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September 30, 2011—The Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) hosted more than 100 attendees at the Team Software Process (TSP) Symposium 2011 on September 19-22 in Atlanta. Attendees from Japan, Mexico, South Africa, and Uruguay, as well as from throughout the United States, gathered for four days of enriching tutorials, engaging interactive sessions, and informative technical presentations.
The sixth annual TSP Symposium explored the theme A Dedication to Excellence, in honor of the late Watts Humphrey. Among his many accomplishments, Humphrey played a significant role in the development of the Team Software Process.
“The phrase ‘a dedication to excellence’ not only describes a self-directed TSP team, it also describes the man who helped create it,” said Timothy Chick, senior member of the technical staff, SEI, and TSP Symposium 2011 technical chair. “It is the dedication to excellence of TSP advocates that has transformed TSP into what it is today and shapes the future of what TSP has yet to become. It is also a tribute to each and every one of us who will carry Watts’ work forward.”
The TSP Symposium 2011 opened with two tutorials taught by the SEI's leading experts on TSP. Attendees new to this technology participated in Exploring TSP: An Introduction, which provided an overview of the core TSP concepts and principles that provide the foundation needed to begin to introduce and apply TSP. Others learned more about a new offering from the SEI in An Introduction to the Accelerated Improvement Method (AIM). A diverse group of organizational leaders, process improvement champions, and consultants learned the keys to achieving a repeatable fast-track to high performance through the deployment of AIM.
Tuesday’s sessions opened with remarks from Paul Nielsen, director and CEO, SEI, who introduced keynote speaker Capers Jones, noting that this internationally known speaker and author has written a book a year for the past 15 years.
In his address, Jones reviewed the state of software quality and defects associated with various software methodologies and shared some best-practices for excellence in software engineering. Among other takeaways, Jones reviewed the seven stages of software excellence and the benefits, including ROI, associated with completing each stage. Jones then walked attendees through eight attributes of best-in-class companies.
Wednesday’s program began with a welcome from Anita Carleton, director of the Software Engineering Process Management Program, SEI, followed by a keynote address from James Over. A leader of the TSP Initiative at the SEI, Over connected space flight, surgery, and baseball to software engineering to illustrate that failure is not an option. He advised that defects do not have to be an inherent, unavoidable property of software engineering and that employing disciplined teams who are constantly measuring, managing, and learning is a key to ensure quality.
Kicking off the final day of the TSP Symposium 2011 was Carl Wyrwa, director of quality, Beckman Coulter. Wyrwa shared his experiences with medical device software development, noting that the quality of the software must be extremely high to meet the demands of providing safe and effective products involved in the critical care of patients. Wyrwa spoke about the constant focus on software quality and constant oversight of the processes used to develop the software that are necessary to ensure that there are no missing steps that might pose regulatory problems. Wyrwa closed his talk by advising attendees to “always do your work in a way that you would be proud to put your name to it. Be proud of quality.”
A full menu of technical presentations, panel sessions, interactive sessions, and birds-of-a-feather gatherings completed the symposium schedule. Key learning points were available to individuals beyond those who attended the TSP Symposium 2011 in person with live-tweeting through the Twitter account.
Additionally, the TSP Symposium 2011 hosted a workshop for more than 40 representatives from SEI Partner organizations. SEI Partners learned about updates to the SEI Partner Network, certifications, and new materials from the TSP Initiative.
Visit http://www.sei.cmu.edu/tspsymposium to view this year’s proceedings in October 2011.