Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Benefits of Using Twitter at Conferences

Over the past several years, the SEPG Conferences Series has maintained a presence on a variety of social media channels. With one visit to our website, you can see that we use a variety of platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr to enhance the conference experience–not just for delegates in attendance, but for others following along from home. With a few mouse clicks, you can see our conferences in photos, video, or Twitter stream.

The conference staff especially enjoys connecting with our Twitter followers. From meeting a follower at a conference for the first time in-person, to keeping in touch between events, to sharing real-time key learnings from the technical sessions with those at home, Twitter is a great tool for sharing knowledge and creating ongoing relationships with our delegates. The learning and networking continues long after the conference concludes.

It’s become apparent that social media is not a trend or a fad; it’s here to stay. If you are just new to Twitter or are wondering how Twitter can be useful at conferences, check out this blog post by Douglas Woods.

Why Use Twitter at Conferences – Ecademy.

He shares some of his thoughts on the benefits of Twitter at conferences. Woods makes some great points about the value Twitter can bring. In fact, he states that conferences are perhaps one of the best ways to use Twitter–and we agree.

What are your thoughts on using Twitter at a conference? Do you have a different opinion as an attendee versus a speaker? Are you going to give it a try at your next event?

We will be actively tweeting at our next conference, SEPG Europe 2012, to share news, highlights, and technical session insights. Join us in Madrid on June 5-7 or follow along using the hash tag #SEPGEU.


SEPG Europe 2012 Technical Program: 3 Days of More than 40 Technical Sessions in 9 Tracks

As a result of the knowledge and passion from the worldwide community of practice, SEPG Europe 2012 features a first-rate technical program. With three days, nine tracks, and more than 40 sessions, the 17th annual SEPG Europe conference offers delegates numerous learning opportunities. You can now review the program and build your personal itinerary.

Attend SEPG Europe 2012 and hear

• suggestions and recommendations for combining Agile and high maturity
• a practical overview of CMMI process areas mapping and Scrum framework and outcomes
• how investing in people helps build and sustain a capable workforce, which in turn becomes an asset to an organization
• how to effectively manage a process improvement team to achieve organizational goals
• foundations and major causes of change resistance and how to minimize it with innovative practices
• challenges and considerations of introducing Lean Six Sigma into the software and IT organization

These are just a few of the many learner outcomes you will gain from SEPG Europe 2012.

Explore the program, read about the keynote speakers, and then register for the conference by Monday 02 April for the largest registration discount. Delegates who register by the super-early-bird deadline will save up to $400 off the standard registration rates.

After completing registration, don’t forget to book your accommodations at the NH Eurobuilding Hotel, the official conference hotel for SEPG Europe 2012.

SEPG North America 2012 Supports the Make-a-Wish Foundation

Attendees who are staying in the conference block at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque Hotel and the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Albuquerque are helping to make a wish come true for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Both hotels have awarded points for each attendee who made a reservation in the SEPG North America 2012 room block. While each attendee keeps his or her personal points, the corporate points are being donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Approximately 70 percent of all wishes involve travel and hotel stays, so these donations will help the Make-A-Wish Foundation to redeem free nights at participating properties worldwide. With the help of award points donations, Make-a-Wish can make kids’ dreams reality.

The SEPG North America 2012 team would like to thank all attendees who stayed in the conference block.

Wednesday Plenary Session Includes SEPM Director Remarks, Keynote Speakers

The SEI’s SEPM Program Director Anita Carleton offered opening remarks on Wednesday morning, during which she recognized the talent and dedication of the worldwide community of practice and shared her perspective on themes for next generation of our models, including more flexibility, iterative releases, and integration with other methods and practices such as Agile and lean.

Carleton closed her remarks by introducing today’s keynote speakers: Carl Wyrwa, former director of quality at Beckman Coulter, and Khaled El Emam, senior investigator at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute.

Wyrwa delivered a presentation on medical device software development during which he imparted that software quality must be extremely high to meet the demands of providing safe and effective products involved in the critical care of patients. Wyrwa spoke poignantly about the constant focus on software quality and oversight of the processes used to develop the software that are necessary to reduce errors that might pose regulatory problems.

Wyrwa passed along to attendees a piece of advice he received from his father: “Always do your work in a way that you would be proud to put your name to it.”

El Emam also used the medical field for context in his presentation that focused on software security.  Through real-world examples including an extortion plot involving personal information from patient prescriptions and the unsecure nature of the wireless link in implantable medical devices, El Emam illustrated the vital importance of a set of practices to secure data and protect patient privacy.

El Emam concluded his talk by emphasizing that privacy must be the default–and embedded into design and architecture of software and business processes–rather than something that needs to be explicitly set.

Palma Buttles, SEPG North America 2012 program co-chair, closed the plenary session by thanking the many individuals who make the conference a success. The time and dedication of Program Committee and abstract reviewers helped to shape a top-notch technical program that anchors SEPG North America 2012.
El Emam concluded his talk by emphasizing that privacy must be the default–and embedded into design and architecture of software and business processes–rather than something that needs to be explicitly set.

