Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Jeff Dalton to Speak at Agile Leaders Network in Washington, D.C.

WATERFORD, MI, December 2, 2014 -- Leading performance innovation expert Jeff Dalton, President of Broadsword Solutions, will speak on "Agile Resiliency" at the Agile Leadership Network DC Chapter. The live event will be held Tuesday, December 9, 2014 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (EST) in Vienna, VA.

Dalton will present "Agile Resiliency:  How CMMI Will Make Agile Thrive and Survive."

Attendees will learn useful information that they can put in practice right away. Dalton will show how integrating the architectural strengths of the CMMI with an agile approach can help make agile resilient enough to resist the pressure to change – and even scale and thrive.

Click HERE to register:

December 9, 2014 @ 6:30PM in Vienna, Virginia – “Agile Resiliency: How CMMI Will Make Agile Thrive and Survive!”

Register here for the Live Presentation on Agile Resiliency.

Dalton is a highly sought-after author, speaker, and performance improvement consultant whose talks on "Agile Resiliency" have been heard by audiences across North America and online.

ABOUT JEFF DALTON

Dalton is President of Broadsword Solutions Corporation and a  pioneer in using Agile methods to implement CMMI-based solutions that improve software development and organizational processes, Mr. Dalton is a Certified Lead Appraiser and the author of "AgileCMMI," Broadsword's leading methodology for incremental and iterative process improvement.  He is a recipient of the prestigious Software Engineering Institute's SEI member award for outstanding representative for his work uniting the Agile and CMMI Communities through his popular blog, "Ask the CMMI Appraiser."  He holds degrees in Music and Computer Science and builds experimental airplanes in his spare time.  Mr. Dalton can be reached at Appraiser@broadswordsolutions.com.


ABOUT BROADSWORD SOLUTIONS CORPORATION

Broadsword is an SEI Partner, CMMI Institute Partner and Performance Innovation firm that is the world-leader in using Agile and Lean methods to drive high performance engineering using their AgileCMMI methodology and collaborative consulting and coaching solutions. Working with great clients like Rockwell Collins, NASA, Boeing, Chrysler, Compuware and L-3 Communications, Broadsword's methods and success are proven throughout North America and the World.

Broadsword is based in southeastern Michigan and can be reached at www.broadswordsolutions.com, +1 248-341-3367 or info@broadswordsolutions.com.  For more information, visit the blog at www.AsktheCMMIAppraiser.com.

Dalton to Present on Process Innovation at GL-SPIN

Waterford, MI—December 1, 2014 – The Great Lakes Software Process Improvement Network (GL-SPIN) will feature Jeff Dalton, President of Broadsword Solutions, at its December 11 GL-SPIN meeting in Royal Oak, MI.  Dalton’s topic, “Process Innovation at the Speed of Life,” explores the true meaning of “process improvement” and the science behind constant change, as well as the resistance that inevitably accompanies it.

“Most process improvement programs fail – but not for the reasons you might think,” said Dalton. “Engineers and project managers want to improve, they just don’t want low-value “improvements” that bury them in paper and overhead that make their work harder, not easier.”

Dalton will present an agile, object-oriented architecture for performance improvement that resonates with software teams, and gives organizations the best chance to succeed with their process improvement program.

Date: Thursday, December 11th, 2014.
Location: The Bastone Brewery and Eatery, 419 South Main Street Royal Oak, MI 48067

Please RSVP “I Will Attend” to glspin97@gmail.com

JEFF DALTON

Dalton is a certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Scrum Master, Scrum Product Owner, CMMI Instructor, and SCAMPI Candidate Observer.  He is President of Broadsword, a management consulting firm, an author, and consultant with over twenty-five years of technology and software process improvement experience.

He is the author of the popular blog “Ask the CMMI Appraiser” where he answers questions on topics related to agile methods, CMMI, and SCAMPI.  He is co-author of the SEI Publication “CMMI or Agile: why not embrace both?!” and is the creator of “AgileCMMI,” an iterative and incremental approach to process improvement based on the CMMI.  His software engineering and process improvement career spans over two decades with companies including Electronic Data Systems, Ernst & Young, Hewlett-Packard, and Intellicorp.

Dalton is a sought-after conference and event speaker who has appeared as a keynote at QUEST 2014, SEPG 2014: The CMMI Conference, Project Management Institute (PMI) Spring Symposium, and the International Conference on CMMI in Lima, Peru.  He is also a regular speaker at Agile Development West, Better Software East, Agile Processes and Tools, International Conference on CMMI, aSEPG Europe, and the International Conference on Software Quality (ICSQ-ASQ).  He is an author and thought leader in Performance Innovation, CMMI, Performance Improvement, Software Development, and Agile Methods.

Monday, December 1, 2014

CutTime Productions Performs Classical Concert in Birmingham

Broadsword Extends Its Support for Introducing Classical Music to New Audiences


Detroit, MI – November 25, 2014 - CutTime Productions, LLC, an artistic venture committed to presenting classical music to audiences in diverse musical environments, is performing a concert at Studio D in Birmingham’s railway district.  Admission to the concert is free, but donations are encouraged.

Led by former Detroit Symphony Orchestra bassist Rick Robinson, CutTime Productions uses three signature ensembles and a publishing house to make classical music more accessible to a wide audience. Robinson has arranged over a hundred famous symphonic and classical works for these ensembles and composed several that blend classical with urban pop to refresh the genre and touch new audiences with these styles.

“It’s not your grandfather’s classical music,” Robinson said.  “Classical music is losing its audience.  One way to solve this is to present classical music more like popular music.”

