Who Is Dennis Stevens

This weeks Who Is is Dennis Stevens. Dennis was proposed by Don Gray. I personally don’t know anything about Dennis (which makes it exiting to have him in Who Is).
On his websits I find a few intriguing things about Dennis, one he combines PMI & agile and he did Lean Value Stream mappings in 1994. They year I started to work…

This is what Don said about him:  I like Dennis approach to introducing managers to both the benefits of improving their work systems and the practical approach of continuous improvement.

Announcement: the Who is Series will be turned into a book, pre-register at Leanpub

What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?

I played the violin in high school. I was a four time all-state violin player and a National Scholastic Orchestra Award Winner as a senior. I was also the student conductor of the high school orchestra for two years. Then I was a music major at Florida State University where I learned more about conducting and performing. Although I wasn’t talented enough to be successful in a performance career, my experiences had two huge influences on me. First, I learned to balance individual preparation with the teamwork of performing as part of an ensemble. Second, I learned that every role in a production has a high level of craft to it. What looks easy from the outside is very challenging to perform at a high level. I carry the lessons I learned with me into my coaching and consulting interactions.

If you would not have been in IT, what would have become of you?

I would have been a high school teacher and baseball coach. I love baseball and I find creating a passion for performance and teaching solid fundamentals a successful and rewarding strategy.

What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?

I am actually an introvert. This leads me to be very prepared when I get in front of a group of people to teach and interact from a coaching standpoint. It also allows me to step back and observe the interactions of the people around me because I don’t need to be in the center of it.

What drives you ?

Learning how to improve the situations and challenges I see around me.  From Business Analysis, Project Management, Product Development, Testing, and Organizational Leadership I try to understand why non-productive behavior makes sense and try to find better ways to do the work and ways to communicate the better ways. People shouldn’t have to live and work under unreasonable circumstances when healthier and more productive ways are within reach.

What is your biggest achievement?

Raising my children.

What is the last book you have read?

Gerald Weinberg‘s Perfect Software and Gojko Adzic’s Specification by Example. Probably written 30 years apart, both contain an awful lot of pragmatic and useful information regarding testing software.

What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?

Where will you be in 10 years? I will be working in organization’s trying to understand why they operate the way they do and hopefully leading efforts to improve performance. I will also be coaching young kids in basketball or baseball.

Who do you think I should ask next?

Shane Hastie