Michael Mah, QSM Associates, Inc.

As managing partner at QSM Associates Inc., Michael Mah teaches, writes, and consults to technology companies on measuring, estimating and managing software projects, whether in-house, offshore, waterfall, or agile. He is the director of the Benchmarking Practice at the Cutter Consortium, a Boston-based IT think-tank, and served as past editor of the IT Metrics Strategies publication. With over 25 years of experience, Michael and his partners at QSM have derived productivity patterns for thousands of projects collected in its worldwide database across engineering and business applications. His work examines time-pressure dynamics of teams, and its role in project success and failure. QSM is the creator of the SLIM® model, a suite of models for software release planning, measurement, and estimation.

Michael’s background began in physics and electrical engineering at Tufts University and expanded into software. His graduate training was in the field of mediation, facilitation, and dispute resolution at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Michael is also a private pilot and lives in the mountains of western Massachusetts with his two children. He can be reached at www.qsma.com

QUEST 2014 Conference and EXPO Sessions:

Half-Day Tutorial: Benchmarking Agile Productivity and Time-to-Market

Tuesday, April 8: 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

How do you compare the productivity, schedules, and quality you achieve with agile practices against those of traditional waterfall projects?  Join Michael to learn how agile and waterfall metrics behave in real projects. Learn to use your own data to move from sketches on a whiteboard to create agile project trends on productivity, time-to-market, and defect rates. Using recent, real-world case studies, Michael offers a practical, expert view of agile measurement, showing you these metrics in action on retrospectives. In hands-on exercises, you will learn to replicate these techniques to make your own comparisons for time, cost, and quality.  You will work in pairs to calculate productivity metrics using the templates Michael employs in his consulting practice.  You will be able to leverage these new metrics to make the case for changing to more Agile practices and creating realistic project commitments within your organization.

  • Use your own data to create agile project trends
  • Learn to make comparisons for time, cost, and quality
  • Take back new ways of communicating the value of agile

Keynote Presentation: When Agile Becomes a Quality Game Changer

Wednesday, April 9: 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM

With agile now becoming mainstream, what’s happening on the topic of “Clean Code?” What patterns are being revealed, and what does this mean to teams responsible for that final lap (the testing one!)? Industry research from QSM Associates reveals varying degrees of success. Some of the best teams, whether they be XP, SCRUM, Lean, etc., are finding significant quality implications that are literally redefining the economics of software. Others are not. What factors can make a meaningful difference? With the latest industry analysis of velocity, burndown, and quality data, we discuss productivity, time-to-market, quality, and cost patterns as this community matures. Serving as a comparison framework is the QSM SLIM industry database, with more than 10,000 completed projects (waterfall, agile, offshore, or onshore) collected worldwide. This talk will describe findings that can help accelerate your success. Join us for an overview of this approach, and find out how you can assess your own patterns that could be applied to your development, and informing your executive teams.