TeraThink had the privilege of attending and sponsoring AgileDC last week. AgileDC is a great event every year. It brings the DC area’s best and brightest thought leaders and practitioners to talk about agile trends, best practices, experiences, and how to grow our practices and community. This event has much more of a community feel than many of the larger conferences and events, which I really appreciate and value. You can focus on forming new relationships and broadening your knowledge of local partners and clients, which benefits everyone.
TeraThink attended SAP TechEd 2017 in sunny Las Vegas. SAP transported us from present day Vegas to the final frontier of the digital revolution. The conference kicked off with a keynote from Björn Goerke, SAP’s Chief Technology Officer. As a bonus, he came dressed as the legendary Captain Kirk on the mythical starship Enterprise! Goerke walked us through SAP’s vision of the digital transformation facing many present day organizations in their attempt to go digital (boldly) and blur the lines between their physical and virtual world.
SAP indulged the crowd with some space age demos of their new Leonardo platform to use drones, machine learning, spatial analytics, and computer vision to help Dole to automate farming of hundreds of acres of palm trees. Who doesn’t love drones and artificial intelligence? And what better way to indulge a room full of developers than to dress up as Captain Kirk, wear Vulcan ears, and present from the bridge of the Enterprise?
We are pleased to announce that TeraThink Director Laurence Hart has been named the first Information Coalition Honors Fellow by the Information Coalition. The fellows program recognizes the work of individuals that span multiple functionalities in the information industry. These domains include Records Management, Information Management, Enterprise Content Management, and Information Privacy. Laurence received this notable distinction at The Information Governance Conference 2017, one of the leading conferences for experts in the field of information governance.
“Laurence has been a leader in the Information Governance and Content Management realm for over 20 years. We are proud of his accomplishments, as well as the knowledge and experience that he brings to our clients at TeraThink. I couldn’t think of a better person to be named ‘First Fellow’ than Laurence Hart”, said TEraThink CEO, Dan Maguire.
Last week I spoke at the local National Capital Chapter of AIIM. I gave an updated version of the talk I’ve been giving the past year on Information Governance in the Age of Digital Transformation. While the talk was not new, it was the first time I had given it locally. The discussion was new and very much on point. As I sit here waiting for the 2017 InfoGovCon to start, I want to share some of the highlights.
TeraThink has been awarded a prime position on the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Shared Services Line of Business (SSLoBS) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). An estimated $500 million multi-award BPA, this win is a testament to our team’s 20+ years of continuous delivery and excellence supporting USDA’s mission.
The objective of the SSLoBS BPA is to drive the OCFO’s (Office of the Chief Financial Officer) mission, while providing USDA’s shared service offerings to customers government-wide. The scope of this BPA includes services for Financial Management, Human Resources, Information Technology Services Division, External Systems Development, and Personnel & Pay. These service offerings are designed to eliminate time-consuming, transactional functions and allow agencies to focus on their core mission.
When all of the best and brightest thinkers in the agile arena get together in one place, there’s no doubt you are going to learn a lot from one another and have fun. This year’s Agile2017 conference in Orlando was no exception. Great breadth of topics that loaded me up with ideas to bring back to our TeraThink clients and our company itself. I want to share a few of the areas that top my list.
Making Time for Innovation is Good for Everyone
The innovation theme was prevalent in many conversations and areas, and there is a good reason – because it is important. Innovation is how people, products, industries, etc. get better. Allowing our developers, engineers and leaders the space to innovate will build higher performing teams and organizations. I spent Open Spaces time with some great agilists hearing about the innovative ideas they have implemented at their respective companies. This has fueled my fire to get this going even more at home.
Here at TeraThink, we are currently building an internal application that will allow us to better track new business opportunities. Simultaneously, we are exposing more of our staff to agile and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) principles. Among the many concepts we are trying to inculcate in our team is the “layer cake” user story.
The layer cake idea has been around for over a decade. However, I’ve found on nearly all agile engagements that I’ve been on, teams either discard this idea early in the project or completely ignore it from the outset. It is up to the triumvirate of the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Business Analyst to ensure that the scrum team writes user stories in such a manner that the outcome of each story is working software that delivers tangible value to the end user.
TeraThink is the prime integrator for Enterprise Funds Distribution (EFD), which is designed to increase visibility, auditability, and efficiency in the management of distributed funds and Congressional Actions for all Department of Defense (DoD) appropriations. EFD will be the authoritative source of Budget Line Items (BLI) for the entire life-cycle of all DOD programs.
In May 2017, the TeraThink Team concluded a year-long contract with a successful Go-Live delivered on time and within budget. The Go-Live enabled funds distribution capability for Defense organizations receiving and distributing Defense-wide funding. This effort also included migrating a user organization to EFD, developing outbound interface file formats, and providing custom reports which contain critical budget data. As a result of the successful implementation, our DLA client gave TeraThink an “exceptional” CPARs rating in 4 out of 5 evaluation areas.
You’re an experienced Scrum Master beginning a new project. You meet with your Product Owner (PO) for the first time and hear him or her say any or all of the following:
- “I’ve never worked in this role before.”
- “I’ll do my best to be on-site as much as possible.”
- “I’ve completed Certified Scrum Master training, but I’ve never applied it in practice.”
- “I’m the Product Owner for your team, and nine others.”
Your spidey sense is now tingling. You are going to be working with an inexperienced and/or overextended PO. Fear not, however. Here are some methods and remedies you can apply to get your PO up to speed.
This week I attended the 2017 Alfresco Government Summit here in DC. It is part of Alfresco’s rotating 1-day summits that they hold around the world during the year. Alfresco held this year’s DC event at Nats Park, a great location for the great weather. When attendance is good, it is a solid event full of productive discussions about information governance.
This year was a good year.
As a former Alfresco employee, it was enjoyable to chat with old friends to learn what has changed, and not changed, since my departure. More importantly for TeraThink, it was great to hear directly from Alfresco executives what their priorities are and their vision for tackling them. Enterprise content management (ECM) is constantly evolving so as a leading vendor in the space, their opinion matters.
Based upon what I saw at the event, Alfresco’s priority is enabling digital transformation for organizations.