Michael Mah of QSM Associates Named as Keynote Speaker for QAI Global Institute's TesTrek Symposium

Toronto Conference on Software Quality Management Features Productivity Implications of Offshoring, Agile Methods

TesTrek Symposium

PITTSFIELD, Mass.--()--QSM Associates today announced that Managing Partner Michael Mah will address this year's Toronto TesTrek Symposium on the subject of "Geography Matters: What Measurement Tells Us about Offshoring, Agile Methods, and the 'Flat World'." Scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10. Mah's keynote presentation provides a business and technical look at software development trends in the 21st century, debunking some myths and exploring truisms about software quality and productivity.

Sponsored by the QAI Global Institute, the TesTrek Symposium provides a quick path to learn testing practices, to solve software development challenges, and to keep up-to-date with software testing trends. TesTrek's 'Two-for-Two' format consists of a two-day Manager's Solutions Workshop (held Nov. 7-8) and a two-day Software Testing Symposium (Nov. 9-10), filled with information exchange between industry leaders and fellow testing professionals. The symposium is being held at the Delta Chelsea Hotel.

QSM Associates, Inc. helps organizations measure, plan, estimate and control software projects. In his presentation, Mah will explore some unanswered questions in software development culture today. For example:

  • Has the digital revolution really made it possible to do almost anything collaboratively, even with people separated by time and distance, thereby, making it feasible to construct the optimal project team from throughout the world?
  • Or, are the decisions to split software development around the globe coming primarily from pressure by CFOs to cut costs?

Countering and complementing the multi-shoring trend is a powerful new movement that looks at the force of concentration, or the “clustering,” of human creativity and talent. This approach is based on claims that powerful innovation and economic gains result when smart and talented people locate closely to one another. Mah said that this is the view the Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Lucas and the message of the Agile revolution.

Who is right? To answer this question, Mah will look at what measurement data says about offshore and Agile projects, and about teams separated by distance or co-located. He will present case studies of real companies and contrast the results from the two philosophies. His research challenges long-held beliefs about knowledge work, commoditization, and innovation.

"Having analyzed more than 10,000 cases in the QSM, Inc. projects database, we have discovered one particularly fascinating software development artifact: the biggest impediment to productivity and quality is a disparity in timezones," Mah said. "Whether teams are co-located or not co-located --clustered in one location—can have a huge impact. We only suspected that before, now we know for sure."

Can companies overcome this handicap, Mah mused? "Absolutely, but it's rare. We now know that geography does matter, in the world of offshoring and software development."

Based in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Michael Mah, Managing Partner at QSM Associates, is also a Senior Consultant with Cutter Consortium's Business Technology Trends & Impacts, Measurement and Benchmarking, Agile Software Development & Project Management, and Sourcing & Vendor Relationship Practices. A recognized expert on practical applications of software metrics, project estimation/control, and IT productivity benchmarking, his recent work merges concepts in software measurement and benchmarking with negotiation and dispute resolution techniques to create management agility for decision making by IT executives.

About QSM Associates

QSM Associates, Inc. helps organizations measure, plan, estimate and control software projects. It offers the SLIM (Software Lifecycle Management) Suite of tools, so managers can benchmark and forecast Agile, waterfall, in-house, offshore/multi-shore or ERP/package implementation projects. SLIM contains statistics from a worldwide database of more than 8,000 completed projects, enabling productivity benchmarking on the desktop. Using SLIM to dynamically run "virtual project simulations,” companies can model and forecast waterfall and Agile releases to deliver on time, within budget with > 90% estimation accuracy. SLIM can also derive ROI achieved by Agile methods and other process improvements. QSM Associates offers consulting, training, and coaching to help accelerate this capability. Information is available at www.QSMA.com.

Michael Mah, Managing Partner is also the Benchmark Practice Director at the Cutter Consortium, a Boston-area IT think-tank. Along with Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce.com, QSMA is a Rally Software Strategic Partner.

QSM and SLIM are registered trademarks of Quantitative Software Management, which is headquartered in McLean, VA with partner offices and affiliates throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia.


For QSM Associates, Inc.
Edward Bride, 413-442-7718

Release Summary

Michael Mah will address the TesTrek Symposium in Toronto on Nov. 10. He will speak on "Geography Matters: What Measurement Tells Us about Offshoring, Agile Methods, and the 'Flat World'."


For QSM Associates, Inc.
Edward Bride, 413-442-7718