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DC SPIN Program Announcements

Updated June 23 2016 1:00 PM


Tuesday, April 11th

“The Agile Performance Holocracy: An Empirical Model for Scaling Self-Organizing Teams”

As more companies seek the benefits of Agile within and beyond IT, Agile Leaders need to build and sustain capability while scaling agility – no easy task – and they need to succeed without introducing unnecessary process and overhead.

The Agile Performance Holarchy is an empirical model for Agile leaders that provides guidance for scaling andsustaining agility and capability throughout a modern technology organization. The APH is drawn from lessons learned while observing and assessing hundreds of agile companies and teams. It is not a process or a hierarchy,
but a “Holarchy,” centered around a series of Performance Circles with embedded “holons” that reflect the behaviors of high performing Agile organizations. The Agile Performance Holarchy provides implementation guidance in the areas of Leadership, Values, Teaming, Visioning, Governing, Building, Supporting, and Engaging
within an all-Agile organization.

April Speaker
Tim Zeller
Broadsword’s Director of Strategic Solutions

Mr. Zeller is responsible for the introduction of innovative service
offerings into the market and with our clients.

Tim is a Scrum Master, ISO Lead Auditor, Labor Relations Attorney, ScrumMaster, and CMMI Process
Improvement Specialist. He has deep experience in the health-care sector and has worked extensively in State
and Federal Government. Tim has been the CEO of several non-profit corporations and lives in Lansing, MI. Heholds a degree in Management from the University of Illinois, Springfield, received a Juris Doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School and enjoys exploring the mountainsides of foreign countries on the back of a motorcycle.

Broadsword offers Agile, CMMI, A-SPICE, ISO, and Organizational Change consulting, appraisals, workshops, and training – but that’s only the beginning. We provide an agile environment in which you can be successful, learn,and be part of making a great company even better.

Monday, March 20th
What Systems Engineers Need to Know About Software

The F16, which first flew in 1976, relied on software for 40% of its capability. For F-22s in 1997, it was 80%.  By 2006, the F-35 relied on software for 90% or more. In nearly all domains—education, medicine, transportation, education—software-based systems are providing unprecedented system function. Systems engineers are heeding these changes: as little as five years ago systems engineering conference papers had little to do with the increasing amount of software in systems, while today’s conference themes are all about capabilities enabled by software.

Yet systems engineers have few resources to learn about software from a systems engineering and program management point of view. Books explaining software tend to focus on bits and bytes and skip over the big picture completely. This tutorial provides the basics of what systems engineers should know about software to partner effectively with the software engineers and organizations to realize a dream they share: higher quality, higher capability systems that work properly and are capable of evolving as user needs evolve.

DC SPIN recommends this program since it will provide an systems engineering perspective for both systems and software engineers and associated disciplines such as Program Management, Configuration Management, and Quality Assurance.

March Speaker
Dr. Sarah Sheard

Dr. Sarah Sheard is a Senior Engineer, Systems Engineering at CMU’s Software Engineering Institute. She has over 20 years of experience in systems engineering, software and systems process improvement, and complexity science. She has faced from both sides the gulf of understanding between top-down, hardware-focused systems engineers in industry and government and bottoms-up, precision-focused software developers who make the capability happen bits and bytes at a time

June 1, 2016

Using Operational Risk to Influence Systems Engineering Effectiveness

One measure of effectiveness of any given systems engineering practice is the ability of that practice to mitigate product or project risk. Product and project risk reduction is the focus of most risk management processes. When a project team has a robust risk management process, they continually identify risks that may impact their ability to produce a product meeting customer requirements within cost and schedule constraints.

One missing aspect of most systems engineering risk management approaches is a focus on operational risk. That is, the evolving risk to business or mission needs of the end user. This lack of focus on operational risk during the engineering process allows the creation of a chasm between evolving need and delivered product capabilities. The longer the development process, the wider that gap and the end-user becomes less receptive to deem the capability operationally effective.

