Chicago Software Process Improvement Network
(C-SPIN) Meeting
Thursday, February 7, 2002
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.


Simple Management Mediation
Margaret R. (Peggy) Wolfe
Noca Concepts, Inc.

Negotiating is a basic skill of being a manager, especially one responsible for project management. It is important to make sure that everyone's needs are met and that the project ultimately provides a "win-win" situation wherever possible. But for many IT project managers it's a lot easier to deal with the WBS than with the people....As one project manager once said "the soft stuff is the hard stuff".

What do you do if the conflict between people cannot be negotiated because it is a communication problem? What do you do when your project is at risk because of a pure personality conflict between key players? Not only is this conflict costly (when measured in terms of lost time and energy, missed work, even potential sabotage!) but critical project decisions can be compromised! Ever have the situation where one key player just won't agree with another? Where given three choices, you can predict that one player will always pick the one that the other guy doesn't want?

This problem is often exacerbated for the IT manager because of the oft assumed and too often very real "gap" between IT and the business user. Why does that gap exist and how can it be crossed?

Simple Management Mediation is a core management skill that can be taught and can be learned. Simple Management Mediation enables the manager / project manager to work with the key players to help them develop their own resolution to the conflict.

This presentation by Peggy Wolfe will discuss the problems caused by the communications gap between too many IT departments and the rest of the organization. She will present the simple steps to Simple Management Mediation, a useful tool which can be used to address many conflicts and resolve many differences.

Peggy Wolfe has operated as Noca Concepts, Inc. since 1991, offering consulting services in management, project management, and computer systems analysis and design. Her 28+ years of experience in the business world began as a programmer for a heavy-equipment manufacturing firm. She later worked as a programmer-analyst for a local college and then spent many years in many roles working for a software vendor.

Since then, Peg has led teams within many different organizations. She specialized in the development, documentation, and deployment of new procedures. She has usually worked within IT departments, training techies, turning them into managers and coaching them to become successful managers of both project and personnel.

She has also often worked "on the other side of the fence" working with the End User in the role of Business Liaison to IT helping them develop good business requirements and measurable project criteria, both necessary for the success of any project. Peg has always concentrated on the practical implementation of pragmatic procedures rather than the rote deployment of any specific methodology or set of rules.

Peg has traveled nationally and internationally to deliver a broad range of consulting, mentoring, and training ranging from basic project management skills to Object-Oriented Analysis and Design; developing and deploying Client / Service systems, Relational Database Design; SEI's Capability Maturity Model; and providing executive seminars on Business Process Re-engineering. She has also developed PMBOK-based customized product development methodologies for companies and trained project teams in their deployment.


- 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.