Committing to a date in a product release environment

Organizers : Bart De Gruyter, Evert Arckens and Toon Nevelsteen work within EMC2 development. We develop a complex, distributed, hybrid storage OS collaborating with teams located in 6 different geographies around the world.


During this session we will explain you how we try to commit complex projects up to a year in the future and still hit the promised date. We obviously have many problems and some solutions for our problems. We think our methods can be improved. During this highly interactive session we will work together to find better solutions on how to keep a promise when developing complex products.

In a presentation we explain how we achieve the goal of committing to a date in a product release environment. Following the presentation we will run a simulation where we will plan for a complex project. Together we will build an environmental friendly car and you will learn all about technically complex features like cold fusion. Finally we will stimulate participants to brain storm on improvements via a fish bowl session.


The goal is to find a better way of predicting and committing content for releases that are up to a year in the future by interacting with the audience. All participants will learn from each other.

What are the pains when trying to keep the committed date and content? Are other people in the industry also suffering and what are better ways to get things done?

Process & Timetable:

  • Introduction (5 minutes)
  • Presentation of our way of working (30 minutes)
  • Simulation of a challenging part of our process (15 minutes)
  • Fish bowl discussion (45 minutes)
  • Conclusions (5 minutes)

Intended Audience: People that need to deliver and commit to dates in a product development environment: developers, project managers, program managers, architects, qa engineers, support people, product managers.

Benefits of participating:

  • Together we will find out how to keep word and deliver a complex project on the promised date.
  • Meet people interested in this topic.
  • Find ways to improve release management processes.
  • Learn from the interaction between the participants.
  • Understanding how to combine Agile methods with long term planning.
  • Learn how to act upon conflicting priorities.
  • Deliver a plan for an environmental friendly car running on cold fusion.