Breaking through the System Development Performance Barrier

The workshop that gives executives the key ingredients they need to accelerate the performance improvement of their system and software developments projects.



Join international software expert Alan Willett and SA’s 2013 IT Personality of the Year, Prof Barry Dwolatzky, for an experience that will change how you think about software development. This 3 day workshop will give you the key things you need to do to improve your software development culture and thus its performance.

Our goal is to provide you with the key levers you will need to reduce your personal work-load, while raising the bar of excellence on your organisation’s software projects.

We will give you an executive level understanding of the underlying laws of software development, and the key ones that most leaders are not aware of.  

We will supercharge that understanding with pragmatic examples and working sessions focused on your specific needs.

The experience of this workshop will give you the “magic wand” you need to make dramatic leaps in performance that will power your business.


The Executive Sessions

Tuesday, 22 July 2014, 8:30 -12:00 will be focused on what the senior executive needs to know. This will be a fast-paced, content-rich experience that provides senior executives with the key factors they need to appreciate. It provides a good overview of the whole workshop.  This will include an explanation of the four critical factors that reduce the speed and efficiency of system and software development. It is essential that every executive understands these key factors.

Thursday, 24 July 2014, 15:00 –17:00 The senior executives are welcomed back for the workshop conclusion on Thursday afternoon for a report-back on the whole workshop experience. We review the key lessons that are going to be applied immediately and the other key content which the executives need to know.

Thursday, 24 July 2014, 17:00 – 19:00 Cocktail Meet and Greet.  This session is immediately following the workshop. Everyone will have a great time with fine food and drink and great stories.  Discuss key issues with executives, the experts, and practitioners who are in action on implementing these best of breed practices.

The Detailed Sessions 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014, 13:00 – 17:00; Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 8:30 – 17:00; Thursday, 24 July 2014, 8:30 – 15:00:  Detailed work sessions where senior management and experts learn about the key issues they need to appreciate to uplift performance in the organization.  The topics we cover will include the following.

The economics of quality – a huge lever for increasing speed.

The Hidden Costs of Technical Debt that You Keep Paying and how to change the rules.

The leadership rules for starting projects with a foundation geared for success.

The Rock and Roll Beat Teams Need to Run Well and Fast

Time Keeps Slipping Into The Future.  The Challenge of Juggling Priorities and the Need for Focus in Software Development.

Evolution and Revolution. Going beyond methodologies (such as AGILE) to the key principles. How do you quickly adapt and evolve for sustained performance improvement.

Freedom and responsibility. Leaders software developers and other knowledge workers to the highest level of learning and performance.



Barry Dwolatzky is Professor of Software Engineering at Wits University and is Director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits.  He has been actively involved in software development projects in South Africa and the UK for close to 40 years.  He has also educated generations of software engineers.  In 2013 he was co-winner of the prestigious “South African IT Personality of the Year” Award in recognition of his contribution to growth and development of the South African ICT Sector.

Alan Willett is the paradigm shifter, an international expert that provides strategic thinking and tactical implementation to dramatically improve business results. He specializes in software development companies. Alan worked for 10 years in the world renowned Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University USA with the “father of Software Quality”, Watts Humphrey. Alan has consulted around the world including USA, England, Ireland, Portugal, Mexico, India, China and South Africa. He has consulted at over 100 companies including Microsoft, Oracle, Intuit, Nedbank, and many others.

John Goble is one of the first PSP Certified software developers and TSP Certified Coaches in South Africa. He is also an accredited trainer with the Software Engineering Institute in the USA. John has solid experience in all aspects of the Software Development Cycle.


Option 1:   The executive sessions.   This includes Tuesday AM and lunch and Thursday afternoon with the cocktail hour.  

Option 2:  This option includes the executive sessions plus all the detailed sessions. 

Option 3:   This option includes the executive sessions, all the detailed sessions and a special offer from the experts at WITS. John Goble with the support of Barry Dwolatzky and Alan Willett will come onsite to your company and conduct a two day diagnostic. He will look at your data, review process documents, software artifacts and conduct interviews with key stakeholders. Based on this experience a summary report will be prepared along with key recommendations for your next steps.

This workshop experience is limited to 30 participants. 

Investment Fees

Option 1:   6,500 Rands

Option 2:  12,000 Rands  Incentive:  if two people from the same company sign up for option 2, then two executives receive free invitations to the Executive Sessions.

Options 3: 28,000 Rands

Early Bird Incentive.  The first 10 registrants are invited to a join the workshop leaders for supper on Monday night at The Grillhouse Steak Restaurant in Rosebank.  Personally meet the experts and enjoy a great meal at no extra charge.



Option 1: R6,500 Option 2: R12,000 Option 3: R28,000
Wits Professional Development Hub, University of The Witwatersrand
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 08:30 to Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 19:00