Harmony TASSCC Recap Newsletter – #2


2018 Annual Conference Recap

The 2018 TASSCC Conference took place this year in early August. The presentations were spot on and I left the conference with greater knowledge and a deeper understanding of best practices.

The conference in its entirety was excellent and three of the presentations that stood out to me involved the lessons learned while authoring a technical handbook, project management best practices, and IT solutions. 

Gene Kim, coauthor of the “DevOps Handbook,” validated my entire existence in one hour explaining a few pointers he learned along the way while writing the handbook. One in particular was a push to apply the LEAN principles to your organization. LEAN is a systematic method for minimizing waste and cost while improving productivity within a manufacturing system. 

Another session that caught my attention was the “Project Managers Learning Lounge.” Here, the presenter explained the contrast between the 'agile' and 'waterfall' project management methods, and how meshing the two together to create the 'wagile' approach can be helpful for keeping up with the constant flux of demand these days. 

Finally, I was rather inspired by Kristin Cox's session on "The Leaders Mindset and The Truth About IT Solutions." Her approach to problem-solving is quite refreshing. She shared with us a checklist of specific points that need to be defined clearly before any IT solution is carried out. The points are as follows:  

  • The overall business goal/objective and measure of success 
  • What questions are we trying to answer? What decisions are we trying to make?  
  • Current challenges and core business problem 
  • Mission-critical vs. administrative  
  • Core problem priority 
  • Business changes necessary to resolve the core problem 
  • Determining if IT is necessary to leverage the business changes 
  • The basic IT requirement to leverage the business changes 

Once all these points are mapped out the project can move forward, if it still needs to. 

TASSCC 2018 was full of new ideas, practices and, of course, people. I got the chance to trade information with other attendees, talk business and make some good connections.  

Using what I've learned and with my new connections I'll keep my focus pointed towards the future. 

Till next year …

-Josh Shelman, Harmony Technology Services 

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