10 Key Things to be a Rocking Product Manager in an Agile World

10 Key Things to be a Rocking Product Manager in an Agile World

The June 2023 tech talk was presented by César Duarte

Abstract

Are you ready to know more about the challenge of being a product manager? This talk will cover challenges you will need to master to excel and become a product management superstar in an Agile world.

From your main responsibilities to skills that will make you crush the product management game, learn what this role is and what is NOT, along with its main challenges and some insider tips. As a bonus, we will also have a glimpse into the epic battle of the PMs and POs (Product Managers vs PROJECT Managers vs Product Owners).

About the Presenter 

César Duarte 

Entrepreneur at heart (former founder & CTO) • Software engineer turned to business with international project and product management experience • INSEAD executive education with the Product Management Executive Programme (PMEP) • Master in Informatics and Computing Engineering from FEUP (Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto) in Portugal • Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) + Professional Scrum Master (PSM) certified by Scrum.org • Track record of helping organizations improve their processes, systems, and people with methods of continuous improvement, Agile, Lean, and Kaizen.

Personal Reviews: How Fencing Helped Me Write Better Software

Personal Reviews: How Fencing Helped Me Write Better Software

The May 2023 tech talk was presented by Dr. Bradley Hodgins

Abstract

NAVAIR has hundreds of engineers/professionals using Team Software Process (TSP) and Team Process Integration (TPI) methodologies to plan and track their projects. One especially valuable activity in TSP/TPI is the “Personal Review,” where an individual looks for mistakes in a product they have just produced (e.g., design document, source code, engineering drawing) before continuing on with their development process. Personal reviews are effective in any domain where mistakes come with a high cost – like in fencing. This presentation explains how to perform personal reviews, and outlines other activities an individual must do before they can execute an effective personal review, such as logging defects and creating a review checklist. We will also discuss fencing.

About the Presenter 

Dr. Bradley Hodgins

Brad Hodgins is a computer scientist and has been supporting Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) for 36 years. He has over 20 years of experience in developing simulation and avionics software. He has spent the last 16 years as a project planning and tracking coach and instructor for the Performance Resource Team (PRT), actively coaching project teams in the development of high-quality products for on-time, on-budget delivery to the fleet.

Brad has expertise and a national reputation in process improvement. During his time with the PRT, Brad gave over two dozen presentations at symposiums and conferences, and authored/co-authored half a dozen published articles and papers, all sharing the great things NAVAIR has been doing. Brad was given a Navy patent in 2008 for the Learning Applying Mastering Perfecting (LAMP) model for team process implementation evaluation and improvement. He was awarded the Michelson Laboratory Award in 2010, and he became a NAVAIR Associate Fellow in 2013. Brad earned a Doctorate in Computer Science from Colorado Technical University in 2015. He retired from government service in 2019, but continues to support NAVAIR as an employee of Saalex Solutions Inc.

Brad is a Taurus and likes surfing (just kidding about the surfing).

Making Digital Engineering Transformation Happen: MBSE is Just the Beginning

Making Digital Engineering Transformation Happen: MBSE is Just the Beginning

The April 2023 tech talk was presented by Will Walker and Jeff Schwalb

Abstract

This presentation focuses on the current challenges and vision for the digital engineering (DE) transformation. The previous presentation provided an introduction to DE and its history, as well as the reasons for its development. In this follow-up presentation, we will discuss the current issues facing DE, such as data management, standards, and interoperability. We will also explore the grand vision for DE and potential paths for its future development over the next decade. This presentation aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of DE transformation and its potential to revolutionize the engineering industry.

About the Presenters

Will Walker is currently a Principal Systems Engineer at Raytheon Intelligence and Space (RI&S) who consults with many RI&S programs to help them implement a digital transformation strategy. At Raytheon, he also teaches classes including an “MBSE Bootcamp” class to Raytheon employees all over the globe. These classes focus on a mixture of architectural design principles, Cameo/MagicDraw software buttonology, SysML/UML language details, and Digital Engineering (DE) principles and objectives.

Will has worked on space, Air Force, Army, and Navy programs during his career on both the government side (NAVSEA) and the contractor side (Raytheon and L3Harris). He has worked on underwater unmanned vehicles, underwater mine warfare systems, drone boats, unmanned aerial vehicles, medium range missiles, radar, and other satellite subsystems. He has his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and graduate degree in systems engineering. Will enjoys both teaching and consulting for DE and MBSE, and is excited to see how the digital transformation continues for years to come. 

Will happily lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife and their dog. He goes kiteboarding in his free time and enjoys cooking something new.

Jeff Schwalb is a computer scientist and has been supporting Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) since 1984. He has over 20 years of experience developing and acquiring real-time embedded software systems for avionics, weapons, and range instrumentation systems. He also began collaborating with the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), learning and applying CMM key practices, becoming a certified Personal Software Process℠ (PSP℠) instructor and then a certified Team Software Process℠ (TSP℠) coach. Over the last 25 years, he has taught and consulted with hundreds of scientists and engineers in various forms of personal engineering processes and has coached dozens of projects in the launch and operations of team project planning and tracking.

 In 2017, Jeff connected with the SEI on the establishment of the organization we know today as the Software Excellence Alliance (SEA). Today, Jeff continues to work within the SEA to identify and establish pragmatic, value-added solutions to problems currently affecting the software community. He is currently serving as a member of the SEA Executive Team and as a supporting member of SEA working groups in areas such as Membership, Agile Community Networking, and Knowledge Transfer.

