Contextualization of Software Development Workshop

Contextualization of Software Development 2013 02

On Saturday, February 9 a group of people got together in Whistler British Columbia to discuss the importance of context as it pertains to software development.  The workshop was organized by the good folk at Software Development Experts (once again, thank you very much).  We shared some very important insights and had some very informative discussions.

The morning began with a kick-off from Carson Holmes.  I gave a talk summarizing the work around context frameworks, including Philippe Kruchten’s Situational Agility and the work I did at IBM around the Agile Scaling Model.  My talk summarized what we’re calling the Process Context Framework (PCF), something I will blog about soon.  Philippe then summarized his recent work on cognitive biases which explains why people, including software professionals, make suboptimal decisions and more importantly how we can avoid doing so.  Mark Kennaley overviewed the theory behind Software Development Practice Advisor and demoed some of its capabilities.  This is a product that I’ve been very interested in for some time as it’s an expert system that supports better process-oriented decisions around software development that is based on true empiricism.  Steve Adolph shared his work around how software development teams collaborate successfully, including empirical observations from is grounded-theory based work for his PHd.  Julian Holmes led us through an exercise around the contextualization of 400 agile/lean practices.  Mark and Carson ended the workshop by leading the group through a discussion of how we can work together effectively.

We had very interesting discussions throughout the day.  Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) was discussed at several points throughout the day.  In my presentation I briefly overviewed DAD’s goal-driven approach as I believe it is a perfect example of how to instantiate contextualization of software development.  Mark Kennaley discussed how DAD is supported as a first-class citizen in Advisor in his presentation.  For the handful of people who didn’t yet have the DAD book we gave them copies signed by Mark Lines and myself.

On Sunday many of us hit the slopes at Blackcombe/Whistler.  Below is a picture of several of us at near the top of Whistler.  More of the group went skiing than just the people appearing in the picture.


The Workshop Attendees

Back row:

Middle row:

Front row:

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