In its “Classical Revolution” series, CutTime is performing new compositions and showing how popular music can be integrated into classical styles.  CutTime Simfonica, which consists of strings and percussion, will perform Friday, December 5 at Studio D, 661 S. Eton St. at 7:00 p.m.

CutTime is a recipient of the Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Detroit grant, which promotes innovation in the arts and the community.  The intent of the December 5 concert is to generate additional support for CutTime to reach its matching grant funding goals and donations are encouraged.

“We are excited that Broadsword has extended its support of CutTime.” said Robinson. "Broadsword’s support helps CutTime Productions reach more audiences nationally with our music and methods, encouraging a wider variety of listeners to open up to classical music."

“For CutTime Productions, music is about engineering the craft, using science and discipline along with creativity to synthesize something new,” Jeff Dalton, President of Broadsword Solutions, said.  “In that sense, CutTime Productions does for classical music what Broadsword does for software engineering.  We are proud to continue to be a partner in their success.”

ABOUT CUTTIME PRODUCTIONS
Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, CutTime Productions is on a mission to shift the paradigm of the orchestra establishment while articulating the surprising value of classical music to everyday Americans. More information and samples can be found at www.cuttime.com.

ABOUT BROADSWORD SOLUTIONS CORPORATION
Broadsword is a Process Innovation firm and the leader in using Agile and Lean methods to drive high-performance engineering using their AgileCMMI methodology and collaborative consulting and coaching solutions. Working with great clients like Rockwell Collins, NASA, Boeing Chrysler, Compuware, and L3 Communications, Broadsword's methods and success are proven throughout North America and the world.

Broadsword is based in southeastern Michigan and can be reached at www.broadswordsolutions.comhttp:www.broadswordsolutions.com. For more information about CMMI, visit our blog at www.AskTheCMMIAppraiser.com.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Broadsword Announces CMMI Training

WATERFORD, Mich., November 7, 2014 — Registration is now open for the Introduction to CMMI-DEV class, which will be held February 11-13, 2015 in Livonia, MI.  This 3-day CMMI Institute Authorized course provides attendees with a detailed overview of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). It provides systems engineers, software developers, project managers, and process professionals with an understanding of how to use the CMMI, a model that is the de facto standard and leading framework for software process improvement.

Attendees can receive 21 PDU's towards their PMP Certification for this course!

The class will be taught by Jeff Dalton, a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, Candidate SCAMPI Appraiser Observer, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations.  Jeff has taught this class to well over 1,000 students and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.  Jeff is President of Broadsword Solutions.

Completion of this course is recommended for anyone with an interest in improving software and engineering product development processes, and is required for those who wish to participate in a CMM SCAMPI Appraisal, those who wish to enroll in Intermediate Concepts of CMMI, and those who wish to undergo CMMI SCAMPI Lead Appraiser training or CMMI Instructor training.

When:  February 11-13, 2015

Where:  Schoolcraft College Vista Tech Center, Livonia, MI 48152

Cost:  $1,300

To Register:  http://www.eventbrite.com/e/february-11-2015-introduction-to-cmmi-dev-training-michigan-tickets-13865019647?aff=rss

Questions? 

If you have questions please email Broadsword at training@broadswordsolutions.com or call 248-341-3367 for assistance.

For more information about us please visit: www.broadswordsolutions.com.

ABOUT BROADSWORD SOLUTIONS CORPORATION

Broadsword is an SEI Partner, CMMI Institute Partner and Performance Innovation firm that is the world-leader in using Agile and Lean methods to drive high performance engineering using their AgileCMMI methodology and collaborative consulting and coaching solutions.  Working with great clients like Rockwell Collins, NASA, Boeing, Chrysler, Compuware and L-3 Communications, Broadsword's methods and successes are proven throughout North America and the World.

Broadsword is based in southeastern Michigan.  They can be reached at www.broadswordsolutions.com, +1 248-341-3367 or info@broadswordsolutions.com.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Broadsword Presents Webinars on Agile Resiliency and CMMI

WATERFORD, Mich., Oct. 31, 2014 — Engineering and software professionals will expand their knowledge and learn actionable tips and strategies about performance improvement, agile and the CMMI by attending one of Broadsword’s two new webinars scheduled in November. Both of the free online events will be presented by Jeff Dalton, President of Broadsword.

The first webinar, “Agile Resiliency: Scaling Agile so that it Thrives and Survives,” will be held Thursday, November 6.  To register online, go to:  Agile Resiliency Webinar

Agile Resiliency” is Broadsword’s proven strategy for scaling agile by strengthening and reinforcing agile values, methods, and techniques. In the webinar, Dalton demonstrates how integrating the architectural strengths of the CMMI with an agile approach can help make agile resilient enough to scale and thrive.

Attendees will learn actionable tips for using the “Agile Resilience Architecture" to help drive quality and performance improvement across the board, including how to bring greater clarity and strength to Scrum ceremonies.

In the second webinar, “CMMI: Everything You Need to Know,” attendees will gain an understanding of the popular Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), and learn to answer the “CMMI questions” as an engineering strategy for addressing common business problems such as late projects, over budget projects, and unhappy customers.

