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Solutions Workshops

Solutions Workshops are intense and highly interactive workshops that provide a unique opportunity for you to work in a facilitated environment with a track industry expert and corporate practitioner as well as with your peers from other companies.  Collective skills and knowledge will be leveraged to develop pragmatic and achievable solutions to top issues in today's quality environment.  The inputs to this workshop will be the uppermost concerns gathered during the track sessions.  Using QAI's "three-cubed" facilitation approach, workshop groups will discuss, prepare, and share proposed solutions. You will leave the workshop with practical and actionable answers to today's most critical challenges.

Action Planning Workshops

Higher levels of software quality are achieved through a combination of skilled people, repeatable processes, and the effective use of technology or tools.  The action planning workshops provide insight into approaches for improving processes, building professional knowledge, increasing personal effectiveness in working with others, and increasing the use of automated tools to support quality and testing processes. Based on the insights gained, the participants will have an opportunity in these workshops to build their own individual action plans to take back to the office and begin to act upon right after the conference.

*You can jump ahead to any selection by clicking the WORKSHOP, DATE or the session TITLE

Solutions Workshops - WEDNESDAY, September 24

Effective Risk Management for IT Projects Workshop
Facilitated by Joseph W. Mayo, Keane Federal Systems, Inc.

Track 1: 3:00 - 4:00

The workshop on Effective Risk Management for IT Projects will highlight common challenges associated with effective project risk management and will explore how to address these challenges.  The workshop will draw from risks presented and discussed in previous risk management conference sessions.  The workshop format will include framing and prioritizing the top 3-5 challenges followed by group discussion and the development of risk mitigation strategies.  Mitigation strategies will be presented to the workshop attendees along with feedback from risk management subject management experts (SME).  A "hot seat" Q&A forum will follow the workshop exercise where the risk management SMEs will respond to questions from the audience at large.

About the facilitator ...
Joseph Mayo is an IT Professional with twenty-five years of experience including hands-on development, project management, and program management.  He has worked as a consultant for a number of companies including CSC and Keane.  Joseph holds a bachelor's degree in information technology from the University of Phoenix.  His career highlights include serving as program manager of InfoWorld's #7 project of the Top 100 IT Projects of 2006 and as program manager for the SEC's mission critical Public Dissemination System (PDS).

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Building Effective Measurement Solutions Workshop
Facilitated by Nancy Kastl, Kaslen Group, Inc.

Track 2: 3:00- 4:00

Measurement subject matter experts and corporate practitioners join you and your peers in developing responses to the demands of implementing effective quality and testing measurements.  These measurements will both demonstrate the value of quality and testing activities and be useful in managing these activities.  These are the measurements that can and do drive process improvement.  Workshop exercises will be followed by a Q&A forum where panelists will respond to your specific questions.

About the facilitator...
Nancy Kastl, CSQA, is President of the Kaslen Group, a Chicago based IT consulting firm. She is an accomplished professional with over twenty-five years experience as a consultant, manager, facilitator, and instructor. She brings her expertise to management teams in strategic planning, measurement, quality management, software testing, process re-engineering, program management offices, and project management. She is a former VP of Quality Assurance at Harris Bank and is the founder and President of the Chicago Quality Assurance Association. Nancy is a frequent conference speaker and has served on the Purdue University's IT Advisory Committee.

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Better Test Planning Solutions Workshop
Facilitated by Tracey Clark, Sun Life Financial

Track 3: 3:00 - 4:00

Join Tracey in the Test Planning Solutions Workshop where you will discuss the critical components of an effective test plan. This workshop will include information and activities focused on the importance of being involved early in the project lifecycle, how a risk assessment can help define scope and drive out test scenarios, various methods of test coverage, and common test planning challenges. Tracey will provide a lively forum for discussion of specific questions covering your own organizations test planning issues and successes.

About the facilitator...
Tracey Clark is currently a testing manager at Sun Life Financial. Tracey has worked at Sun Life for almost twenty years with ten years of experience in quality assurance and testing activities. She has supported a variety of business units including Individual and Group Retirement Services and has tested many different technologies including desktop applications, web sites, and mainframe systems. Tracey also champions quality, leads process improvement initiatives, and consults on large, complex and challenging projects. Tracey also participates regularly in local SQA forums such as SWOSQG and KWSQA.

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Challenges of Test Automation Solutions Workshop
Facilitated by Bob Crews, Checkpoint Technologies, Inc.

Track 4: 3:00 - 4:00

There are many benefits to test automation, but, at the same time, there are many challenges.  Those challenges include what to automate, what tools to use, and how to justify the return on investment. This Solutions Workshop brings QA practitioners and industry experts together to discuss the top challenges identified by conference participants pertaining to test automation.  Bob's highly-interactive session offers dynamic group discussion and problem solving and allows you an opportunity to present your own unique challenges.  Several test automation track speakers will also be involved in the workshop to lend their considerable, real-world expertise.  You will develop realistic solutions to take back to your organization and incorporate immediately.  This is definitely a workshop you don't want to miss!

About the facilitator...
Bob Crews, President of Checkpoint Technologies, is a consultant and trainer with over eighteen years of IT experience including full life-cycle development involving development, requirements management, and testing.  He has consulted and trained for over 160 different organizations in areas such as effectively using automated testing solutions, implementing automated frameworks, and developing practices which ensure the maximum return-on-investment with automated solutions.  Bob has presented at numerous conferences and user groups throughout the world including QAI, EuroStar (Copenhagen), and LatinStar (Mexico City).  Bob was selected as one of the top five speakers at the QAI Annual Software Testing Conference in 2004.

