Chicago Software Process Improvement Network (C-SPIN)

Meeting - Thursday, August 7, 2003


William Rainey Harper College
The Theatre Center of the Business and Social Science Center

(Known as the Auditorium and signed as Building J)
Park in Parking Lot 5 (New identification)

Algonquin and Roselle Roads
Palatine, Illinois


"Of Zeppelins and Jet Planes

The Nature of Software and the Laws of Software Process"

Phillip G. Armour / Corvus International Inc.


Most of the tasks, processes, and expectations of software project management are based on the notion that the end result of all our development activity is a product that is delivered to a customer. This view is seriously flawed and results in many of the perennial difficulties we experience in managing the creation of software: difficulty in estimation, problems with resources and schedule, quality issues, and customer satisfaction. This talk will:


There is a simple idea that underlies the concept of software that radically alters the perception of the purpose of software process and the creation of software products. In this presentation, an explanation of the true nature of software is given. The Laws of Software Process under which software process operates are identified, and a new approach to software management is presented. The presentation identifies the real sources of productivity, the true purpose of processes and methodologies, the actual job of the management structure, and the radical mind shift that will occur in the successful software development organizations of the immediate future.


It is also probably the only presentation on software that includes a collection of Paleolithic hand axes.


Phil Armour is currently a Vice President and Senior Consultant at Corvus International Inc., a Software and Human Resource Consulting Company based in the Chicago area. Phil has over 30 years of experience developing computer systems of many sizes, shapes, and kinds. He has personally taught software development methods and processes to tens of thousands of software engineers, analysts, programmers, managers, and executives.


He has been a contributing editor for the Association for Computing Machinery's flagship periodical "Communications of the ACM" for over three years, writing a regular column entitled "The Business of Software". Phil is the author of the book "The Laws of Software Process: A New Model for the Production and Management of Software" due to be published in August 2003 by Auerbach/ CRC publishers. Phil has been a member of the external faculty at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and is on the Extended Faculty of the Mendoza School of Business at the University of Notre Dame. He is a member of IEEE, ACM and PMI.




6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Networking

7:00 - 7:10 p.m. Overview of C-SPIN and Introductions

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

8:10 8:30 p.m. Questions and Answers


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


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 George Gatsis at To receive future announcements electronically, send your e-mail address

(include name, address, company, phone) to