CMMI: Everything You Need to Know will be held Thursday, November 20.  To register online, go to: CMMI Webinar 


Jeff Dalton 

Jeff Dalton is Broadsword's President, Certified Lead Appraiser, CMMI Instructor, ScrumMaster and author of "agileCMMI," Broadsword's leading methodology for incremental and iterative process improvement. He is former Chairman of the CMMI Institute's Partner Advisory Board and past President of the Great Lakes Software Process Improvement Network (GL-SPIN). In 2008, Jeff coined the term Process Debt to describe the crushing, over-bearing processes too many companies employ to achieve a CMMI rating. He is a recipient of the prestigious Software Engineering Institute's SEI Member Award for Outstanding Representative for his work uniting the Agile and CMMI communities together through his popular blog "Ask the CMMI Appraiser." He holds degrees in Music and Computer Science and builds experimental airplanes in his spare time. Contact Jeff at appraiser@broadswordsolutions.com.

About Broadsword

Broadsword is a Process Innovation firm that helps engineering and software companies do what they do, better. Learn more about Broadsword at www.broadswordsolutions.com.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

CMMI Institute announces Global Conference Series!

Today, we are pleased to announce the CMMI Institute Global Conference Series for 2014-2015 in cities that span the globe.

The CMMI Institute Global Conference Series connects organizations and individuals committed to building capability and elevating performance with the best practices, case studies, and shared learning that will equip them to face challenges and reach their goals. Check out the individual events or explore the whole series at the CMMI Institute Global Conference Series website, then mark your calendar and book your room. 

Mark your calendars for these exciting events: 
Interested in being a presenter at one of the CMMI Institute conferences?

If you have a case study that highlights how you improved your organizational capability and performance, we want to hear about your experience.  Submit by visiting the Call for Participation on the conference website, fill out the form and select the conference you plan to attend.

Register early for the Global Congress and save 10%!

CMMI Institute email subscribers can access a special 10% discount on the Early Bird registration rate for the CMMI Institute Global Congress.

Register by 30 November 2014 with the promotional code "EmailSpecial" to unlock the SUPER Early Bird rate. Register Now and Save>

Bookmark http://CMMIConferences.com to keep up with all the news about the CMMI Institute Global Conference Series.


10-11 December 2014
Shenzhen, China
JW Marriott Hotel

Presented in partnership with  ZenithUS and with support from the City Government of Shenzhen


26 - 27 March 2015 
London, England
Location TBA

Presented in partnership with UNICOM.   Event formerly known as SEPG Europe.


12 - 13 May 2015
Seattle, USA
The Westin Seattle Hotel

Event formerly known as SEPG North America


Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead AppraiserCertified CMMI Instructor, author and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI trainings and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Monday, October 6, 2014

How can we get value from Requirements Development within Agile teams?

WATERFORD, MI. October 6, 2014 – For many, the language used in the CMMI practices just doesn’t seem very “agile.”  But there is a solution.

“I try to adapt my language to local conditions when working with agile teams, and my favorite word tends to be ‘stuff,’” said Jeff Dalton, President of Broadsword.

To help translate the practices in Requirements Development into “stuff that needs to happen,” Dalton suggests that agile teams implement a three-tiered architecture that brings clarity to their requirements process and a cascading “definition of done” that helps ensure that the requirements provide a solid foundation for estimation, design, and development.

Dalton describes the details in the latest episode of “Just the FAQs,” a monthly series written and edited by Dalton and Pat O’Toole that answers frequently asked questions about the CMMI, SCAMPI and process improvement.

To ask questions, offer ideas and provide input, readers are encouraged to contact the authors at pact.otoole@att.net and jeff@broadswordsolutions.com.

For more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program, visit www.broadswordsolutions.com.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

CMMI vs. Scrum? NO! CMMI + Scrum

"In this article, Jeff Dalton walks us through a fairly thorough application of CMMI in Scrum settings. He further demonstrates an approach to CMMI that is not only compatible with Scrum, but also uses Scrum and agile thinking to facilitate CMMI! It's not merely a matter of such-and-so Scrum practices demonstrating this-or-that CMMI practice -- that would be both easy and disingenuous. Dalton practices what he preaches and would never lead a company down a path that only solves their performance needs once, leaving them with nothing with which to fend for themselves when circumstances change. Instead, he offers us a delightfully simple and robust architecture that we can use to build processes incrementally and iteratively. How agile!" Hillel Glazer.

Download your copy of this article now, compliments of Cutter Consortium!


http://www.cutter.com/offers/agiledalton.html

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead AppraiserCertified CMMI Instructor, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI trainings and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Validation and Verification - What IS the difference?

In the latest edition of the “Just the FAQs” CMMI series, CMMI expert and consultant Pat O’Toole clarifies the misconceptions between Verification and Validation. According to the usual explanation, Verification means “you built it right;” while Validation means that “you built the right thing.”

O’Toole has a different perspective.  He says that, operationally, the usual explanation is not useful. According to O’Toole, the best way to eliminate the confusion between Verification and Validation is to consider who is involved.

“When performing something that smells like V&V, take a look at who is involved in the activity. If it’s just our engineers and testers, then it’s probably a verification activity,” says O’Toole.  “Verification is ensuring the work products meet the requirements.

“On the other hand, if the customer, user, or a customer/user surrogate is involved in a product evaluation activity, this tilts the scale much more heavily toward validation,” he said.

O’Toole provides his insights about verification and validation in the latest edition of the “Just the FAQs” series. “Just the FAQs” is a monthly CMMI series published by Jeff Dalton, President of Broadsword, and Pat O’Toole.  The series provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about the CMMI, SCAMPI and process improvement.

"Just the FAQs" is written and edited by Pat O'Toole and Jeff Dalton.  Please contact the authors at pact.otoole@att.net and jeff@broadswordsolutions.com to ask questions, offer ideas and provide input.

Monday, August 18, 2014

How the CMMI's Generic Practices will save Agile

One of the most important components of project success is identifying and involving the right stakeholders. In the latest edition of the “Just the FAQs” CMMI series, Jeff Dalton, President of Broadsword, addresses stakeholder engagement and why it makes the critical difference.

