistair and Jim noted the importance of metrics to transparency and improvement.)  Jim also took questions including why to wrap TSP in Scrum.  Reasons: (1) Product owner, and (2) defined "done" at each iteration.  It turns out that TSP came to Adobe, not because of Jim bringing it rather because people at Adobe heard the great TSP stories coming from Intuit and "want sum’dat!"

IMGP0727-400 A first for SEPG, was the inclusion of time between the morning’s keynotes and lunch for very user-group-esque "peer to peer" sessions.  Conference participants self-selected into table-top discussions driven by other attendees, not selected by the conference program.  In fact, attendees put up topics and volunteered to lead them — or put up topics in hopes of someone else showing up to lead and play subject-matter-expert.  To no-one’s surprise, David Anderson signed up for agile and lean discussions.  (David’s in the ruddy color left of center in the image.)  And, again, to no-one’s surprise, there were more people interested in this topic than room at any one table, so the conference logisticians moved the crowd to its own room where, as can be seen in the photo, numbered several dozen people.  Subsequent to this image, more arrived and were standing around the seated area.  One might sense a trend of growing interest in this population for the last few years whenever the terms "CMMI" and "Agile" are put together, eh?  As it turns out, of the several simultaneous peer-to-peer sessions, the two with the most participants were the Agile-related one and the TSP one.

(Well, super insider’s double-hush secret preview scoop of things to come: expect Agile, Lean, and TSP to start showing more prominently both at SEPG and throughout the work being done at SEI.)

David lead Achieving High Maturity with Kanban mini-tutorial.  His talk was mostly about the culture necessary to achieve high IMGP0728-400maturity and how Kanban can facilitate it that.  But describing it that way makes it sound like it was a commercial for Kanban.  It wasn’t.  It was about culture’s and measurement’s roles in maturity of development, productivity, quality and production management.  How the data drives the actions of the teams and these actions can be demonstrably linked to things that can actually be managed.  One way to summarize is in how he said, that "level 5" results are achievable by setting expectations of level 5 behavior as a matter of culture.  It’s telling that David’s session spanned 2 normal sessions.  People had the opportunity to leave mid-way and go to other sessions.  Despite other session opportunities, there was a net gain of attendees in David’s session.

imageAfter that, came me.

The CMMI Guide to the Perplexed.

Well-attended, many friendly faces and most people seemed to enjoy it.  Lots of positive feedback… of course, detractors seldom tell you to your face, do they!  You can get the presentation here.

Field notes from SEPG-NA 2009 – Tuesday

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

San Jose, CA. Day started (for me) @ 4:45am PDT (which my body believed to be 7:45am) with a work out, some email and chat, quick breakfast, and a teleconference with a prospective client. I arrived to the conference hall just as Dr. Paul Nielsen, CEO of SEI was introducing the first keynote, Scott Cook co-founder of Intuit Inc. (now chairman of the company’s Executive Committee of the Board).

Intuit Impressive start-up story, but more impressive is their use and integration of TSP and Agile (Scrum).

He also told the old story about Chevrolet and Toyota in which Toyota ran a Chevrolet factory in this area using their production system keeping Chevrolet’s UAW employees. Resulting in turning the worst plant in the company into the best Chevy plant in the entire company. Anyway, he probably spent too much time on that story. Unfortunately, too many people in these circles aren’t professionals in process improvement to know that story — which is now part of the process improvement lore.

Though he summarized TPS in an interesting way, saying that it’s a process for rapid experimentation. I can see how he’d come to that conclusion considering the emphasis with TPS on Kaizen. He also spoke about the lack of process improvement in businesses who would desperately need it, like hospitals today in the USA. (I should note that UPMC is an exception in leading the way. Get with it everyone else!)

EMC-400 Jim Bampos, VP of Quality at EMC spoke as the next keynote. Turns out he was a toy tester for Milton Bradley when he was in kindergarten. Spoke about leveraging processes and process improvement to facilitate their Total Customer Experience (“TCE”) program. The way I’d say the same thing — to my clients, not to correct Jim — is that it’s necessary to connect process effort to business values and goals. Nice. Jim was up-front that they have no interest in CMMI appraisals, and he didn’t know the CMMI appraisal lingo, which made the sincerity of their effort that much more obvious. He mentioned that after several months of process improvement effort and measurement, that despite having great data, it still didn’t connect to their “TCE”. Very poignant!

Very refreshing keynote in that he was brutally honest about quality and findings of their investigation into what drives customer experience and loyalty. They take process so seriously that they tie improvement to metrics, goals and bonuses…. FROM THE CEO on down! NOT process compliance or some crap like that, but their actual demonstrable process performance measures tied to money as a function of whether it supports their corporate goals — which are laser-focused on customer experience. EMC is looking to implement all three CMMI constellations. For good measure, he spoke about the fact that they’re using agile practices all over the place.

Who’s “pushing” them to do all this? NO ONE OTHER than themselves. Almost makes me want to work there. Almost.

In all, really great keynotes. Each SEPG conference should be so lucky.

Next up: CMMI or Agile: Why Not Embrace Both! Being led by Mike Konrad. Jeff Dalton, David and I joined Mike on stage. We stood because there weren’t enough seats for the audience and the union wouldn’t allow us to bring any more seats into the room due to capacity concerns. (In fact, a guy stood outside the room to prevent people from coming in. One such person blocked out was Alistair Cockburn, whom I went out to drag in despite the protests of the bouncer dude.) Mike reprised a presentation he’d done elsewhere summarizing the main points of our paper and adding some new material making a case for process discipline in a couple of engineering-related process areas of interest. The slide, here, is an idea David and I intend to “borrow” from, depicting, manifesto style, concepts we value from CMMI compared to other concepts possible from CMMI we value less.

Last for me for the day was an interesting perspective on CMMI and Innovation. Presenters’ positions are that CMM started as something that would help organizations take revolutionary steps in innovative improvements as well as evolutionary steps and that while the model innovation-400still can support this, use of the model has been far from it. In addition, they discussed innovation as a process and then how CMMI could be enhanced, supplemented, or even “constellationed” into being more proactively in support of innovation. The speakers were very passionate about innovation. Props for that. Need more of it. They also posited that “maturity levels” for organizations using such a model would be superfluous and that what would matter most to anyone pursuing innovation would be business results. While I wholeheartedly endorse the idea of innovation as a pursuit to which processes can be applied, I was left wondering why *must* it be a CMMI? Maybe I’ll be able to tag-up with one of the presenters to ask before week’s out.