Will We See You at #AgileDC?

Later this month (October 23), DCG is headed off to AgileDC, in none other than Washington, D.C. This is the 4th annual event and we’re looking forward to connecting with fellow Agile enthusiasts, as well as those who want to learn more about what we have to offer at DCG.

Tom Cagley, Vice President of Consulting, and David Herron, Vice President of Software Performance Management, will both be in attendance. Watch the video below to hear why David is excited for AgileDC.


In the meantime, check out our Agile training options and Agile JumpStartsm program and let us know what you think. If you’ll be at AgileDC, be sure to stop by our booth; we’d love to chat – and maybe you’ll even catch us filming videos and snapping some photos!

We’re looking forward to delving into all things Agile. We hope to see you in D.C, but if you’re not there, follow #AgileDC and @DavidConsultGrp for a play-by-play of all the action!


Sarah Weddle
Marketing Associate / Social Media Specialist

Written by Michael D. Harris at 08:30
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The IFPUG Guide to IT and Software Measurement: Identifying Software Best Practices

Sometimes the answer you are looking for is readily available, all you have to do is know where to look for it. This applies to a lot of situations – including the identification of software best practices in your organization.

Best practices are those techniques and processes that make your development teams more productive, so you can understand why they would be worth identifying and utilizing for optimum performance.

In the International Function Point User’s Group’s (IFPUG) recent publication, The IFPUG Guide to IT and Software Measurement, I have a chapter titled“Understanding Your Organization’s Best Software Development Practices.” In that chapter I discuss how to define what is and is not a best practice. And, more importantly, I examine ways in which an organization can identify its own best practices – it’s all about knowing where to look.

What it comes down to is being able to measure the positive (or not) impact a particular technique or process has on the overall outcome. A software practice should only be considered “best” if it works effectively and results in a beneficial outcome for your organization.

imageRepresentatives from David Consulting Group will be at IFPUG’s annual ISMA conference in Phoenix, Arizona on October 28-31. The conference brings together leading industry experts, practitioners, and technology vendors for a 2-day exchange of experiences and presentations on the latest happenings in the field of software metrics. 

If you’re there, we’d love to chat more about the IFPUG Guide and how to identify your organization’s software best practices.

Are you attending ISMA? How do you define a software best practice?


David Herron
Vice President, Software Performance Management

Written by Michael D. Harris at 08:32
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CIOSynergy–Will You Be There?

This week (Thursday, September 27) I will be attending the CIOSynergy conference in New York. This will be my first time at this event, so I’m not really sure what to expect. Over 100 IT leaders from the region will be coming together to share experiences and hopefully come away with some new ideas.

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The keynote speaker is Travelocity.com founder Terry Jones. I’m looking forward to him talking about his path from CIO to business leader and innovator. The day’s agenda is adequately balanced between content and “mixing,” so I’m hoping for some interesting conversations.

Will you be there? If so, please say hi!


Mike Harris
DCG President

Written by Michael D. Harris at 10:54
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SEPG 2013: Have you heard? The conference has been postponed.

imageWith the transition of CMMI from the SEI to the new division under Carnegie Mellon (unofficially named, but currently being referred to as Level 5), the decision has been made to postpone the SEPG conference scheduled for March of 2013.

This decision in no way is an indication of trouble ahead. In fact, it is my opinion that this is a good move. The transition of CMMI is slated to occur December 2012 and the conference was scheduled for March – that’s not a lot of time to organize a large conference.

The SEPG is a big event and will be the first one for the new organization, so it’s important to get it right. The success (or failure) of the first “major” event of a new organization is going to set the tone for its attendees on how capable the new organization is of governing the model. That is why I think it is a great move to postpone the conference until everything is in place and everyone is prepared to execute the best event possible.

As much as I was looking forward to going to Orlando in March when it will be cold at home, I think getting it right is more important.

Stay tuned and we will keep you posted as more information becomes available.

 

Patricia Eglin
Process Improvement/Measurement Specialist, Certified Introduction to CMMI Instructor and Six Sigma Green Belt

Written by Michael D. Harris at 08:00
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Lean Thoughts From on High

I’ve been singularly lucky this last week, recharging my batteries for the autumn by walking in the Alps ahead of the UK Lean Government Conference. What follows is my musings on the application of Lean in everyday life.

On Sunday, I was sitting in the sun clip_image002with this view of the Alps. Our location was quite remote and that is fresh snow at over 2000m/6600ft. Nothing too remarkable until one realises that we were at a table in front of a mountain refuge and the food was a freshly prepared hot Sunday lunch. We were treated to local sausages cooked in white wine with onions, potatoes and leeks, washed down with a nice glass of local beer. Dessert was a fresh blueberry tart, a delicious local speciality.

Now that got me thinking – how on earth do the staff at these mountain refuges do it? Sunday lunch is particularly popular and these people put on a fine lunch for large groups. Consider the logistics. The nearest road is more than 700m/2300ft below the refuge and the only way in is on foot. They do use mules to carry in the supplies, but they must have good processes to deal with demand.

I think we’re really looking at classic DMAIC process management. Defining the problem and listening to the customers’ voice is straightforward. We want good food, on demand, in fantastic scenery, on any given day. The scenery is a given, the rest is harder to manage.

Measuring is maybe not so easy, and may not be too scientific – a discussion of what did and did not go well, including portions sold and the number of guests. Of course, quality of the food and variety offered plays into this as well.

Analysis must involve a fine balance between what the mules can carry and what supplies are needed. Some of the food, such as the local Diot sausages, don’t require refrigeration, but much of it will. There is seldom mains electricity, though photo-voltaic arrays are now common. Fridges and cooking are gas powered, and all the gas bottles have to be brought in and removed when empty.

Implementation and Control follow, as night follows day. The best refuges get a lot of customers, with walking groups coming from far and wide in the certain knowledge that super food will be available to match the wonderful vistas. Oh, and as a by-the-by, the refuges mainly exist for providing overnight accommodation for walkers, so it’s not just Sunday lunch they have to think about.

I suppose what this shows is that Lean can be just a way of life. In mountain refuges successful Lean leads to business success. In our economic times, Lean is a must. I am enthused by my Alpine experience into thinking that every area of Government can improve by learning lessons from constrained circumstances just as I have described.

I’m really looking forward to the conference – Lean is the way forward and I am eager to discuss this with everyone in attendance.

If you’re also at the conference, please stop me and say hello!


Alan Cameron
Managing Director, DCG-SMS

Written by Michael D. Harris at 07:30
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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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