“The entire premise of “agile” is predicated on strong collaboration, transparency, and, most of all, being engaged,” said Dalton. In the article, he also discusses agile values, CMMI GP 2.7, and using tools such as TeamScore to encourage and track stakeholder involvement. 

Dalton launched the monthly series with Pat O’Toole to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions about the CMMI, SCAMPI and process improvement.

"Just the FAQs" is written and edited by Pat O'Toole and Jeff Dalton.  Please contact the authors at pact.otoole@att.net and jeff@broadswordsolutions.com to ask questions, offer ideas and provide input.

Monday, July 14, 2014

How much bidirectional requirements traceability is enough to satisfy REQM SP1.4, and do we have to include both vertical and horizontal traceability?

[Dear Readers, our good friend Pat O’Toole, CMMI expert and seasoned consultant, is collaborating with us on a new monthly series of CMMI-related posts, "Just the FAQs." Our goal with these posts is to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions about the CMMI, SCAMPI, engineering strategy and software process improvement. This month Pat talks about bidirectional requirements traceability. Take it away, Pat! ~ the CMMI Appraiser]

Requirements Management (REQM) SP1.4, the practice that focuses on bidirectional traceability of requirements, is like the obnoxious sibling that demands to be the center of everyone's attention, to the detriment of that very special child who is much quieter and certainly much better behaved.  In the case of REQM, the well-behaved child is SP1.5 - Ensure Alignment Between Project Work and RequirementsSo let’s pause for a moment and give that angelic child the attention she so rightly deserves…

There are essentially two ways for things to get out of alignment with requirements.  First, since most of us are human, every once in a while we make mistakes. Perhaps the designs/test cases don't cover a requirement or two, and perhaps they include a design element/test case that isn't directly tied to any of the requirements – thereby representing defects of both omission and commission. Typically such issues are detected through peer reviews or some other verification technique.  To rectify such issues, the designs/test cases are simply corrected or otherwise knocked back into alignment with the requirements.

The second case occurs when everything is in glorious alignment with the requirements (cue the harp), but then that blasted requirement change is accepted.  Given the change, something now has to be realigned with this updated set of requirements.

The specific goal supported by these sibling practices is, “Requirements are managed and inconsistencies with project plans and work products are identified.”  That latter half of this goal statement – the bit in bold – is the “glass half empty” view of the SP1.5 practice statement: “Ensure that project plans and work products remain aligned with the requirements.

So here’s the punch line – although SP1.4’s expectation of “bidirectional traceability” gets all the attention and, with its discussion of “horizontal and vertical traceability,” more than its share of angst, it is merely the ENABLER of SP1.5 – the “maintain alignment” practice.  The thinking is that by establishing such traceability, the engineers are much more likely to cover all the requirements in the first place or, if not, to have their peers use the traceability mechanism to uncover errors of omission and commission when reviewing their work products.  In addition, bi-directional traceability enables more efficient analysis of candidate change requests, as well as more effective realignment of any and all affected work products with the new set of requirements.  And THAT’s why the model suggests we implement traceability – it’s simply a tool to help us keep things aligned.

And which project work products should be kept aligned with the requirements?  Absolutely EVERYTHING – after all, if it weren’t for the requirements we wouldn’t have a project!  So the project plan, schedule, issues log, risk list, emails, use cases, prototypes, design elements, code, test cases, deployment plans, etc. etc. should all be targeted at meeting the project requirements.  However, although everything the project team does should be focused squarely on satisfying the requirements, not all of the work products they generate will gain efficiencies by being traceable to them.  Which ones do?  Ah, now THAT depends!

So if you only focus on the obnoxious problem child, you may establish a bi-directional requirements traceability mechanism so intricate and academically beautiful that it warrants a patent, but one that may not best serve its intended purpose.  The engineers, who abhor doing non-value-added, administratively burdensome busy work, may begrudgingly use the thing, but their hearts won’t be in it.

On the other hand, if you encourage the engineers to exercise professional judgment by establishing mechanisms that ensure that the key work products stay aligned with the requirements, they’ll get it, they’ll build it and, more importantly, they’ll USE it!  I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have smart engineers do smart things to help themselves than to force them to do something they don’t want to do just because some model tells them that it’s good for them – whether they believe it or not.  Remember – when it comes to engineers, improvement is best done with them and for them, not to them!

© Copyright 2014: Process Assessment, Consulting & Training and Broadsword Solutions

“Just the FAQs” is written/edited by Pat O’Toole and Jeff Dalton.  Please contact the authors at pact.otoole@att.net and jeff@broadswordsolutions.com to suggest enhancements to their answers, or to provide an alternative response to the question posed.  New questions are also welcomed! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Software Process and Measurement Program Features Broadsword President

WATERFORD, MI – Jeff Dalton, President of Broadsword Solutions, revealed how a more resilient approach is needed to meet the challenges facing organizations adopting agile methods.  During an interview with Thomas Cagley, host of the Software Process and Measurement Cast (SPaMCAST), Dalton also discussed the importance of values and how frameworks such as the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) can be used to make agile more resilient.

Dalton said that project teams are increasingly adopting agile, while other parts of the organization are running the business in ways that conflict with agile. In addition, large-scale adopters such as the DoD and Federal government are requiring agile for projects without understanding and embracing agile values, methods and techniques. Dalton says that these large scale adopters are driving change that will be detrimental to the future of agile.

Dalton also discussed the impact of values.

