Meeting Cancellation Policy

Established September, 1992

Previous roundtable topics

Boston SPIN Roundtables


Each Boston SPIN meeting begins with two roundtable discussions that facilitate an open exchange of information among members. The discussions literally take place around a round table, typically with ten to fifteen people.

One of the roundtables is a technical discussion, while the other is an informal "needs and leads" employment networking session. Both roundtables are excellent for developing new professional contacts.

All are welcome to attend any scheduled roundtable. No reservation is needed. Roundtables begin at 6:00 pm, and end shortly before the 7:00pm start of the main Boston SPIN meeting.

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Basic Guidelines for Roundtables:

  • Please try to begin between 6:10 and 6:15 P.M.
  • The topic for the Technical Discussion Rountable will be posted to a whiteboard/flipchart at the beginning of the meeting
  • At the start of the meeting, participants should select a facilitator to moderate the discussion, along with one or more people to take notes of the key points made during the discussion.
  • The facilitator does not need to be a "subject matter expert".
  • It is a good idea to ask participants to introduce themselves at the beginning. (People may trickle in after the start time; encourage them to join the discussion.)
  • Encourage participants to ask questions and to share their own experiences.
  • Capture the ideas discussed (a flip chart is provided). At the conclusion of the discussion somone should take pictures of the notes taken and forward them on to the participants and to a SPIN representitive so it can potentially be published on the website
  • Please wrap up the roundtable a little before 7 P.M. to allow participants to get settled for the speaker.

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PREVIOUS Boston SPIN Roundtables 2014 - 2015
Month Open Topics for Roundtables
(Please volunteer - suggestions welcome)
9/16/2014 Agility Metrics: Are you using them? Do you go beyond velocity and story points? Let's discuss these basic metrics briefly and several additional Agile Metrics that don't appear to be in very wide use. Expect to leave this roundtable with a greater appreciation for metrics in addition to the basic ones. Facilitator: Greg Tutunjian
10/21/2014 Facilitation Skills: If you lead a team or an organization, have you developed your facilitation skills? Facilitation complements leadership, and from a quick survey of effective leaders, they appear to be effective facilitators, too. We'll discuss facilitation skill (and skills), how to assess whether you have them and how to develop them. Facilitator: Greg Tutunjian
11/18/2014 Release Planning: Do you have a well-defined release cadence? Are you releases more dependent upon quality metrics rather than continuous integration and continuous delivery? The predictability of releases (independent of their quality) has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. We'll discuss all this and more. Facilitator: Greg Tutunjian
12/16/2014 Flow: Do you experience Flow on your projects (or are your projects more up and down with ad hoc instances of Flow?) Let's discuss how Flow influences team and project culture in addition to outcomes and see if we can identify some patterns we're currently using or patterns we can adopt in our current work. Facilitator: Greg Tutunjian
1/20/2015 TBD
2/17/2015 TBD
3/17/2015 TBD
4/21/2015 TBD
5/19/2015 TBD
6/16/2015 TBD

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PREVIOUS Boston SPIN Roundtables 2013 - 2014
Month Open Topics for Roundtables
(Please volunteer - suggestions welcome)
9/17/2013 TBD
10/15/2013 TBD
11/19/2013 TBD
12/17/2013 TBD
1/21/2014 TBD
2/18/2014 Cancelled: weather
3/18/2014 Project Management Pain
Do your project managers and scrum masters enable you or disable you? Are you aware of the responsibilities of your project managers and scrum masters? Do you know how different these roles are supposed to be? Is team work becoming more challenging outside of technology? So, is Project Management a Pain for you? Let's talk about it and see if we can find some ways to relieve the pain.
          Facilitated by: Greg Tutunjian
4/15/2014 How does innovation happen, who owns it, and can you make it happen?
The latest Silver Bullet in software development and product management appears to be Innovation. Does Innovation happen organically? Can you set pre-conditions to foster Innovation (and allow it to persist?) Should Innovation be the purview of a few selected individuals, committees or teams? Let's discuss our own experiences, beliefs and thoughts and see if we can identify healthy themes that have fostered Innovation.
          Facilitated by: Greg Tutunjian
5/20/2014 Graphical Planning Tools: Are You Using Them?
Are you using graphical planning or simulation tools in your work that have facilitated problem-solving, project management, what-if scenarios, communication and collaboration? Let's discuss your experience with tools like these (including mind maps, strategy maps and quantitative modeling tools) and see if you can leave the table with at least one new tool to consider evaluating or one tool you've recommended that another roundtable attendee will evaluate.
          Facilitated by: Greg Tutunjian
6/17/2014 Certifications: Fact, Fiction or Both?
Are you considering one or more professional certifications and if so, why? Have you completed one or more certifications and seen a positive impact on your career? Do you consider certifications when evaluating job candidates or team members? Let's discuss our own experiences with professional certifications and see if we can identify the positive outcomes from the preparation, the exams and finally how the certifications are seen in the software industry.
          Facilitated by: Greg Tutunjian

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PREVIOUS Boston SPIN Roundtables 2012 - 2013
Month Topics & Facilitators
9/18/2012 TBD
10/16/2012 This time around we will try a new and different way of running our round-table discussion.
This new way is called Lean Coffee

Briefly - Lean Coffee is a democratized way of coming up with discussion topics and discussing them. This is equally applicable either at our round-table, at your office or at a coffee shop.