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Action Planning Workshops - September 26

Establishing a Testing Centre of Excellence Workshop
Richard Sadlowski, ITLC Consulting, Inc.

Track 1: 1:30 - 3:00

Testing is a critical step in ensuring software quality and reliability.  For many technology companies and IT departments, however, verifying and validating software consumes as much as 20 to 30 percent of the development process.  A Center of Excellence (CoE) is a focused approach for delivering industry-leading IT excellence.  A Testing CoE (tCoE) enables a company to deliver customer solutions that offer greater value, consistency, and efficiency.  In this workshop, you will explore the structure and basic components of a tCoE.  Richard will provide practical examples of how onshore and offshore developers and QA teams can work together to deliver higher value for your customers.  You will leave with sensible and useful action plans that you can begin to execute in your organization to establish your own testing center of excellence.

About the workshop leader ...
Richard Sadlowski is a senior Information Technology consultant with a unique background in QA, both functional and performance testing, development, and governance within the wealth management, protection, insurance, internet/ecommerce, and aerospace industries.  Richard is a results-focused and effective leader with proven ability to develop and implement test strategies.  He is often called upon to turn around projects in financial or scheduling difficulty.  Richard is a frequent speaker at technical conferences within Canada.

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Quality Assurance Health Check Workshop
Geoff Langdon, Deloitte, Inc.

Track 2: 1:30 - 3:00

Many organizations are realizing the potential benefit of better quality assurance, but are unsure of their current level of capability or where to start the improvement process. Without knowing where the problems are within the process, solutions are hard to justify. A QA "Health Check" assessment can provide insight into common problem areas that many organizations are facing today.  Potential solutions may be uncovered that can reduce test planning time by 20%, reduce the over-all testing effort by 10-15%, and provide more effective use of resources in general. This interactive workshop will use a "Health Check" assessment framework to highlight common problems and potential solutions across the six components of the assessment.  Participants will analyze problems, identify opportunities and develop action plans that they can take back to their organizations to drive improvement.

About the workshop leader...
Geoff Langdon is a Senior Manager with Deloitte Inc, a global business and technology consultancy, and leads the QA Practice for Canada.  Geoff has led large-scale systems integration and quality assurance programs at some of Canada's largest organizations in Financial Services, Telecommunications, and Manufacturing.  His experience includes establishing the organizational structures to support effective QA practices, defining QA processes that fit with an organization's cultural and technology needs, and leading the testing efforts for large package and custom development implementations.  He regularly speaks on these topics with clients within Canada and across North America.

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Getting Passion Out of Your Profession and Inspiring the Same in Others Workshop
Nina Spencer, Nina Spencer and Associates

Track 3: 1:30 - 3:00

Remember when you first stepped into your job?  It was cause for celebration, but the first bloom of excitement can slip away when workplace stressors and "in-the-trenches" days set in.  Many people maintain that inspiration is irrelevant to their job function; that they can carry out their responsibilities well enough without it.  Still, you've got to get through the day somehow.  How about with a little more passion for the good work you perform?  Remember, the only thing more contagious than enthusiasm for your work is the lack of it.  Passion fortifies your workplace energy--for your own sake, as well as for that of colleagues and clients.  In this interactive workshop, Nina will introduce you to some "doable today" strategies to help you reclaim your passion.  You will participate in practicing some or these techniques.  You will also develop a plan to sustain your own passion and help others on your team to do the same.

About the workshop leader...
Nina Spencer has been described by the National Post as, "One of Canada's leading motivational speakers."  She is the author of, Getting Passion Out of Your Profession and has been a guest on television and radio programs such as Breakfast Television, Report on Business TV, and CBC Radio.  Nina holds a psychology degree and draws on twenty-nine years of organizational development expertise.  She has been profiled by publications such as The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Maclean's, Reader's Digest, Profit and Chatelaine Magazines, and counts Xerox, Whirlpool, Carrier, Loblaws, Sprint, McDonald's, and Levis--as well as numerous other business, educational, and governmental organizations--among her clients.

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The 4 T's of Test Automation: Your Planning Guide to Success Workshop
David Dang, Questcon Technologies

Track 4: 1:30 - 3:00

Many companies jump into test automation with visions of increased test coverage, decreased execution time, and easy maintenance.  However, the reality is that test automation projects often fail due to lack of strategy and planning.  The key to successful test automation strategy and planning is rooted in the 4 T's of Test Automation: Technology, Test Cases, Talent, and Timeline.  Essentially, organizations must consider the compatibility of the automation tools and the technology they want to test, the content and relevance of the test cases to automation, skill sets needed to implement and maintain automation, and finally, the time it takes to properly implement a solid automation foundation.  In David's workshop, through discussion and interactive activities, you will learn the intricacies of the 4 T's of automation so that you can leverage this understanding to enhance your own testing automation efforts.

About the workshop leader...
David Dang joined Questcon Technologies in 1999.  David is a Mercury Interactive Certified Instructor (CI) for QuickTest Professional, WinRunner, and Quality Center.  As Director of Automation Practices, David works with clients to assess, define, and implement automation strategies to maximize the clients' return on investment for automation tools and minimize automated script maintenance.  He is the author of the QuestAssured® Test Automation Methodology and the lead test automation instructor at the Questcon headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina.  David has been a featured speaker on test automation and related topics at numerous local and national QA and Testing conferences.  David received his BS in Management Information Systems and BA in Psychology from the University of Buffalo.

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