“We are seeing agile values being adopted at the team level.  Where they should be adopted is in the C-Suite,” Dalton said.  “They should be adopted by CEOs, CIOs, and CTOs in companies, then driven down throughout the organization so that the culture of the company adopts those values.”

Dalton said there is a type mismatch organizationally between agile and process improvement methods.

“Process improvement methods like CMMI, which are operational in nature, are being driven from the C-Suite and not being driven at the lowest part of the organization where the operational activities take place,” Dalton said.  “This is adding tons of overhead and tons of unneeded activity.  We have to start working with our executive teams to start not on agile, not on CMMI, but on values.  Values drive everything in a company.”

To hear the complete interview, go to SPaMCAST 296.

About Jeff Dalton

Jeff Dalton is Broadsword's President, Certified Lead Appraiser, CMMI Instructor, ScrumMaster and author of "agileCMMI," Broadsword's leading methodology for incremental and iterative process improvement.  He is Chairman of the CMMI Institute's Partner Advisory Board and President of the Great Lakes Software Process Improvement Network (GL-SPIN).  Jeff has been named the Keynote Speaker for the PMI Great Lakes 2013 Symposium.  In 2008, Jeff coined the term Process Debt to describe the crushing over-bearing processes too many companies employ to achieve a CMMI rating.  He is a recipient of the prestigious Software Engineering Institute's SEI Member Award for Outstanding Representative for his work uniting the Agile and CMMI communities together through his popular blog "Ask the CMMI Appraiser."  He holds degrees in Music and Computer Science and builds experimental airplanes in his spare time.  You can reach Jeff at appraiser@broadswordsolutions.com.

About Broadsword

Broadsword is a Process Innovation firm that helps engineering and software companies do what they do, better.  You can learn more about Broadsword at www.broadswordsolutions.com

Monday, June 23, 2014

Broadsword Keynote Speakers Offer Critical Insights on Performance Innovation and Process Improvement

Speakers Group helps companies solve performance issues through results-focused presentations and workshops

WATERFORD, MI.  June 24, 2014 -- Broadsword, one of North America's leading engineering and software performance innovation firms, has launched the Broadsword Speakers Group to help companies improve performance, build better products and create high performing teams.

Faced with competitive pressures, quality concerns, and significant operational challenges, companies are seeking innovative ideas to improve performance and increase profitability. Broadsword’s speakers meet that need by sharing information and lessons built on years of real-world experience working with clients in software development, design engineering, aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, and state and federal government.

“Teams want practical, useable ideas they can implement right away,” said Jeff Dalton, President of Broadsword Solutions.  “Theory is great, but we share proven approaches built upon evidence-based models that can help a company quickly transform the way they do their work.  We help them to do what they do, only better.”

Building on their experience working with clients on performance innovation, process improvement and organizational change, Broadsword keynote speakers tailor their presentations to meet the business goals of each company or organization. They strive to create an entertaining experience that is relevant, timely and actionable.

Frequently requested topics include the following:

Agile Resiliency:  How to Scale Software Development with Agile Methods reveals how to strengthen and reinforce Agile values, methods, and techniques in an environment increasingly under pressure to meet the needs of large corporations and the Federal government. 

Values-based Engineering:  How Real Corporate Values Either Make or Break Your Company explores the mismatch that often occurs between corporate values and operational excellence, and explores how implementing proven architecture tools can solve the issue.

Organizational Change Management:  Managing People in an Era of Constant Change reveals the key elements of an organizational change management strategy that will result in long-term, sustainable performance improvement and higher-performing teams.

Dalton leads the roster of Broadsword speakers, and is recognized for his thought leadership in Performance Innovation and Agile software methods.  He is President of Broadsword, conference speaker, author, and management consultant with more than twenty-five years of technology and software process improvement experience.  He is a certified CMMI SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Scrum Master, CMMI Instructor, and Scrum product owner.  

ABOUT BROADSWORD

Broadsword is a Performance Innovation firm and the world-leader in using Agile and Lean methods to drive high performance engineering using Broadsword's AgileCMMI methodology and collaborative consulting and coaching solutions.  Broadsword is both a Software Engineering Institute Partner and CMMI Institute Partner.  Working with great clients like Boeing, Chrysler, Compuware, L-3 Communications, and others Broadsword's methods have a proven record of success throughout North America.

For more information about the Broadsword Speakers Group, go to
http://www.BroadswordSolutions.com/Speaking.  Contact Broadsword via email at 
Speakers@BroadswordSolutions.com or call 888.715.4423.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Broadsword Presents Agile Resiliency Webinar

BIRMINGHAM, Mich., June 16, 2014 — Broadsword Solutions is presenting Agile Resiliency -- Scaling Agile so that it Thrives and Survives.  The free Webinar will be held Thursday, June 19, 1-2 p.m.  Register online at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/june-19-2014-webinar-agile-resiliency-scaling-agile-so-that-it-thrives-survives-tickets-11481025055?aff=rss.
In every industry, IT and Software Engineering organizations are embracing agile methods to take advantage of the benefits of incremental and iterative delivery.  Large corporations and the Federal Government are increasingly directing software developers to "be agile," but business practices related to marketing, procurement, project management, and systems definition are anything but.  

These organizations all heavily outweigh software development both in budget and in influence. While more software developers are living in an agile world, the business continues to live in a waterfall.  It's not a conflict that will be easily resolved, but there is an opportunity to take control of the debate.