This research explores the use of operational risk identification and mitigation techniques during the systems engineering process.  A repeatable method designed to influence the systems engineering process with operational risk considerations is presented along with the results of a survey of project managers, a systems dynamics model, and a review of case studies  all suggesting that a focus on operational risk during the development process has a positive impact on project outcomes.

Brian Gallagher
Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence
CACI International Inc

Brian Gallagher is Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence for CACI International Inc, a $4 billion information systems solutions and services company. In this role, he is responsible for CACI’s integrated program management and delivery methods, process effectiveness, quality assurance, and continuous improvement initiatives.     

Prior to this position, Brian was the Director of Engineering and Mission Assurance for Northrop Grumman’s Intelligence and Cyber Divisions where he provided leadership critical to mission success involving engineering, quality assurance, process effectiveness, program execution, and supplier assurance.   

Previously Mr. Gallagher served as Director of Acquisition Support at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), leading teams serving the Department of Defense and other government agencies. He also enjoyed a career in the U.S. Air Force career, serving as Deputy Chief of Software Engineering with the Air Intelligence Agency; Chief Engineer on the Range Operations Control Center Project at Cape Canaveral in Florida; a program manager on the Titan IV Program; and an engineer with the Strategic Air Command.

Mr. Gallagher is currently pursuing a PhD in Systems Engineering through Colorado State University and holds an MS degree in computer science from the Florida Institute of Technology and a bachelor of technology degree from Peru State College. He is Six Sigma trained and is certified as a CMMI SCAMPI high maturity lead appraiser for CMMI for Development and CMMI for Services. He is an associate fellow of AIAA and a member of IEEE, NDIA, and INCOSE, as well as a contributing author of the Guide to the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK).


DC SPIN encourages its members to attend the CMMI Institute's "Capability Count 2016" conference in Annapolis, MD on May 10-11, 2016. To avoid overloading our members' schedules with too many professional meetings, we are not holding our monthly May 3, 2016 meeting. Our monthly meetings will resume on Wednesday evening, June 8, 2016 - see you there!

Wednesday, April 6th
SAFe 4.0 and CMMI Deliver Hardened Large-Scale Agile

It is well-known but often denied that Agile and the CMMI, like peanut butter and jelly, are better together.  The Scaled Agile Framework Enterprise 4.0 (SAFe) is a framework for adopting Lean-Agile development practices at scale. SAFe advertises that it integrates Lean and Agile development and systems engineering practices in a single package. The combination of Agile, Scrum, Lean and Kanban are core practices of SAFe. The Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) provides a framework of best practices that supports dependability, repeatability and when coupled with the correct techniques, agility.

SAFe 4.0 and CMMI Deliver Hardened Large Scale Agile demonstrates how the combination of SAFe 4 and CMMI provides a mechanism not only to adopt Agile but to scale and harden Agile from team to the program without becoming un-Agile. 

Tom Cagley
Vice President, Consulting
Software Value

Mr. Cagley has more than 20 years of experience in the software industry, serving as a consultant since 1997. He was previously the Metrics Practice Manager at Software Productivity Research. Earlier, he held technical and managerial positions in different industries as a leader in software methods and metrics, quality assurance and systems analysis.

Mr. Cagley is a frequent speaker at metrics, quality and project management conferences. His areas of expertise encompass management experience in a wide variety of methods and metrics: Lean software development, Agile software development, quality integration, quality assurance and the application of the CMMI Institute’s Capability Maturity Model® Integration (CMMI) to achieve process improvements.

 Mr. Cagley is an active member of the International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG) and is a Certified Function Point Specialist. He has served on the IFPUG Board of Directors as the President. He previously served as the Vice President, Chair of the IFPUG Conference Committee and Director of Conferences and Education.

 Mr. Cagley earned his Bachelor of Science from Louisiana State University and has done extensive postgraduate work at Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University and Kent State University. He is a certified Scrum Master, a certified Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Program Consultant 4.0 (SPC4), holds an IT-CMF Professional Certificate and is an IT-CMF Tier 2 Associate, and is a TMMi Accredited Assessor.

