ISMA10 - Another Great Conference!

IFPUGIFPUG's recent ISMA10 conference, held in Charlotte, North Carolina was, by most any measure (even function points!), a success. The theme of the conference, "Creating Value from Measurement," was certainly realized during the day-long series of presentations delivered by the many professionals and experts in the field.

Prior to the presentations, two workshops were held to kick off the conference. A two-day SNAP training session introduced the principles of the Software Non-Functional Assessment Process (SNAP) and prepared the attendees for the upcoming SNAP certification exam. The second workshop, "Applying Function Points to Emerging Business Technologies," provided insights and examples into some of the more advanced function point sizing scenarios. (World-renowned function point guru David Herron made a guest appearance and lectured the class on how much better life can be when you have a steady diet of fun and function points. Haha!)

After the workshops, the conference focused on committee meetings, and the SNAP certification exam was made available to those daring individuals who attended the two-day SNAP workshop. 

The final day of the conference focused on the presentations, which provided an opportunity for attendees to access the eight presentations on the agenda, starting with a fascinating opening keynote, "Digital Forensic: The Evidence Left Behind," presented by local lawyer Clark Walton.

There were several talks that discussed how organizations were using function points and story points to better manage their Agile projects. Of course, measurement data collection, analysis and reporting were front-and-center in three of the presentations, as presenters shared their data and insights regarding productivity gains and improved estimating practices using functional measures.  And a tip of the hat goes to George Mitwasi from United Health, who shared his truly pioneering work in the area of advancing the use of SNAP with his presentation, "Integrating SNAP into an Established FP based Estimation and Measurements Program."

As always, it was a great event and we are already looking forward to returning next year.

For further information on future IFPUG events and conferences, visit

David Herron
Vice President, Software Performance Management

Written by David Herron at 05:00

The 2015 CMMI Global Congress

CMMI Global Congress

After a successful (and fun!) time at the CMMI EMEA Conference in Europe, we're now headed to Seattle for the CMMI Institute Global Congress! For DCG, this is a must-attend event - and it has been for years!

We're excited to connect with others in the CMMI community from around the world to see what's working (or not) and to share our own tips and experiences.

If you'll be at the event, please stop by our booth in the exhibition hall. We'll be talking about how to combine CMMI with Agile and lean for a competitive advantage and to reap the most value from your software.

Also, don't miss Tom Cagley's presentation on Agile risk management. Tom will discuss how to combine Agile and CMMI-based risk management techniques to increase the robustness of an Agile implementation without adding overhead and while further dampening risk.

If you can't make it out to Seattle, never fear! We are sharing Tom's presentation just for you!

Download it Now!

This presentation is available to download here.

Contact Tom!

Questions or comments? Tom's always happy to speak with someone new!

Phone: (440) 668-5717

See you in Seattle!

Written by Default at 05:00
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Michael D. Harris to Present at ITFMA's 2015 Financial World of IT Conference


Interested in IT financial management? Then don't miss this year's IT Financial Management Association (ITFMA) conference in Pittsburgh, April 13-17. The Financial World of IT conference is a must-attend event for those interested in improving their IT financial management capabilities.

Mike Harris will be presenting this year, urging businesses to utilize a "show me the money" approach to software development.

His presentation, "Using Lean Principles to Prioritize and Track Financial Value in Software Development" is part of the "IT Chargeback, Showback and Expense Management" conference agenda. He will share simple techniques for optimizing the flow of economic value and bringing economic value metrics into the tactical decision-making of the software development process. Be there on Friday, April 17th at 10:30am to listen in!

For more information and to download Mr. Harris’ latest presentations, visit

Written by Default at 05:00
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Visit DCG at the QUEST Conference!


We're headed back again this year to the QUEST conference - this time in Atlanta! Not familiar? QUEST is the best source for new technologies and proven methods for Quality Engineered Software and Testing. Thought leaders, evangelists, innovative practitioners, and IT professionals from across North America gather together for a week of events.