Agile Resiliency is about strengthening and reinforcing Agile values, methods, and techniques so that it can scale and thrive in this conflicted environment by integrating with the architectural strengths of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), a proven and widely adopted framework used to deploy a continuous improvement infrastructure.  While the CMMI has been successfully deployed for years in support of more "traditional" engineering projects, it is methodology agnostic, so its strength can also be leveraged to strengthen Agile methods.  Why not embrace both?
Jeff Dalton


Jeff Dalton is Broadsword's President, Certified Lead Appraiser, CMMI Instructor, ScrumMaster and author of "agileCMMI," Broadsword's leading methodology for incremental and iterative process improvement.  He is Chairman of the CMMI Institute's Partner Advisory Board and President of the Great Lakes Software Process Improvement Network (GL-SPIN).  Jeff has been named the Keynote Speaker for the PMI Great Lakes 2013 Symposium.  In 2008, Jeff coined the term Process Debt to describe the crushing over-bearing processes too many companies employ to achieve a CMMI rating.  He is a recipient of the prestigious Software Engineering Institute's SEI Member Award for Outstanding Representative for his work uniting the Agile and CMMI communities together through his popular blog "Ask the CMMI Appraiser."  He holds degrees in Music and Computer Science and builds experimental airplanes in his spare time.  You can reach Jeff at appraiser@broadswordsolutions.com.

About Broadsword
Broadsword is a Process Innovation firm that helps engineering and software companies do what they do, better.  You can learn more about Broadsword at www.broadswordsolutions.com.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Are SCAMPI Appraisals REALLY too expensive?

[Dear Readers, for the past several months, our good friend Pat O’Toole, CMMI expert and seasoned consultant, has been collaborating with us on a monthly series of CMMI-related posts, "Just the FAQs." Our goal with these posts is to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions about the CMMI, SCAMPI, engineering strategy and software process improvement. This month Jeff reveals whether SCAMPI appraisals are too expensive. Take it away, Jeff! ~ the CMMI Appraiser]

Jeff:  I love a good game of “bunchball.”

I mean, who doesn’t? You know, a dozen little Pele’s chasing a soccer ball down the field trying to score a goal and win one for the team.  Finally, one fast kid breaks out for the big kick, and ’’yippeeee!” the hero saves the day with that single goal of the game. Not bad, but hardly the stuff of league championships.

Meanwhile, far removed from the action, there is always one kid who decides not to chase glory that day but to stay back, just in case the ball were to make its way back down to their end of the field. Call it good coaching, training, or just pure talent, but that kid is going places. He plays his position, and he plays to win.

At the last few CMMI events I have attended there has been a lot of talk about how expensive appraisals have become, and that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE! Stories are told of the thousands of hours of work required to “prepare” for an appraisal, and that, in some cases, the cost far exceeds the benefits. If that’s true, then they’re right – we should do something.

But are some of these organizations just playing bunchball while attempting to win the league championship? Is their difficulty in achieving “goals” a signal that the game is too complex, or is it a signal of their level of capability?

I’m a visual thinker and anyone that has worked with me knows how much I love to draw on a whiteboard. Pictures help me think through an idea that I may not otherwise be able to convey using only words. My artwork won’t be fetching any top bids at Sothebeys, but my absolute favorite drawing is of a cliff with a set of (poorly drawn) stick figures.

One set of stick figures is clawing their way up the cliff, hanging off the edge by their fingernails while yelling “whooo hoooo, we MADE Level Three!”  The other set is standing ON TOP of the cliff, lifting barbells over their head, stretching, and quietly saying to themselves “we ARE Level Three.” Which appraisal do you think was “too expensive?”

The antidote to expensive appraisals is for organizations to actually be performing at the target level before they even start working on them! If a team is spending too much time and money locating evidence of process performance, working on PIIDs, and creating “artifacts” to “fill the gaps,” (the expensive part) then perhaps they’re not quite ready for the appraisal that the boss wants to have by Tuesday. That doesn’t mean they’re not doing great things, it just means they are not quite ready for the league championship.

If a bunchball coach were tasked by a school principal to “win the league championship before the end of fiscal year 2014,” what would he do? Well, he might: 
  • bring in consultants to tell them how they won the last game and teach them that one technique they used
  • hire ringers to kick the ball, QA the team, and serve in important roles (like goalie for instance)
  • have the consultant follow each player around and question every move he makes, “writing him up” in red‐pen on a clipboard if he or she does something wrong
  • lobby the league’s governing body to use referees that are known to be friendly to their team

You get the idea.

The team might actually win some games, but after it was over they would just be the same bunchball team.

On the other hand, a wiser (and braver) coach might:
  • advise the principal that his request was not possible, but you COULD have a winning season this year if we:
    • trained and practiced with the team regularly
    • coached the players to play positions, thereby transforming the team from a bunchball team to a soccer team
    • brought in some expert help to assist the team in improving their game, not just advice on winning the league championship
    • evaluated each player for their skills and put them in the right positions
    • made sure we were getting honest feedback from unbiased referees

In other words, we’ll win when we’re ready to win. And we’ll do it by being a great team.

And that’s the point. Appraisals, like league championships, should be challenging but they don’t have to be really expensive. The CMMI is an international benchmark for great performance and if we want the “stamp” to mean something, we should aspire keep them that way. However, an organization that is ML3 will have little trouble proving that they are, and one that isn’t will have tremendous difficulty (and have tremendous costs) doing the same.

“But what about PIIDs ("Process Implementation Indicator Documents") and document inventories?” asked a new Lead Appraiser at the conference.  “Don’t they take a lot of time and effort to complete?”

Hmmmm…. Do they?