Palma Buttles, SEPG North America 2012 program co-chair, closed the plenary session by thanking the many individuals who make the conference a success. The time and dedication of Program Committee and abstract reviewers helped to shape a top-notch technical program that anchors SEPG North America 2012.

SEPG North America 2013: Location Announced

SEPG North America 2012 opened on Wednesday with a much-anticipated announcement. SEPM Director Anita Carleton revealed the destination for the 25th SEPG North America conference: Orlando, Florida.

SEPG North America 2013 will occur in March and additional details will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. Visit for news and updates.

We look forward to seeing you in March 2013 as we celebrate 25 years of SEPG in Orlando, Florida–the Happiest Place on Earth!

SEI Director and CEO, Keynote Speakers Open the Tuesday Program at SEPG North America 2012

Yesterday’s program opened with an official conference welcome from SEI director and CEO Paul Nielsen. He warmly welcomed everyone to Albuquerque–a city he called home for several years–and expressed special thanks to all of the first-time attendees as well as several individuals who have been to all 24 SEPG North America conferences. Nielsen also noted that SEPG North America is a global conference with attendees coming from more than 20 countries from around the world. Nielsen closed his remarks by introducing keynote speaker Walker Royce, a second-generation software engineer, author, and chief software economist in the IBM Software Group.

Royce delivered a presentation titled “Measured Improvement in Software” to a captive audience of more than 500 attendees. He opened the talk by introducing the idea that software delivery is an economic discipline and then walked attendees through six econometric patterns for measuring and steering toward improved economic outcomes. He outlined the foundational principles for software-driven innovation: integrate, collaborate, and optimize. When speaking about “optimize,” Royce urged attendees to plan project milestones so integration precedes unit testing, an idea he acknowledged may seem counterintuitive.

Throughout his 45-minute talk, Royce shared many practical, applicable solutions as well as inspirational ideas. “In software, we’re only bound by human imagination,” Royce said. “Our decisions are often determined by value judgment.”

In summary, Royce noted that better software economics is a result of measured improvement for improved predictability and agility for improved operational efficiency.

Following Royce’s presentation, Paul Mesterhazy, the acting deputy director of the National Cyber Security Division and former chief of staff for the Office of Cybersecurity & Communications, delivered prepared remarks.

Dave Zubrow, SEPG North America 2012 program co-chair, closed the plenary session by encouraging attendees to be actively engaged over the next few days and to take advantage of all the conference has to offer.

SEPG Student Spotlight

Doctoral candidate Qi Li from the University of Southern California is presenting his research in the Exhibit Area during today’s afternoon break from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. Visit him in person on Wednesday or watch a short video introduction.

SEPG North America 2012–The Week in Photos

With all of the SEPG Conference Series social media channels, there are plenty of ways to keep up with the conference action. When we’re not blogging or tweeting, the conference staff is capturing the week in photos. We’ve just updated the Flickr photostream. Check out the “SEPGNA2012” tag or the SEPG North America 2012 photo set to see the  week in pictures.


Coming Up On Wednesday: Research Collaboration Meet and Greet With SEPG North America 2012 Co-Chair

Attention SEPG North America 2012 and local members of academia:

Join Dave Zubrow, Ph.D., chief scientist for the SEI’s Software Engineering Process Management (SEPM) Program, for an informal meet and greet session immediately after the conference concludes for the day on Wednesday, March 14.

SEPG North America 2012 conference attendees, as well as local academics and students, are encouraged to gather and discuss their research interest in process improvement and measurement, as well as to learn more about research collaboration opportunities within SEPM. Interested individuals should meet in the registration desk area on Wednesday at 5:15 p.m.

Jeff Dalton Named Chairman of the SEI’s Partner Advisory Board

On Monday the SEI introduced Jeff Dalton as Chairman of the Partner Advisory Board for 2012-13.  The announcement was made at the annual SEI Partner Annual Meeting and Luncheon at the SEPG North America 2012 Conference in Albuquerque, NM.

“We are pleased to announce that Jeff Dalton of Broadsword Solutions has been elected 2012-2013 Chairman of the SEI Partner Advisory Board,”Partner Network Manager Lisa Masciantonio said.  “The PAB serves an important role for our Partners, giving them a voice in SEI business decisions.  Jeff has served as a board member for the past two years as the representative for Small U.S. Partners, and we look forward to the work he will do as the leader for this group.”

