Michael Mah

Michael Mah

6/9/14

Michael Mah

Talk: Passion: What Agile Teams Might Learn About Creating Lasting Change from… Eco-pirates

Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace and founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, calls Sea Shepherd “a global movement,” not a single organization.
As a movement, it helped achieve a landmark ruling this year by The U.N.’s highest court, the International Court of Justice at The Hague, which ordered Japan to stop the killing of endangered whales in the Southern Antarctic Marine Sanctuary. Also, Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. Ambassador toJapan, called the annual slaughter of thousands of dolphins at the infamous Taiji cove, “inhumane,” in her famous “tweet heard around the world. This was followed by international condemnation of the Taiji hunts by Britain, Germany, Italy, Romania, and Scotland. Sea Shepherd and the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove,” are credited with helping spark this global protest.
What can agile teams learn from the passion and self-organizing attributes of groups like Sea Shepherd? Join our speaker, Michael Mah, who – with his work at QSM Associates and Cutter Consortium – has researched agile team performance since agile’s inception. Michael also returned from Taiji Japan after traveling with Sea Shepherd to see the drive hunts for himself. Hear his take on what the best teams muster to “move the needle” toward a “tipping point,” and what great software teams might draw from the environmental conservation movement.

As managing partner at QSM Associates Inc. based in Massachusetts, Michael Mah teaches, writes, and consults to technology companies on measuring, estimating and managing software projects, whether in-house, offshore, waterfall, or agile.

He is a frequent international conference keynote speaker and is the director of the Benchmarking Practice at the Cutter Consortium and past editor of the Cutter IT Metrics Strategies publication (now Cutter Benchmark Review). With over 25 years of experience, Michael and his team at QSM have derived productivity patterns for thousands of projects collected in their worldwide database across engineering and business applications. His work examines time-pressure dynamics of teams, and its role in project success and failure. His clients include Boeing, Progressive, Verizon Wireless, Nationwide, JPMorganChase, DirecTV, Roche, and other Fortune companies.
In addition to his background in physics and electrical engineering, he is a mediator specializing in negotiation and dispute resolution for technology projects. Michael has an engineering degree fromTufts University. His training on conflict resolution is from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard LawSchool. He is also a private pilot and lives in the mountains of western Massachusetts with his two children.  He can be reached at www.qsma.com.

 
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is an international, nonprofit marine wildlife conservation organization that Watson founded in 1977. Its mission, according to seashepherd.org, is to “end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.” Animal Planet’s television series “Whale Wars” follows SSCS and Watson as they attempt to defend whales from the Japanese whaling trade.