Educating, Informing, and Inspiring: Wednesday Keynote Summary

Yesterday, delegates enjoyed two informative and inspiring keynote presentations. James Over, a leader of the TSP initiative at the SEI, connected space flight, surgery, and baseball to software engineering to illustrate the notion that failure is not an option. He urged the delegates to realize that defects do not have to be an inherent, unavoidable property of software engineering. We can help ensure quality by employing disciplined teams who are constantly measuring, managing, and learning.

Among his key takeaways, Over emphasized to “let the game come to you”–meaning, consider the facts and statistics, and don’t overreact in any given situation. Drawing on the wisdom of the late Watts Humphrey, Over closed his presentation with the following message:

Life rarely turns out the way we plan. While our carefully developed strategies may go down in flames, a new and more rewarding opportunity shows up in the ashes. The key is to keep an open mind and keep looking. In life, we all reach the same end, so we need to concentrate on the trip. Just as with a process, once you decide how you want to live, the rest will follow. Devote yourself to excellence, and you just might achieve it. That would be worth the trip.
-Watts Humphrey

Martin Curley of Intel Europe then took the stage and spoke about the IT Capability Maturity Framework (IT-CMF) and Innovation Value Institute (IVI), a consortium of more than 50 organizations that strives to help CIOs achieve increased, measurable value from IT. Curley told the story of the development of the IT-CFM and how this framework is helping executives in government and industry to deliver more value from IT. Curley lauded the SEI’s and CMMI’s wide-reaching impact and ability to reinvent, as CMMI’s legacy led to the development of the IT-CFM.

Curley summed it up best when he noted, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” He emphasized that assessments can be run efficiently and with low overhead through use of standardized tools and documents. The ultimate goal of the IT-CFM and IVI’s efforts is close the gap between technology and IT management practices and increase the return on investment.


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