Please note the room change.

Chicago Software Process Improvement Network
(C-SPIN) Meeting
Thursday, January 10, 2002 (Second Thursday in January)
6:00 to 8:30 p.m.

William Rainey Harper College
The Theatre Center of the Business and Social Science Center
(Formally known as Auditorium, Building J)
Algonquin and Roselle Roads, Palatine, Illinois


Park in Lot 9 or 10. If you enter from Algonquin Road, turn right at first stop sign and follow the road around the curve. Parking lots 9 and 10 will be on your left.  If you enter from Euclid Road, turn left after turning into Harper; follow the road around two curves. Parking lots 9 and 10 will be on your right.


Deadline-Driven Software Project Estimation
Michael Mah
Managing Partner, QSM Associates, Inc.

Commercial pressures of today's economy result in imposed deadlines being the norm for technology projects. Yet, the nature of software projects demand that teams deal with constant change and scope growth within these fixed deadlines. However, knowing the nature of software project dynamics empowers managers to make decisions on promised functionality, thereby controlling the very factors that degrade software quality and reliability.

This presentation will address why software as "knowledge work" is different from other classes of work, and how knowing its behavioral "laws" can avert disaster. We will cover and discuss common mistakes in metrics, estimation, and project negotiation so that managers can create better outcomes for themselves, their teams, and for their companies.

  • If Benchmarks Are the Answer, What's the Question?
  • How to Use Productivity Baselines for "Reverse Estimation"
  • Critical Flaws in Traditional Planning Processes
  • Risk Management Techniques When Deadlines Are Fixed
  • What You Can Do About "Dangerous Metrics"
  • Michael Mah is a senior consultant with the Cutter Consortium in Arlington Massachusetts, and owner/partner at QSM Associates Inc., a consulting firm based in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He is a featured industry conference speaker on process management, organizational dynamics, and software measurement, and has written numerous articles for technology publications in the last 10 years.  Michael has also served as editor of a respected industry periodical, Cutter IT Metrics Strategies.  His clients have included companies such as Salomon Inc., JP Morgan, Chase, Merrill Lynch, Intel, Rockwell Avionics, Compaq, Sprint, BellSouth, and others.

    Michael's particular interest is in people dynamics, whether in family life on topics such as systems theory, or in organizational life and the complex interactions between groups, departments, and divisions working on the technology revolution at "Internet Speed".  He is also focused on practical applications of the theory and practice of negotiation, dispute resolution and mediation in these settings, including the use of role playing, gestalt techniques, and simulation adapted from couple/family therapies and interventions to increase corporate and personal effectiveness.

    Michael's degree is in electrical engineering from Tufts University, Medford, MA, with his training on dispute resolution, mediation, and participatory processes through the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Michael can be reached at QSM Associates, Inc., ClockTower Business Park, 75 So. Church St., Pittsfield MA  01201. Web Site: ww.qsma.com.  Or via Cutter Information, 37 Broadway, Arlington MA  01201:  www.cutter.com/consortium. Email: michaelm@qsma.com.  Tel: (413) 499-0988.


    - 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Networking, Refreshments (complimentary sandwich buffet), & Registration (no cost)
    - 7:00 - 7:10 p.m. Overview of C-SPIN and Panelist Introductions

    - 7:10 - 8:10 p.m. Presentation

    - 8:10 - 8:30 p.m. Question and Answer Session

    C-SPIN is made possible through the efforts of its Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is composed of: Fred Ballard, Nicole Bianco, Charlotte Bowens, Kathy Brown, Alan Cohen, Susan Davidowski, Larry Dribin, Ross Fraser, Bob Ferguson, Dean Fritz, George Gatsis, Donna Miller, Bob Pauwels, and Scott Stribrny.

    If you are interested in participating on the Steering Committee, contact Bob Pauwels at bob.pauwels@divine.com, 773 394-6761, or 773 394-6601 (fax).

    C-SPIN is a leadership forum for the free and open exchange of software process improvement experiences and practical ideas. We promote achieving higher levels of process maturity, software quality and mutual respect. Companies, academic institutions, government organizations and individuals are invited.

    There is no need to register before the meeting, but please check in at the registration table.

    For more information regarding this meeting or C-SPIN, contact Bob Pauwels at bob.pauwels@divine.com, 773 394-6761, or 773 394-6601 (fax).

    To receive future announcements electronically, send your e-mail address (include name, address, company, phone) to ggatsis@fsc.follett.com.