PIIDs and document inventories are interesting indicators of appraisal readiness, and might even be useful sometimes. But an ML2‐worthy organization will demonstrate strong, positive control over their work products (“evidence”) through solid Configuration Management and Data Management behaviors. These behaviors make locating artifacts pretty easy, reducing (or eliminating) the overhead associated with an inventory altogether. And THAT makes appraisals a whole lot less costly.

As I’m fond of saying to prospective clients:  “it’s cheaper to be great than it is to fake it!”

©Copyright 2014: Process Assessment, Consulting & Training and Broadsword Solutions

“Just the FAQs” is written/edited by Pat O’Toole and Jeff Dalton. Please contact the authors apact.otoole@att.net and jeff@broadswordsolutions.com to suggest enhancements to their answers, or to provide an alternative response to the question posed. New questions are also welcomed!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Jeff Dalton to Speak at Agile Development West Conference

WATERFORD, MI, May 2, 2014 -- Leading performance innovation expert Jeff Dalton, President of Broadsword Solutions, has been selected to speak on "Agile Resiliency" at the Agile Development Conference West. The conference will be held June 1-6 in Las Vegas, NV.

Mr. Dalton will present "Agile Resiliency:  How CMMI Will Make Agile Thrive and Survive." 

Large corporations and the Federal Government are increasingly directing software developers to "be agile," but their business practices related to marketing, procurement, project management, and systems definition are anything but. Mr. Dalton shares how agile resiliency can make the critical difference. Agile resiliency is about strengthening and reinforcing agile values, methods, and techniques so that agile can scale and thrive in this conflicted environment by integrating with the architectural strengths of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), a proven and widely adopted framework used to deploy a continuous improvement infrastructure. He shows how to use the CMMI's Generic Practices to scale and strengthen agile values, methods and techniques.

Mr. Dalton is a highly sought-after author, speaker, and performance improvement consultant whose talks on "Agile Resiliency" have been heard by audiences across North America and online.

ABOUT JEFF DALTON

Jeff Dalton is President of Broadsword Solutions Corporation.  As the pioneer of using Agile methods to implement CMMI-based solutions that improve software development and organizational processes, Mr. Dalton is a Certified Lead Appraiser and the author of "AgileCMMI," Broadsword's leading methodology for incremental and iterative process improvement.  He is a recipient of the prestigious Software Engineering Institute's SEI member award for outstanding representative for his work uniting the Agile and CMMI Communities through his popular blog, "Ask the Ask the CMMI Appraiser."  He holds degrees in Music and Computer Science and builds experimental airplanes in his spare time.  Mr. Dalton can be reached at Appraiser@broadswordsolutions.com.

ABOUT BROADSWORD SOLUTIONS CORPORATION

Broadsword is an SEI Partner, CMMI Institute Partner and Performance Innovation firm that is the world-leader in using Agile and Lean methods to drive high performance engineering using their AgileCMMI methodology and collaborative consulting and coaching solutions. Working with great clients like Rockwell Collins, NASA, Boeing, Chrysler, Compuware and L-3 Communications, Broadsword's methods and success are proven throughout North America and the World.

Broadsword is based in southeastern Michigan and can be reached at www.broadswordsolutions.com, +1 248-341-3367 or info@broadswordsolutions.com .

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The #1 Reason I'm Going (Back) to the CMMI Conference This Year: To Build Stronger Relationships with Key CMMI Institute Leaders

Here's the countdown so far:

Reason #5: To learn about elevating organizational performance.
Reason #4: SEPGNA is a great place to talk about things that matter to your business. 

Today we wrap things up with Reason #1!




Drum roll, please! The #1 Reason to Attend the CMMI Conference this year is …

To build stronger relationships with CMMI Institute leaders.

Whether you’re new to the CMMI Conference, or are a regular attendee of our industry’s premier event on process improvement and the CMMI, introducing yourself to your hosts is not only the polite thing to do, it is one of the best reasons for going to the SEPGNA. Especially this year, when key CMMI Institute leaders will be in attendance.

Space on this blog is limited, so I’d like to call attention to five of the many important and influential people that you’ll want to be sure to meet at the Conference. They are:

  1. Kirk Botula, CEO of CMMI Institute. Kirk is a team-builder, visionary and just an all-around terrific guy. Meeting with Kirk will give you peace of mind that the CMMI is alive and well and has a strong future. You’ll get insight into his vision for how the CMMI will grow, evolve, sustain and be successful over time.
  2. Dan Torens, COO. Dan’s in charge of managing product releases and executing strategy, and can help end-users get a feel for how the CMMI Institute operates, how its future products will be released and what some of the major internal projects might be.
  3. Rawdon (“Rusty”) Young. Rusty is a key player and an invaluable resource. He is involved in the hands-on creation of new products and next-generation releases of the CMMI. Talk to Rusty about your questions on CMMI, DMM, and SCAMPI.
  4. Lisa Masciantonio, Director of Strategic Relationships. As every CMMI Partner learns, there is no better person to connect with at the CMMI Institute than Lisa. Lisa is all about listening. She loves to reach out to Partners and end-users for their suggestions and ideas on making the CMMI Institute even better.
  5. Eileen Forrester, Certification and Training Director. A lead author of CMMI for Service and the learner-centered approach, Eileen has a broad range of skills, research interests and areas of expertise. You’ll find Eileen a joy to know!

As key representatives of the CMMI Institute at SEPGNA, Kirk, Dan, Rusty, Lisa and Eileen are a big part of the face of a product lines that we use every day. If you are a CMMI user – or are considering adopting the Model – you’ll want to get to know them and tap into their vast expertise. If you are a CMMI Institute Partner, it’s important to meet with these leaders, so you can join us in working more closely with them on reinforcing the brand. The CMMI Conference is the perfect place to do that.

