Mic Check: Carmen DeArdo ready for Tasktop Connect 2018

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It provides a one-day experience that mimics what one could learn at a larger conference but at a fraction of the time and cost – Carmen DeArdo, Senior Value Stream Strategist, Tasktop

Ahead of Tasktop Connect next month, I sat down with some of the scheduled speakers to give you a flavour of what to expect from the event. First up is Carmen DeArdo, who spoke as a customer last year at our inaugural event as Technology Director of Nationwide. He returns this year as a Tasktopian as a our Senior Value Stream Strategist. 

Carmen talking through Nationwide’s journey to accelerate delivery via continuous delivery (Photo: Robb McCormick Photography – https://www.robbmccormick.com)

Hi Carmen, tell us a little about your role at Tasktop? You came out of retirement right? What persuaded you to postpone a life on the beach sipping cocktails?

Yes, my retirement didn’t last too long! Actually after my previous role, I was looking for a way to help other enterprises. I had met Mik at previous DevOps Enterprise Summit, and as a customer I had been able to see and appreciate his vision and what Tasktop could provide. This attracted me to want to work with Mik and help to realize his vision around the Flow Framework™.

As a speaker at the inaugural Tasktop Connect last year, what attracted you to speak at a vendor event?

I always loved attending the DOES conferences because of the ability to exchange ideas and learn from others. The Connect conference last year presented the same type of opportunity, as well as time to hear from other customers from all sorts of industries – such as Macy’s, McKeeson, Lockheed Martin, TIAA, Bank of America, US Bank and many more – about what they are doing so that we could all learn and improve from each other.

What were you three main takeaways from last year’s event? What did you learn that you could apply to your former company Nationwide?

The conference last year was fantastic because I got to hear from experts like Mik and Nicole Bryan about not only Tasktop, but key insights into how companies are attempting to address key issues like how to better serve the business through IT. This includes how better to integrate and model our value stream to increase flow, and how other customers are utilizing Tasktop as part of their journeys to be more responsive to their business. There were also plenty of insights on how the Value Stream Architecture models that Tasktop produces can be used to help influence the culture at my company. This helped my colleagues and I to better understand the importance of modeling our value stream.

With so many annual industry events serving the DevOps, Agile and IT communities, what value does Tasktop Connect offer time and cash-strapped attendees?

It provides a one-day experience that mimics what one could learn at a larger conference but at a fraction of the time and cost. This is the type of conference where every session has key information that can be applied to the journey that you and your company are on to continuously improve.  

What excites you about this year’s event? Any particular topics or discussions you’re hoping to have with the Connect Community?

As a member of Tasktop, I am excited about listening to customers and learning what is working for them and how we can better serve them. I also think that with Mik’s upcoming Project to Product book and the Flow Framework™, we have a lot of exciting material to share with folks and get feedback on. And as always, it’s great to be treated by talks from our very own Dominica DeGrandis and Nicole Bryan!

During your presentation last year, you said “Take control of your value stream, or your value stream will control you!” How has that message evolved over the last year?

I think that message plays well into what I am starting to do in my role at Tasktop as Senior Value Stream Strategist. I want to work with customers to better visualize, connect and measure their flow across key value streams. I think the message of making connections visible to understand where work is flowing and more importantly, where it isn’t, is key to driving improvements. Also I believe as Mik discusses in his book, we are approaching a Turning Point where companies need to move to a product model to stay successful and I look forward to seeing how I can help customers on this journey.

You’re speaking again this year. What will you be talking about and what do you hope the audience will glean from your session?

I have the pleasure of teaming up with Mik on a some sessions which will explain what the Flow Framework™ is, provide some guidance on how companies can start to apply it, and the application of the metrics that are produced to drive improvements. I hope this helps attendees in their understanding of the Flow Framework™ concepts and “make it come alive” and actionable.

Any final words for people sitting on the fence?

I would simply encourage folks to join us in DC because I know that we can all learn from each other and help improve the way our companies can better serve our businesses and customers.

Carmen in action!

Tasktop Connect 2017

DevOps Enterprise Summit 2018, Las Vegas

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Interest is high – to avoid disappointment, register now and use code NOVEMBER for 30% off registration.

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Join our Flow Framework™ Partner Day – December 5th

We have also seen a big spike of interest from consultants and services provides who are supporting customers on this journey, and see the Flow Framework™ as a key enabler. To address this, we are adding a Flow Framework™ Partner Day on the day prior to the conference. Those attending the partner day will benefit from our very latest materials and practices. To sign up for this exclusive opportunity, please contact Grace Smith.

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