We will start by suggesting the topics we would like to learn or talk about. Then - as a group - we will choose those topics that interests us all. We will then discuss the chosen topic for a limited time. At the end of the allocated time we - as a group - will decide whether we ought to continue discussing the same topic - or to move to a new one.

Those that have participated in a "Lean Coffee" session previously say that it is exciting, FUN & participatory. Most participants will leave the session having learnt something or having contributed something useful to someone else' learning. A detailed description of "lean coffee" can be found at:

          Facilitated by: Shyam Kumar
11/20/2012 TBD
12/18/2012 TBD
1/15/2013 TBD
2/19/2013 TBD
3/19/2013 TBD
4/16/2013 TBD
5/21/2013 TBD
6/18/2013 TBD

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PREVIOUS Boston SPIN Roundtables 2010 - 2011
Month Topics & Facilitators
9/21/2010 3 ways to bring Agile benefits to embedded safety-critical development
In this roundtable you will learn how agile processes improve development in the following areas:
   Hardware and software integration
     Automatically safeguard your hazard mitigations
   Recognize that your 'nearest customer' is the one to develop for, and this changes throughout an embedded project
          Facilitated by: Nancy Van Schooenderwoert
10/19/2010 Lean Value Mapping via User Story Tracing
Creating a lean value map to uncover waste seems straightforward, but are you sure you are creating a full value stream? Come learn how tracing the path of a user story can help uncover a more detailed value stream.
          Facilitated by: Damon Poole
11/16/2010 QA Team as Agile Enabler
Testing is central to agile software development, but much of the literature focuses on developer testing. In practice QA teams can play a key role in not only keeping an agile team on track, but in helping a team's transition to agile. (Or can they?). In this roundtable we'll explore people's experiences with QA both agile and not, and come up with some ideas about how QA teams can help teams be more agile.
          Facilitated by: Steve Berczuk
12/21/2010 Agile Developer Skills: Test-Driven Development
          Facilitated by: Michael de la Maza
1/18/2011 Cancelled: Due to bad weather
          Rescheduled: February
2/15/2011 Java static analysis as related to code quality
          Facilitated by: David Beberman
3/15/2011 Effective Uses of Social Media for your Job Search and Beyond
          Facilitated by: Marilyn Santiesteban
4/26/2011 Utilizing the .NET Framework to create automated UI tests at no cost
          Facilitated by: Jean-Pierre Boissy
5/17/2011 Requirements Tracking: Management, Magic and Myth
. What is Requirements Tracking through the product life cycle?
. What is its purpose?
. What makes up a good vs. bad requirement description?

          Facilitated by: Stephanie Beach
6/21/2011 Utilizing System Healthcheck emails for designing customer use cases and providing excellent support
          Facilitated by: Russ Ohanian

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PREVIOUS Boston SPIN Roundtables 2009 - 2010
Month Topics & Facilitators
9/15/2009 Agile in the Traditional Organization
          Facilitated by: Brian Bozzuto
10/20/2009 Software Stability Metrics - to find "good" code and "bad" code.
The Stability metric consists of two factors, Code Volatility (how often code is changing)
and Code Quality (open bugs, cyclomatic complexity, rule violations, etc).
          Facilitated by: Fiona Dossin
11/17/2009 Creating effective corporate decision processes.
The conversation will revolve around creating better self service web reporting and analytical applications for the masses - techniques being used now and how they can be improved.
          Facilitated by: Bill Weinar
12/15/2009 An iteration in the life of a Agile Scrum Team
This session will provide the participants a taste of Agile Scrum so they understand what it is and how it works.
          Facilitated by: Mario Moreira
1/19/2010 Snowy Day: Informal Group Discussion
2/16/2010 Cancelled: Due to weather >> Rescheduled for 5/18/2010
3/16/2010 Tracking critical project artifacts during a fast-paced development cycle
The roundtable will explore the most common project artifacts - requirements, specification and design documents, the relationship between them, challenges and techniques to keep them up-to-date.
          Facilitated by: Peter Toudjarski
4/20/2010 Empowering Teams through Agile Games
          Facilitated by: Dan LeFebvre and Brian Bozzuto
5/18/2010 Agile, QA, and the Regulated Environment
          Facilitated by: Bill Tsen
6/15/2010 Using Static Code Analysis Tools to Improve Software Quality
          Facilitated by: David Beberman