While I don’t have space to write about ALL of the great people at the CMMI Institute, I’d also encourage you to connect with Alex Stall, Darlene Moore, Chavonne Hoyle (Marketing Director), Katie Tarara, Geoff Terrell, Deen Blash, and everyone else on the team.

Other great folks you don’t want to miss at SEPGNA this year are the leaders of the many general sessions and workshops of the Conference. These CMMI users are on the front lines of process improvement and performance acceleration, so you get practical, relevant and valuable learning experiences straight from the ones who know!

And that’s it, my friends! Those are my Top 5 Reasons to Attend SEPGNA – and there are many more reasons that you are sure to discover on your own. I’m looking forward to hearing about YOUR experience.

See you in our nation’s capital!

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead AppraiserCertified CMMI Instructor, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI trainings and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

The #2 Reason I'm Going (Back) to the CMMI Conference This Year! To spend quality time with customers

To spend quality time with customers.

We all know that one secret to success in business is building strong relationships with the customer. This is especially true in the context of CMMI, where we are focused on helping companies improve performance, drive Process Innovation, and be the great companies they are striving to be.

If you are a CMMI practitioner or a supplier of CMMI services, the CMMI Conference is more than an opportunity to acquire knowledge that can help you be a better resource for your customers. It’s a rare chance for you to spend quality time with customers off-site in a dedicated learning environment. So consider the following question as a personal challenge:

Will you take the opportunity to build stronger relationships with your customers by bringing them to the CMMI Conference?

As part of my commitment to the CMMI, I always invite my customers to the Conference. Here’s why I am encouraging my fellow CMMI Institute Partners, consultants and suppliers to do so as well:

Where else do you get to spend quality time with your customers? So often in our day-to-day work, we are on-site to solve problems. There are subgroups to be evaluated and artifacts to be collected. But during the 2-day Conference near Washington, DC, you’ll be able to connect with your customers on a personal level. You’ll dine together, attend sessions together and – with networking events scheduled in the evenings – you’ll be able to hang out and just talk.

Where else do you have the opportunity to guide your customers through the learning process? Think about it. Would you rather have your customers try to grasp the real meaning of CMMI on their own, or with you by their side? Would you rather leave them in the dark about the long-term value the Model provides, or help them see the light? Clearly, you want to be there in the sessions with them. You want to ask them about what they are learning. And when questions inevitably come up, you want to be right there to answer with real-live examples from their current projects.

Where else can you introduce your customers to the leaders of the CMMI Institute, as well as other adopters of the CMMI? For me, this is one of the most rewarding experiences at the CMMI Conference. I love to see new friendships form when I connect my customers to others who have overcome the same problems they’ve been facing. Plus, this will be my first opportunity to introduce several of my customers to the smart folks from the CMMI Institute, the sponsors of the CMMI Conference.

In my opinion, missing the chance to invite customers to SEPGNA would be a mistake. You’d only get half the value. Sure, you’ll learn plenty of strategies, tips and techniques that can make you a better CMMI consultant or CMMI supplier. But you will have bypassed the opportunity to integrate customers with each other, so that they can have a support system of their own. And that would be to deprive them of something extremely valuable that they can’t get anywhere else.

As I said in a previous post, the CMMI Conference is a chance to talk about things that matter! You and your customers are going to have a blast together. What could be better for your relationship?

So let’s be generous and share the knowledge. I urge each of you to invite at least one customer, whether they be internal or external, to come to our nation’s capital and take part in the conversation. And don’t forget to register here.

The countdown continues! Check back soon for Reason #1.


Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead AppraiserCertified CMMI Instructor, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI trainings and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The #3 Reason I'm Going (Back) to the CMMI Conference This Year! To gain control of process

Drum roll, please! Reason #3 is …

To gain control of your process

Given this year’s high powered line-up of speakers, workshops and events, SEPGNA 2014 promises to be another excellent opportunity to come together and talk about continuous improvement and making our teams more productive using the CMMI. I’m looking forward to hearing about real-life issues that organizations are facing every day in their quest to be a great company.

Like what?

By all indications, the biggest problem many companies are STILL facing is a lack of control over process. They are dealing with late projects, over-budget projects, unpredictable results and unhappy customers. In many cases, they have made small improvements, but nothing has given them greater control for the long-term.

Does that sound familiar?

If so, I can promise you, you’ll have your eyes opened up at SEPGNA. This year, the sharpest minds in the industry will be discussing how to maximize the impact and business results of CMMI and performance improvement. You’ll get new ideas for applying best practices for adopting the CMMI as a tool that can help you set up an environment that makes improvement possible. And you’ll have the opportunity to discuss strategies with other leaders who learned to leverage the CMMI to establish a useful level of control over their process.

Great companies know that the key to process improvement and performance innovation is to “know how you know” the process works. Adoption of the CMMI can give you the data you need to do that.  It can show tell how the process is performing, whether you are getting the results you expected, and how you can make it better.

Why is this true? Because the CMMI is a framework for learning. It helps you learn about yourself, your company and the way you do your work. And there are practices within the CMMI that can help you apply what you’ve learned to make that even better.

The value of a great conference like SEPGNA is that it helps you learn about keeping these things on the top of your mind, so that you always know how things are going, and how they can be made better.

So join us! Come on out for the great learning experience, powerful conversations and new insights on how to gain control of your process!

The countdown continues! Check back soon for Reason #2.

Register for the CMMI Conference.

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead AppraiserCertified CMMI Instructor, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI trainings and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.