Tom DeMarco gave a great presentation on Collaboration during which he said that key aspects to build systems are: small pieces and collaboration, where trust is the bandwidth of collaboration.
There was then a session and discussion panel on Operational Excellence during which it was discussed what factors affect operational excellence in organizations. Some of the aspects brought to the table were better change management and fast delivery, better governance, do what is good enough vs. perfect, build on trust. I added to it the importance to pay much more attention to human interaction. An important metric is how much of the budget is used to support the front office vs. the back office. Trends that help are moving the architecture towards the business process, business process improvement, governance focused on end to end coverage, stress the idea of SLAs to reach company and customer. My personal preference is towards paying attention to these aspects in a light way. That is, yes, do them but don't make them big, heavy, and friction-adding (keep it within the Agile boundaries). An attendee mentioned that in Mexico the areas of innovation and process will be dismantled to then become part of IT.
Next was a session and a panel on SOA. Mike Rosen gave a great presentation in which he presented 4 case studies, one of them being a failed project. SOA is expensive and complex. Its architecture has to be oriented towards the business and not IT, and should be, arguably, centralized (and there were opinions towards the opposite). SOA doesn't only bring IT process improvement but long-terms ROI. E.g. Wells Fargo had $300MM waste in architecture until they got it right with SOA and the expense on it paid by itself. Wells Fargo can fully absorb a new bank in 6 weeks.
The first session of the second day was my own. I talked about competitive advantages of adopting agile-lean, even more so in times of crisis. I'll be posting the ppt on my website shortly.
Rogelio Oliva took then the audience through a wonderful exercise on how manage your boss in a crisis. A recommended book that was used for this exercise is Adventures of an IT Leader.
Michael Mah showed measurements that show the impact (not pretty) about outsourcing and the benefits of using agile practices. It was followed by a discussion panel on the same subject, where it was mentioned that even though nearsourcing makes the time zone differences be less significant there are still cultural and communication problems that need to be solved. We have to also take advantage of the fact that the world is better interconnected than ever before to find alternatives to improve the the way we communicate while at the same time improving the current state of the planet (ecological crisis).
The third day was for workshops. I attended Bob Benson's on Filling the Governance Gap. It was fun half-day with discussions and guidance. The three keywords are:
For more highlights on what went on, in the words of presenters check my tweets @masakmaeda.