Westfall Weekly Webinars

These webinars are free to anyone who watches them live and to anyone watching the recordings within two months of broadcast.

Webinar Topics of the Month

April 2024


Configuration Management

May 2024



June 2024


Project Management

July 2024



Upcoming Free Westfall Weekly Webinars

How Relevant Is Configuration Management to Agile and Its Conversations? by Robin Goldsmith
Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at 12:01 pm Central

Configuration management (CM) is a critical component of an effective software process. Often referred to as “version control,” CM helps assure you know what artifacts you have, where they are, that they can be recovered and are changed only in approved ways. However, Agile development’s minimal use of documents challenges CM. Perhaps nowhere is that more true than with regard to typically unrecorded conversations that Agile relies on to elaborate user stories. Join this interactive session to explore the ramifications and possible resolutions of this conflict.

  • Describe CM purposes, benefits, and dependencies.
  • Explain inherent conflicts between CM and Agile development.
  • Reveal and reconcile special issues of Agile’s reliance on conversations.
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Using Planguage for Configuration Management presented by Tom Gilb
Wednesday, April 24, 2024, at 12:01 pm Central

How to use Planguage, the Systems Engineering Language and Processes, for Configuration Management. Configuration management is a systems engineering process for establishing and maintaining consistency of a product's performance, functional, and physical attributes with its requirements, design, and operational information throughout its life.

  1. Specifying Relationships (like Quality and its Design)
  2. Specifying degrees of relationships
  3. Specifying Stakeholders
  4. Keeping track of changes digitally using there ValPlan app.
  5. Keeping Track of Multiple requirements, costs and constraints simultaneously
  6. Risk specification and Risk management specification
  7. Keeping track of all changes using ValPlan
  8. Definitions: keeping track of agreed definitions of all global and local terms
  9. Keeping track of Standards; built-in to digital app
  10. Tracking Design and Requirement delivery and performance Value, quality and cost levels using Evo feedback.
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The Art of Data Storytelling: Bridging the Gap Between Numbers and Impact presented by Kabrina Ashley
Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at 12:01 pm Central

In the age of data-driven decision-making, the ability to convey the insights hidden within numbers has become a superpower. However, for many tech enthusiasts and professionals, the challenge lies in presenting data in a way that's accessible, engaging, and impactful. In this interactive session, join Kabrina Ashley, an accomplished Disney Trainer turned messaging expert, on a journey to unlock the art of data storytelling.

Kabrina will draw on her unique blend of expertise in communication, psychology, and gamification to guide you through the process of turning raw data into narratives that resonate with any audience. Through captivating examples and practical exercises, you'll learn how to captivate attention, simplify complexity, and connect emotionally with your listeners, whether they're tech-savvy or not.

Key Takeaways:

  • Master the fundamentals of data storytelling: Learn how to structure your data-driven narratives for maximum impact, from setting the stage to delivering a memorable conclusion.
  • Embrace the power of relatability: Discover techniques to translate technical jargon into relatable analogies and metaphors, making complex concepts easy to understand.
  • Engage through emotion: Explore the psychology of storytelling and how.
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Find the Right, Reliable Data for Persuasive Business Cases presented by Robin Goldsmith 
Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at 12:01 pm Central

Money! Money! Money! That’s a lot more interesting than data, isn’t it?

The fact is, though, that finding and presenting the right data the right way is key to getting the money to support your projects and ideas. You probably know from past disappointments how hard it can be.

