Day One at SEPG

By Karen Smiley, agileteams
Today was a good start to my SEPG, thanks to a combination of good plans (well-executed) and serendipity.

First, on this morning’s shuttle bus, I met up with two European colleagues I hadn’t seen since my 2007 rotation to Shanghai. After registration check-in and joining another US-based colleague, we went off to separate morning sessions.

I was pretty happy with my two: Judah Mogilensky and Hillel Glazer tag-teamed on their ’super-sonic SCAMPI’ approach that’s both leaner and more collaborative, and Beth Layman gave a nice talk on making (re)appraisals more efficient. A key takeaway both sessions emphasized: more reliance on ‘affirmations’ and less on ‘indirect’ evidence.

On the walk to lunch, I met up briefly with some SEI and external colleagues from my TSP coaching days, who I plan to catch up with further over the next few days.

Choosing an afternoon session was tough: multiple models, CMMI+TSP, requirements, or agile CMMI? Again my colleagues and I split up: one was room moderator for the CMMI-TSP session, and another wanted to see Bill Diebler’s requirements, so I flipped a coin and went to agile CMMI.

Kent Johnson offered some interesting data on how a 500-person company in Denmark made significant productivity improvements by adding agile to their CMMI maturity level 5 approach. I was a little puzzled though by some of the measures proposed, for instance the completeness of the items in the product backlog: in agile, the product backlog shouldn’t be defined in great detail too early – selected stories are clarified collaboratively with the Product Owner during sprint planning. (Plus, how to actually measure this idea of backlog item completeness was never explained.) But it was generally a worthwhile session.

Locating a seat in this crowded afternoon session gave me another lucky reconnection: I ended up sitting right next to someone I had worked with in another state over 15 years ago. It was so nice to catch up with Caroline on break and afterward! Then I strolled down to the requirements session I’d missed to meet Bill F2F, and we had a good chat.

The last good news item of the day: the Savannah river’s been reopened and the ferries are running again! I’m looking forward to riding tomorrow.

Final thought on what I enjoyed about SEPG today: to me it’s always a nice treat to participate in a technical event that has more than the typical ratio of 5-15% women – it’s been closer to 50% in my sessions today.

Biggest disappointments so far? The rooms are crowded, drink selection and availability could be better on breaks (bringing my own water bottle tomorrow), and wireless connectivity in the session rooms is too weak to use.

I took a few photos, but don’t have time to offload and attach them tonight; I’ll post a comment here when they’re available.

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2 responses to “Day One at SEPG

  1. SEPG gave hubby and me an opportunity to visit a new location. Our impression has been “Wow! What a beautiful place full of history and what friendly people! We arrived a couple of days early and will stay a couple of days afterward.

    The sessions I’ve attended have been ok – the highlight has been Bill’s session on Requirements. I was unable to get into one session because there simply was no more room – even standing room was pushing on the door.

    Connecting old colleagues and friends as well as meeting new ones is always a top reason for attending conferences, and SEPG 2010 has been no exception.

    Disappointments? The Westin hotel…inconvenient to everything except conference center; exorbitant prices for food. We are moving to the other side of the river. Conference disappointments are crowded rooms, seats so close together there’s no comfortable sitting space for lengthy sessions. No bottled water. Thin walls cause lectures from one room to bleed through to the rooms next door. Boot camp was disappointing. It would have been wonderful if everyone had been allowed to introduce himself/herself, and it would have been great if the information collected on the speaker pad had been used for feedback.

    Its Wednesday…I’m looking forward to sessions today.

  2. Pingback: SEPG NA 2010 wrap-up « Agile Teams

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