Accelerating Innovation by Transforming into a Digital Engineering Approach

Accelerating Innovation by Transforming into a Digital Engineering Approach

The November 2022 tech talk was presented by Jeff Schwalb and Will Walker

Abstract

In the past, the Department of Defense has primarily used a document-based approach for all cradle-to-grave systems development. This approach to systems engineering produces tons of artifacts (especially if shared on paper) in the form of a disjointed set of text documents, spreadsheets, diagrams, and presentations that may or may not be configuration managed in a further disjoint set of repositories. Even worse, the artifacts themselves become disjoint, unreliable, and expensive to maintain!

As the systems we design now and into the future gain complexity, the rework necessary when a change occurs will becomes more and more expensive, as engineers need to modify many documents to keep them up to date. Even worse, it becomes more confusing to know which of these document sets has the most up-to-date information. 

Digital engineering provides a method to use tagging and active interdependencies between design models to enable changes to be made in one location that will propagate throughout all other relevant design models. This means that all interconnected models will contain the most up-to-date data at any given moment in time. 

There are advantages and complexities to converting to digital engineering, which will be covered in the presentation.  Digital engineering and Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) implementation steps will be outlined, and the future goal of the transformation will be relayed.

About the Presenters

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.

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 TX with his wife and their dog. He goes kiteboarding in his free time and enjoys cooking something new.

High-Maturity Scrum with the Process Dashboard

High-Maturity Scrum with the Process Dashboard

The October 2021 tech talk was presented by David Tuma

Abstract:

Scrum is a popular Agile development method that enables rapid customer feedback and continuous delivery of value. Earned value is a high-maturity planning technique that helps teams to create realistic plans and meet long-term commitments. This presentation will show how these techniques complement each other, and how teams can use them together to deliver exceptional value to their customers. Practical examples and best practices will be demonstrated using the Process Dashboard, an open-source project management tool.

About the Presenter 

David Tuma

After graduating from MIT in 1994, David Tuma began his software career in the United States Air Force, where he was introduced to the high-maturity Agile concepts in the Team Software Process℠. Impressed with TSP’s power and flexibility, he created (and continues to evolve) an open-source toolset called the Process Dashboard, which has been used by tens of thousands of developers worldwide.

David leads the SEA Next-Gen Tools Working Group as they seek opportunities to change the world of software engineering through broader adoption of high-maturity Agile techniques.

Putting the “Sec” in DevSecOps… Quantified

Putting the “Sec” in DevSecOps… Quantified

The March 2021 tech talk was presented by Larry Maccherone

Abstract:

A guiding principle of Comcast Cybersecurity is that we are no longer gatekeepers, but rather coaches and toolsmiths. Another, is that we favor building security in over bolting it on. Together, what this means is that the ownership of the problem of the security of the products shifts primarily to the teams that are developing those products. Further, the role of the cybersecurity group at Comcast shifts to supporting those engineering teams by developing and providing self-service tools that prevent problems or give automated feedback. We then provide coaching to help teams understand how best to use those tools and whatever other DevSecOps practices they need to adopt.

This talk dives deeper into what the above paragraph means and then presents original research quantifying the impact that various DevSecOps practices have on security risk outcomes so you can make an informed decision what to focus on first.

About the Presenter 

Larry Maccherone is an industry-recognized thought leader on Lean/Agile, Analytics, and DevSecOps. He currently leads the DevSecOps transformation at Comcast as a Distinguished Engineer. Previously, Larry led the Insights product line at Rally Software where he published the largest ever study correlating development team practices with performance. Before Rally, Larry worked at Carnegie Mellon with the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and CyLab for seven years conducting research on cybersecurity and software engineering.

Contact Larry on his LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/LarryMaccherone

Next-Gen Tools to Accelerate Individual and Team Performance

Next-Gen Tools to Accelerate Individual and Team Performance

The December 2020 tech talk was presented by David Tuma

Abstract:

Effective tools can help teams accelerate delivery, improve quality, deliver on their commitments, and reach new levels of performance. This is especially true for high-maturity Agile software development teams.

Last year, members of the Software Excellence Alliance analyzed currently available project management tools, and surveyed teams and community members to assess their most urgent unmet needs.  From this we identified several opportunities to deliver extreme value through targeted tool enhancements.

In 2020, we’ve been hard at work on that roadmap. We’ve completed several exciting new tools and enhancements that include:

  • New high-maturity tool support for individuals and teams
  • New integrations with mainstream agile tools
  • Open source tools that are available free of cost

In this presentation, we’ll demonstrate these new tool capabilities and show how they can help your teams accelerate speed to value.  We’ll also share our vision for 2021 and invite you to help us shape the future of high-maturity agile tools.

About the Presenter

After graduating from MIT in 1994, David Tuma began his software career in the United States Air Force, where he was introduced to the high-maturity agile concepts in the Team Software Process℠. Impressed with TSP’s power and flexibility, he created (and continues to evolve) an open-source toolset called the Process Dashboard, which has been used by tens of thousands of developers worldwide.

David leads the SEA Next-Gen Tools Working Group as they seek opportunities to change the world of software engineering through broader adoption of high-maturity agile techniques.

℠ Personal Software Process, PSP, Team Software Process, and TSP are service marks of Carnegie Mellon University. The Software Excellence Alliance is not affiliated with Carnegie Mellon University.

How to Manage $30M and 150 Projects in 90 Minutes

How to Manage $30M and 150 Projects in 90 Minutes

The August 2020 Tech Talk was presented by Brad Hodgins

Abstract:

This presentation describes a solution implemented by the Performance Resource Team (PRT) to help a customer manage $30M+ across 150+ projects and required project leads to attend only one 90-minute training session on what they had to do to manage their projects. The solution had to address the needs of the customer to have a simple status report (e.g., one picture) and have minimum impact on the project leads, since some of the projects had very small budgets (e.g., $10K).

To minimize the impact on the project leads, the solution relied on using tools that the project leads already knew (e.g., Microsoft Excel) and simplified the actions required for tracking and reporting their project status to the point that it required less than an hour a month. Only a few project management concepts were used in the solution so that the project lead training could be delivered in one 90-minute session. The solution was stood up halfway through a fiscal year and was used for the entire following fiscal year. Both years resulted in over 90% participation by the projects, and the customer was pleased with the simplicity of the single chart output showing all the projects’ status.

About the Presenter 

Brad Hodgins is a computer scientist and has been supporting Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) for 36 years. He has over 20 years’ experience 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).