Join this interactive webinar to learn:

  • How to identify the data you need to convincingly convey your message.
  • Ways to collect data that is valid, reliable, and believable.
  • Responsibly and persuasively presenting your data.
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Recent Webinar Recordings

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Change Authority Considerations

Presented by:  Linda Westfall

Having one or more change authorities established for your configuration control processes is beneficial because they:
   - Provide the authority to make decisions about proposed changes
   - Confirm change authorization before implementation
   - Provide visibility in the change control process
   - Provides a vehicle for impact analysis
   - Facilitates resource allocation
   - Plays an integral role in keeping the software development process under control

Available Free Until: 6/13/2024
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A Quick Way to Document Configuration Items

Presented by: Linda Westfall

Part of defining a Software Configuration Management Plan is identifying and documenting the configuration items for the project. In this webinar you will learn a quick way to document:

  • The Identified Configuration Items
  • Their acquisition points and criteria
  • How they will be brought under control
  • How each configuration item will be controlled throughout the life cycle
  • Who is the control authority

Available Free Until: 6/6/2024
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What’s a ‘Peer’?  Are They Really Best to Review My Work?

Presented by: Robin Goldsmith

People often link the terms “peer” and “review” inextricably, but they’re not.  A jury of your “peers” may differ considerably from those in a software development peer review; and on further reflection, you may find neither suitable for effectively reviewing your engineering work.  A software demo for users is a frequent form of review, but are they peers?  This interactive webinar examines the participant and other characteristics that can make reviews the single most effective and economical way to reduce software defects.

  • Why many consider “peers” essential to reviews.
  • What makes reviews so effective at economically reducing software defects.
  • Participant and procedure factors impacting review effectiveness.

Available Free Until: 5/27/2024
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Peer Reviews

Presented by: Mark Paulk

This webinar deals with peer reviews – reviews by the producer of a work product to identify defects. Peer reviews were a key process area in the Software CMM; they are a “best practice” of software engineering. There are a variety of flavors of peer reviews, ranging from informal walkthroughs to rigorous inspections. In this webinar I will discuss what a peer review is and isn’t, the empirical evidence that peer reviews are an effective technique, some of the variations in doing peer reviews, and some of the alternatives to peer reviews (such as pair programming and formal methods).

Available free until 05/20/2024
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How to Implement an Inspection Process

Presented by: Linda Westfall

Inspections are the most formal type of Peer Review and are typically the most effective way to find defects in software work products.  During this webinar, Linda will use swim lane diagrams to define the detailed steps in a process for implementing inspections.  You will learn how to:
    - Plan for an inspection
    - Conduct a kick-off meeting
    - Prepare for an inspection
    - Conduct the inspection meeting
    - Perform rework and follow-up activities

Available Free Until: 05/13/24
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Are Peer Reviews Synonymous with Shift-Left?

Presented by: Robin Goldsmith

Long before shift-left became a buzzword, effective projects have used reviews to catch defects earlier in the life cycle, when they are easier and cheaper to fix.  While some of what is called “shift-left” merely executes some dynamic tests marginally earlier, true shift-left largely involves using reviews to catch defects before they are ever coded.  
Does that make shift-left and reviews the same?  Do we really need both terms?  What else comes into play?

  • True shift-left vs. merely marginally-earlier dynamic test execution.
  • Role of reviews—and other techniques—that give shift-left its power.
  • Why shift-left can be incompatible with Agile development.

Available Free Until: 5/06/2024
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A #NoFrameworks Approach to Agility

Presented by: Scott Duncan

The topics planned to be covered in this webinar include:
•    Frameworks are not necessarily bad
•    Perscriptiveness vs. Change
•    Training & Certification
•    Possible Framework Problems
•    What Agilists Have Said
•    Your Potential Role
•    Next Steps
•    #NoFramework Coaching Agenda

Available Free Until: 4/22/2023
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Pairing: When Two Heads Are Better Than One

Presented by: Linda Westfall

Pairing, also called pair programming is a technique where two people collaborate together to jointly create a software development work product.  While the term "pairing programming" has its origins in eXtreme programming, it is a technique that I have been using since the early 1980s to create better software work products.  In this webinar you will learn:
- The basics of pairing
- The benefits and weaknesses of pairing
- How to implement pairing in your work environment.

Available Free Until: 4/15/2024

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The Westfall Team presents regular Software Excellence Academy Webinars.

These webinars are free to anyone who watches them live and to anyone watching the recordings within two months of broadcast.