SEPG Europe 2012 Keynote Speaker Highlight: Andrew Nolan

Management–and the Root of All Evil

While many people think of cars when they hear Rolls-Royce, keynote speaker Andrew Nolan shared that many of the company’s 13,500 software engineers work to provide integrated power systems for aerospace and marine applications. There was not a car in sight in his six-minute opening video.

Nolan spoke about the common battle between project managers whose primary focus is on early delivery and engineers who focus on maturity. “Delivery is the main point that determines the cost to achieve full product maturity,” Nolan said. “The pressure to deliver prematurely reduces maturity and increases cost.”

He proposed that many major problems that occur in the life of a project manifest themselves as technical issues, but the root cause is poor risk management. Chaos and instability will drive cost and undermine product maturity, so good management is essential to success.

Nolan left the audience with these parting words of advice: the largest and often easiest improvements will come from improved management and leadership. First bring stability, then bring performance.

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