SEM SIG Cinda Voegtli of



  • Software Engineering Management SIG

    Date: Thursday, October 18, 2007

    SW Executives, Managers, Project Managers, and Developers Working Together
    What we need from each other and don't get, and get from each other but don't want!


    Speaker:  Cinda Voegtli, Founder and CEO of ProjectConnections,


    WIIFM:  Guaranteed chuckles at insane people-and-process problems others have faced on projects, great discussion on how to realistically deal with such messy and annoying issues, and practical take-aways for what to do when it happens to you!  


    Program Description - Begins promptly at 7 PM
    Since a development project team is a mix of smart, very opinionated (usually), easily impatient (very often) people just trying to get something done while enjoying the work and hopefully meeting the business goals all at once, projects are by definition non-trivial and often messy propositions.   You'd think we'd figure out how to not make it any harder on ourselves than necessary.  But no - there's usually all kinds of flotsam in the water with us, making it more aggravating and less efficient than it needs to be - and all because the execs, managers, PMs, and developers each have unique desires, needs, and often maddeningly tunnel-vision-perspectives driving their interactions with everyone else.  


    From "content-free non-value-add project managers" to "useless status and meetings" to "bureaucratic processes", to "recalcitrant developers who won't commit" to “meddling executives” to "clueless managers" and more, this talk will hit on the typical nasty labels team members and managers sometimes give each other's work, and discuss why these time-and-emotion-wasting things happen on projects and what can be done about them.   Situations from past experiences of the speaker in all those roles, consulting experience in a number of high-tech firms, and related "I'm pulling my hair out" questions received from ProjectConnections members, will be used to illustrate all-too-typical situations and practical approaches to dealing with them.   Differences in role expectations, process-tolerance, request language, and information styles among engineering managers, project managers, and developers will be discussed, along with a range of techniques used by various teams to get past such issues.   Some solutions are organizational, some are personal !    There are ways to get rid of the damaging and silly things we do to each other on projects just because we come at things from often radically-different worldviews.   

    About the Speaker: Cinda Voegtli, Founder and CEO of 


    Founder and CEO of ProjectConnections, Cinda has over 20 years of project management experience in start-ups, rapidly growing companies, and large corporate environments. Her experience includes a wide variety of activities: developing hardware and software products; managing projects; building start-up organizations; and implementing and improving project management, portfolio management, and development processes. Her project experience includes communications and medical systems, IT application and infrastructure, industrial automation, desktop software, facilities construction, biotech drug development, and aerospace/government programs. Cinda has held director and VP-level positions managing budgets of up to $50 million across large portfolios of projects in technology development companies, and has provided senior management consulting to clients such as Hewlett Packard, Lam Research, Pacific Bell, Dow Chemical, NASA, FAA, Nellcor, Aviron/MedImmune, and Mobil Corporation. She is a Past President of the worldwide IEEE Engineering Management Society, an author and speaker on engineering and project management, and co-author of a Fortune 500-targeted book on rapid product development.



    Building D

    Southern Cross Room

    3410 Hillview Avenue

    Palo Alto, CA 94304