 Mr Cagley co-authored “Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques” with Murali K. Chemuturi.

 Outside of his work at DCG, Mr. Cagley is an independent thinker, author and podcaster – visit his Software Process and Measurement blog and his Software Process and Measurement Cast (SPAMCast) website.

Wednesday, February 3rd

Web-Base Predictive Analysis to
Improve Patient Flow in the Emergency Department

The Emergency Department (ED) simulation project was established to demonstrate how requirements-driven analysis and process simulation can help improve the quality of patient care for the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMC).  This project developed a web-based simulation prototype of patient flow in EDs, validated the performance of the simulation against operational data, and documented IT requirements for the ED simulation.

In addition to enabling VHA to provide higher quality, more convenient and comfortable care for veterans and their families, the application will provide the VHA with the following benefits:
•    Web-based user interface to manage key input parameters
•    Improved analytical approach to managing ED processes
•    Better understanding of the operational variances within EDs
•    Improved resource management
•    Proactive versus reactive decision making
•    Well-defined management reporting requirements
•    Adherence to Federal patient care regulation guidelines
•    Integration of simulation with Emergency Department Information System (EDIS) v1.5 rollout

The simulation application, built using CACI’s SIMPROCESSTM software, is scalable so it can be deployed across the entire VHA.  The initial focus was on VAMC Emergency Departments, but eventually the simulation will be expanded to include all inpatient flow processes, including bed management and surgical scheduling.
Goals of the Project
VHA EDs received both short term and long term benefits from this project.  In the short term the project helped EDs standardize their real-time data collection.  In the long term simulation will help EDs develop better processes, improved efficiency, and optimal patient flow.  ED personnel can use the web-based interface to examine their own “what-if” scenarios such as reducing the total number of patients waiting more than 6 hours for admission, reduce the total time EDs spend on diversion, reducing missed patient opportunities, and increasing the percentage of discharges before noon.

February Speaker
David Buckler, CACI

David Buckler is a Process Performance Specialist at CACI, one of the DC SPIN's key sponsors. As a member of the CACI Operational Excellence Team, he focuses on internal and external process improvement, operational efficiencies, and CMMI appraisals.  He is helping to standardize CACI's delivery processes and corporate methodology that ensure project compliance with CACI's goals and objectives.  He is an expert in Business Process Reengineering, Modeling and Simulation, Business Architecture and the Software Development Lifecycle.  His specialties are requirements analysis, business process redesign and optimization, meeting facilitation, teaching, and public speaking.
Previously, he was a Senior Project Manager at CACI working for the Navy Recruiting Command using BPMN process definition methods.  He was Director of Operations Research and Communications for Conference and Exhibit Management, Inc.; a Business Architect at Unisys, and an Operations Research Analyst at CACI.  He has a BA in Mathematics from Gettysburg College and an MS in Operations Research from the George Washington University


Wednesday,January 6, 2016
Multi-Model Improvement – The Power of Aligning ISO, CMMI and SPICE

Misalignment, miscommunication, missed opportunities, and unhappy customers are indicators of ineffectiveness, which is the opposite of capability.  “Multi-Model Improvement” offers a road map to performance capability for organizations that utilize multiple process models -- CMMI, ISO/TS and Auto SPICE – and are dealing with the indicators of ineffectiveness between management and engineering. With “Multi-Model Improvement,” you’ll learn to combine the frameworks and methodologies you use to do your work innovatively, improving your capabilities for better performance, better quality products and greater customer satisfaction.

Ross Timmerman
Senior Consultant, Broadsword

Ross Timmerman is a Senior Consultant with Broadsword.  With 20 years in the automotive industry as an electronics engineering design and management professional, Ross has developed extensive experience with embedded hardware and software design, project management, process improvement and electronics manufacturing.  Ross focuses on assisting clients in the automotive, aerospace, defense, and federal government sectors using Broadsword’s AgileCMMI methodology, which is based on the industry leading Capability Maturity Model Integration, or CMMI.  Ross can be contacted at

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