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Meeting Topic

Topic for September:
Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Topic: Real Time Process Improvement with SCRUM
Speaker: Dr. Jeff Sutherland


SCRUM is an Agile, lightweight methodology that rapidly delivers working software to customers and users. Dr. Sutherland, the inventor of SCRUM with over 30 years experience in software development, will describe how repeated project failures using the waterfall approach to software development led to studies of how the Japanese industry delivered record breaking, innovative products on time and under budget. Incorporating four decades of software engineering research on interactive and incremental development along with new findings in complex system theory and team process, new industrial processes were adapted to software development. SCRUM has been successfully implemented all over the world since 1993. It has been used in thousands of projects, including large-scale endeavors at Fidelity Investments, IDX Systems, TransCanada Pipelines, Microsoft, Cahners Publishing and hundreds of other organizations.

Dr. Sutherland has been the development leader for 9 software product companies, introducing SCRUM to 5 of them. He will describe his latest work at PatientKeeper on mobile/wireless development for a secure and open platform for healthcare patient safety initiatives. The latest techniques for SCRUM project management and reporting will be described which reduce product administration to 10 minutes a day and developer administrative overhead to 1 minute a day, two orders of magnitude more efficient than traditional approaches to project reporting.

About the Speaker

Dr. Sutherland has been chief technology officer at PatientKeeper since 1999 and was instrumental in delivering the healthcare industry's first open computing platform, leveraging mobile, wireless, and Internet technologies. Prior to PatientKeeper, Dr. Sutherland was chief technology officer and senior vice president of engineering at IDX Systems Corporation, leading a team of over 500 developers. Dr. Sutherland has 16 years of experience in delivering enterprise software development tools using model driven architectures. He led development of the first high-volume transaction processing object database system as president of Object Databases from 1989-1993. He developed the first object-oriented analysis and design tool for enterprise systems in 1993-95 as vice-president of object technology at Easel Corporation.

As chairman of the Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages & Applications Workshop on Business Object Design and Implementation, Sutherland published three books and over 50 papers in leading journals on software development. In addition, Sutherland is currently co-chair of the HL7 Orders and Observations Technical Committee, the primary standards body in healthcare, and co-investigator of a University of Maryland Medical System grant funded by DOD as part of the Operating Room of the Future initiative. Cited as one of the 15 most influential individuals in healthcare technologies by ADVANCE for Health Information Executives, Dr. Sutherland has been an innovator in real time process improvement in healthcare. He is inventor of the SCRUM development process, an industry standard for rapid application development, and a founding member of the Agile Alliance, a group of industry experts and authors dedicated to deploying rapid application software development processes such as SCRUM, eXtreme Programming, DSDM in Europe, and others.

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