The 5 Keys to Crushing Technical Debt and Reclaiming the Joy in Engineering

The 5 Keys to Crushing Technical Debt and Reclaiming the Joy in Engineering

The March 2023 tech talk was presented by Alan Willett and Julia Mullaney

Abstract

Are you feeling weighed down by technical debt? Are you tired of constantly putting out fires and struggling to keep your systems running smoothly? It’s time to reclaim the joy in engineering! In this talk, we will explore the five key strategies for crushing technical debt and bringing back the enjoyment to your work. We’ll also delve into the seven types of technical debt, including gordian knots, trap doors, barnacle ware, and more, and show you how to identify and tackle each one. Join us and learn how to eliminate technical debt and rediscover the satisfaction of building high-quality systems.

About the Presenters

Alan Willett is a globe-trotting Principal helping organizations to improve the speed and power of their engines of development. Alan is the award-winning author of Lead with Speed and Leading the Unleadable.

Alan Willett was the youngest of six kids on a dairy farm in Hunt, NY, which was (and still is) about a 30-minute drive to any stoplight. In Alan’s opinion, a stop sign would be okay in that town. The stoplight is a bit of high-tech overkill. The dairy farm has been in the family for almost 200 years. In Alan’s teenage years, the farm won Dairy Farm of the Year multiple times, while other farms failed. Alan learned how to be lucky by using data, technology, hard work, and logical decision-making.

After the farm, Alan went to Rochester Institute of Technology. There, he ran track and cross-country. He actually did run across the country with his team. The team was in the Guinness Book of World Records for running a relay from ocean to ocean in record time. While at college, as a side hobby to his athletics, he received a degree in computer science, which later became a Master’s degree.

When Alan started working in the high-tech world of high-pressure product development, he found that most of the projects used data much less than they did on the farm. On his projects, he put into place the use of data and logical decision-making. His travels eventually took him to work at the world-renowned Software Engineering Institute, the think tank of the world on high-tech development work. There, he was able to work with many of the geniuses that have pushed the state of the art. He worked with and was good friends with the late Watts Humphrey.

Julia Mullaney has been involved with software excellence since starting her career at IBM in 1988. At IBM, she was instrumental in process improvement efforts, having a major role in defining and implementing defect prevention, for which she won the IBM Quality Award.

At the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), Julia was a key contributor to the Personal Software Process℠ (PSP℠) and Team Software Process℠ (TSP℠) through the development of training, certification, licensing, and applied research at leading software organizations. She was fortunate to take the first PSP class from her mentor, Watts Humphrey. Julia is currently the chair for the IEEE CS/SEI Watts Humphrey Quality Award and also sits on the IEEE CS Awards Committee.  

Julia’s passion is software excellence, and she has been channeling that passion into growing the Software Excellence Alliance (SEA) as the SEA Executive Committee Leader and as a member of SEA Website & Social Media working group. She previously chaired the Working Group Training working group.

Application of Statistical and Other Quantitative Techniques in Software

Application of Statistical and Other Quantitative Techniques in Software

The February 2023 tech talk was presented by Stephen Shook

Abstract

The CMMI has long emphasized use of “statistical and other quantitative techniques” as a best practice for software work. Many organizations struggle with how to apply those techniques. (The ISHPI AIS Division did, too.) What techniques should we use? What business problems will these help us to solve? And, most importantly, what really adds value? This presentation provides a survey of the techniques that we use, and how we use them. Examples include linear regression, prediction intervals, control charts, histograms, and tests for statistical significance. ISHPI will discuss how they apply “quantitative and statistical techniques” in their software work, along with the underlying data and examples from individuals, project teams, and the overall organization.

About the Presenter 

Stephen Shook, ISHPI’s Vice President of Software Engineering and Quality, brings more than 25 years of experience in senior management, business development, development management, project management, software engineering, and implementation of Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI®). He is one of the principal architects of ISHPI’s award-winning Agile High Velocity Development℠ software development methodology, which is appraised at CMMI Development Maturity Level 5. As an experienced instructor, coach, consultant, and subject matter expert, he leads and mentors software teams to achieve exceptional cost, schedule, and quality performance in order to achieve customer business goals. Stephen has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Illinois.

Implementing a Strategy for Excellence

Implementing a Strategy for Excellence

The January 2023 tech talk was presented by Seemin Suleri

Abstract

In our pursuit of excellence, we built a strategy that matched the ambition of a competitive e-commerce business. The problem was, where do we start the work: A struggling software department with high attrition and low engagement, a software system that was falling apart, a monolith that was hard to break away from. This talk covers how the real work was done on the ground to achieve great results. It also gives practical advice on where to find tools that enable you to measure the effectiveness of the strategy. For anyone who is tasked with bringing a vision to reality, this talk is packed with ideas that generated high performance, high engagement, and better quality products 40 times faster.

About the Presenter 

Seemin Suleri

Seemin is an agent for change in a competitive digital world. Specializing in building and leading high-performance self-organizing teams, she has enabled businesses to transform their cultural and technological landscape. She has a real passion for Agile and continuous improvement. Currently working as Head of Engineering for 288 Group Ltd, she is leading the company’s systems transformation effort to meet the demands of the ever-evolving and competitive market.

She is a mum of two energetic preschoolers, and is passionate about flexibility and inclusion in teams to allow people from all backgrounds to succeed. She has led a number of initiatives to increase the representation of women in software, and is always interested in the human element in organizational success. She is an enthusiastic individual with a background in both software engineering and project management, coupled with the ability to operate within an array of engineering disciplines to unblock flow and get the job done.