From April 20-24th, you'll be able to find DCG representatives all around the conference.

The easiest place to find us is at booth #12 in the exhibition hall! We urge you to stop by to see what we're giving away at our booth and to hear a little bit about how you can use the TMMi framework to give you more time and more money for other things (including a cup of coffee!).

We'll also be giving an EXPO Talk, "A Cross Section of TMMi Survey Results 2014." So if you're interested in learning more about how other companies have progressed through TMMi Maturity Level Three, don't miss out! We'll provide a profile of the level of capability found in a typical testing organization, areas of the model that tend to give respondents the most trouble and a general pattern of progression.

Finally, don't miss Tom Cagley, VP of Consulting & TMMi Accredited Assessor, when he gives his presentation on April 22nd at 11:00am. "Scaling Agile Testing with TMMi" will discuss how to effectively tailor and use the TMMi model in plan-based and Agile environments and how to measure the results.

Have we piqued your interest about TMMi? Take this high-level evaluation of how your organization's testing compares to the TMMi. Tom Cagley will personally follow up with your results - and you can always stop by our booth at QUEST to chat some more!

See you in Atlanta!

Written by Default at 05:00

Better Agile / Better Software Conference East

IMG_1068Last week I attended the Better Agile & Software Development Conference East, and I really enjoyed the experience. The conference presented a good opportunity for organizations to come and learn about some of the common struggles facing software development from a process and strategy context.

Because of the broad topic area, the conference included a good mix of organizations in terms of size and industry. For example, there was one organization there that has a single development team, and it sent most of the development team to the conference for Agile certifications and learning opportunities. There were other organizations who hand-picked members from among hundreds of teams, with the intent of discovering fresh ideas to bring back to present to managers in the hopes of starting a conversation about ways to improve or move forward. The vast array of lines of business in attendance was impressive – software development vendors, government agencies, blood banks, medical clinics, financial firms, department store chains, process consultants and everything in between.

The conference itself seemed to focus on two common themes. The first was trouble with testing inside of the Agile framework. Testing is no less important to the development process than actually developing the code or requirements, but often testing is crammed into the end of a sprint cycle, which leads to late discovery of defects and contributes to difficulty in estimating projects.

This difficulty speaks directly to the second common theme – trouble with estimation in Agile. A large number of organizations are having trouble shifting their estimation models to fall in line with the Agile approach because of the change in philosophy and an inability to establish a recognizable cadence to their releases. This also makes it difficult to provide reliable estimates, which snowballs with the testing issues mentioned above.

Some of the tutorials I attended at the conference provided good insight into ways to deal with the problems of estimation within the Agile framework. The best example of this was taken from a tutorial about the role of a business analyst in an Agile environment when the instructor mentioned an idea that resonated immediately with everyone in the room and provided words to a concept we had all felt before – the need for a “definition of ready.”

 In Agile we are familiar with the idea of a “definition of done” – aka the criteria we have to consider for a backlog item to be considered complete and moved into the “done” pile. The definition of ready is the other side of this – aka the criteria that must be met in order to consider an item ready to go into the backlog. If this criteria is not established, the backlog gets cluttered quickly and the implications are not understood to the greatest degree possible. This then makes it difficult to estimate the task appropriately and also leads to more difficulty in establishing the testing goals in advance.

I certainly came away from that tutorial and the others with some good tips for how to approach these (and other) trouble areas. Of course, it was also nice to be just a block away from Downtown Disney for some evening entertainment!

I look forward to delving further into the concept of estimation in the Agile environment (something we can help with here at DCG) and the “definition of ready,” with the team here at DCG. If you attended the conference and have any thoughts about these concepts or about the conference itself, please leave a comment! Otherwise, I hope to see you there next year!


Karl Jentzsch

Written by Karl Jentzsch at 05:00
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"It's frustrating that there are so many failed software projects when I know from personal experience that it's possible to do so much better - and we can help." 
- Mike Harris, DCG Owner

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