Lessons from Space Shuttle Disasters for Avoiding IT Project Disasters

Monthly SeaSPIN Meeting

September 3

Free and Open to the Software Engineering & IT Community

Vertafore, 11724 Northeast 195th Street; Bothell, WA 98011

Food & networking from 5:45 to 6:15 (pizza, salad, soda )
Announcements from 6:15 to 6:30
Presentation from 6:30 to 7:45
Q & A from 7:45 to 8:15
Doors close at 8:30

Lessons from Space Shuttle Disasters for Avoiding IT Project Disasters 
by John Helm

Projects die a death of 10,000 bad decisions. The result? Junk bonds continue to sport a better risk adjusted return on investment. Using examples from Behavioral Economics, Decision Science and disasters such as the loss of the space shuttles, the role of poor decision making in project failures is explored. The results suggest that until decision pathologies are addressed directly, poor project performance will persist. Indeed, the poor decision to refrain from using Agile approaches when they are appropriate is all too familiar. Unbiased decision making and critical thinking can be improved by using tools and through practice. Using examples from Scrum and Agile Product Ownership several tools and techniques to help people make better decisions are presented.


Speaker Bio

John Helm is a technology executive whose career spans academia, onprofits, financial services, and technology companies.  He currently does technology management consulting to support his research into improving the financial performance of technology systems.

Previously John has been the VP of Engineering and CTO of Imprev.com, CTO of Drugstore.com; founding President and COO of Umaxon, LLC; and, Head of Architecture, COO of Global Messaging and Collaboration Services and Chief Information Architect at Merrill Lynch. Additionally, John has held key technology management positions at Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley, served as the Director of Computer Services for the American Health foundation, and a survivor of three startups.  Prior to Wall St. John was a professor of Applied Physics at Columbia University.