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PREVIOUS Boston SPIN Roundtables 2008 - 2009
Month Topics & Facilitators
9/16/2008 Performance Metrics for Software Department Leaders.
Best practices in project / department measurement that drive software execution excellence.
          Facilitated by: Ross Seider
10/21/2008 Agile Methods: Dogmatic -vs- Pragmatic
          Facilitated by: Steve Berczuk
11/18/2008 Agile Coaching Clinic
Are you trying to shepherd your fellow team mates along the road to agile? Are you struggling to get your managers to allow time for refactoring? For pairing? Has your product owner gone AWOL? This roundtable will discuss these types of issues, present possible solutions and engage in open conversation to see how organizations are solving similar problems.
          Facilitated by: Nancy Van Schooenderwoert
12/16/2008 Digital Forensics Methodology
Is your company prepared to respond to an E-Discovery request or employee misconduct involving a company computer? What is a digital forensics methodology? What are some of the software tools of the trade?
          Facilitated by: Leo Manning
1/20/2009 Managing Software Requirements
Continually updating the traceability from the software requirement specs to the design specs downwards and upwards through all the documentation is necessary to prevent or mitigate Requirements Creep and contradictions among the various specifications. Revising the requirement specs for technical accuracy and testability is vitally important. Let's discuss just what that means.
          Facilitated by: Alice Brown
2/17/2009 Common mistakes when implementing Agile and Scrum
Transitioning to Agile and Scrum in organizations with different cultures and project management traditions can lead to perception problems of agile methodologies. This roundtable will investigate several of the most common misconceptions and discuss possible solutions.
          Facilitated by: Peter Toudjarski
3/17/2009 Collaboration experiences in Applications Development
          Facilitated by: Rick Wahlberg
4/21/2009 Transitioning to agile: solving problems of transition
          Facilitated by: Johanna Rothman
5/19/2009 Running Effective Scrum Meetings
All Agile methods include a practice called the "daily standup meeting". What is the purpose of this meeting? How can we get the most out of it?
          Facilitated by: Dan LeFebvre
6/16/2009 In Agile, where does developer testing end and tester testing begin?
Even though anyone can work on any task in agile, we still each bring our own, unique skills to the table. The key to effective agile is not minimizing our differences, but building upon each person's strengths. Join us for this discussion on how agile teams build quality into their process and how each member contributes to that quality.
          Facilitated by: Abby Fichtner, Nate Oster

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PREVIOUS Boston SPIN Roundtables 2007 - 2008
Month Topics & Facilitators
9/18/2007 Beyond Agile Teams: What Managers Need to Know to Sustain Agile Adoption.
Exploring reasons why Agile adoption initiatives so often flounder.
          Facilitated by: Nancy Van Schooenderwoert
10/16/2007 Software Reliability:  Models, Predictions, Methods, and Definitions.
Discuss the consequences of software malfunction; how to predict defects before they happen; and methods, models, and tools.
          Facilitated by: Obaid Qadri
11/13/2007 TBD

1)   Security and web based deployments.
Rick has done "quite a bit of work on web services and the attendant security" and is interested in hearing what others have thought on the subject.
          Facilitated by: Rick Wahlberg, PMP

2)   Project management challenges associated with software projects when the performing team is geographically distributed.
As a starting point, the discussion will explore development methodology, project organization, management and development tools.
          Facilitated by: Dick Healy and Spencer Jones

1/15/2008 Web Services Development and Virtual Teams
           Facilitated by: Rick Wahlberg, PMP
2/19/2008 Project Selection and Return of Investment (ROI).
Following an iterative-incremental paradigm, agile projects are ideal for early and frequent releases. This mechanism enables many organizations to gain a competitive advantage through accelerated return-of-investment. With this approach, many projects paid themselves back before they were even completed.  In addition, iterations can be used to select projects in a more dynamic fashion, helping development organizations to spend their resources on their most promising projects.
          Facilitated by: Joe Krebs
3/18/2008 Lean/Agile/Scrum/XP Software Development:
Truth and Myth and Absolute Truth.

There has been an explosion of interest in these approaches to fix our history of software development disfunction. All of us who have been in the business for some time, know the failure rate. This roundtable will be a discussion of why that's the case and what we are learning so we never repeat those mistakes. This includes includes identifying the invariants in us humans and in our problem domain. Those invariants can justify a claim of appropriate certainty - in context. Believe it or not!
          Facilitated by: Jay Conne
N/A Joint meeting with ASQ
5/20/2008 How can we realistically measure Software Quality Level?
           Facilitated by: Stephanie Beach
6/17/2008 How do you track an agile project without a detailed plan?
           Facilitated by: Daniel LeFebvre

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