Jeff Dalton, president of Broadsword Solutions Corporation, has been a frequent speaker and contributor to the SEI’s Partner community, and has presented at SEPG conferences for seven consecutive years.  He has been voted a “Top 10 Speaker” at multiple SEPG conferences, and was keynote speaker at the International Conference on CMMI in Lima, Peru, in 2010.  Leading up to this year’s conference, Dalton’s “Top Ten Reasons to Attend SEPGNA” blog posts have appeared at

“I’m honored to be named Chairman of this group of forward-leaning professionals,” Dalton said.  “The Partner Advisory Board represents the vital connection between the SEI as creators of the industry’s leading process model, the CMMI, and the organizations that use it.  I look forward to collaborating with the Partner group as we evolve into an even more professional organization and full partner with the SEI in 2012.”

Broadsword is an SEI Partner and Process Innovation firm that is the world leader in using Agile and Lean methods to drive high performance engineering using their AgileCMMI methodology and collaborative consulting and coaching solutions. Working with great clients like Rockwell Collins, NASA, Boeing, Chrysler, Compuware and L3 Communications, Broadsword’s methods and success are proven throughout North America and the World.

Broadsword is based in southeastern Michigan.  Jeff can be reached at , +1 248-341-3367 or

SEPG North America 2012 Opens With Energy and Excitement

SEPG North America 2012 began yesterday with great enthusiasm from the presenters and attendees alike. Monday’s program featured a menu of full-day and half-day tutorials on topics like the Accelerated Improvement Method (AIM), CMMI in small settings, Process Performance Models, and scrum.

At the SEI Partner Network Annual Meeting and Luncheon, Lisa Masciantonio, SEI Partner Network manager, recognized SEI Partners commemorating 10- and 15-year milestones.

Monday evening’s Exhibits Opening Reception featured food, drinks, and mingling with the solutions-providers who are taking up residence in Ballroom B this week. The student poster presenters also introduced their research and will be available during afternoon breaks on Tuesday and Wednesday. Be sure to stop by and talk with these up-and-coming process professionals.

This first official networking event of SEPG North America 2012 complemented the informal exchanges that occurred throughout the day during breaks and lunch.

Coming Up Today: Keynote Speakers and Conference Reception
Today’s program opens with a plenary session featuring a welcome address from Paul Nielsen, director and CEO of the SEI, and keynote addresses from Walker Royce, IBM Software Group, and Paul Mesterhazy, National Cyber Security Division.

The conference activities continue this evening at the Conference Reception, held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque Hotel, Grand Pavilion Ballroom, Second Level.

Lace Up Your Running Shoes and Join the Watts Memorial Level 5K Run/Walk–A 15+-Year Tradition

Did you pack your running shoes? SEPG North America 2012 attendees Norm Hammock and Pat O’Toole will be continuing a 15+-year tradition of hosting a run each morning of SEPG North America. Formerly dubbed the “Level 5K,” 2012 marks the second year of the renamed event, the “Watts Memorial Level 5K Run/Walk.” The run is in memory of the late Watts Humphrey, who was instrumental in the creation of the SEPG Conference Series.

While not an official SEPG North America 2012 event, the run/walk organizers invite any interested individuals to join them each morning–rain or shine. Runners and walkers should meet at 6 the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque Hotel and depart from there.

For more information, contact Norm Hammock (, or Pat O’Toole (  Check out their video highlights from last year’s run.

First-Time Attendees Get Acquainted with SEPG North America 2012

For the first-time attendees the conference kicked off last night with a special orientation session that brought them together with the SEPG North America 2012 technical co-chairs, members of the SEI, and savvy returning attendees.

The technical co-chairs Palma Buttles and David Zubrow led the group in a discussion about the technical program tracks, introduced the track chairs and various SEI experts, and offered guidance on how to make the most of the conference. Several attendees shared their reasons for choosing SEPG North America 2012, which included a company just getting started with CMMI and looking to learn more about the appraisal process, an organization on its way to a Maturity Level 3 certification, and a Maturity Level 5 company looking to build its knowledge base on Process Performance Models.

Zubrow encouraged attendees to not just focus on a CMMI maturity level but to consider the competitive benefits of process improvement. “You need to think about what good process improvement is doing for your business. It can make you more competitive and allow you to better serve your customers.”

The second half of the First-Timers’ Orientation allowed attendees to get one-on-one advice on technical sessions from experts in CMMI-SVC, appraisals, multi-models, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and more.

Buttles added, “With more than 100 technical sessions, choosing what to attend can be overwhelming. The orientation provided a convenient way for attendees to meet with track chairs and SEI experts to plan their agenda, but we encourage any attendee to approach us throughout the week if they need guidance on choosing sessions.”

Welcome to SEPG North America 2012

For attendees joining us in person for SEPG North America 2012, welcome to Albuquerque. This historic city is the heart of the American Southwest and the destination for SEPG North America 2012. Throughout the week, we hope you have a chance to savor the flavor of the vibrant Southwest cuisine, explore historic Route 66, and of course learn new ways to leverage process improvement to Reach New Levels of Excellence in your organization. We are looking forward to seeing familiar faces and greet the many professionals who are attending SEPG North America for the first time.

We look forward to seeing you throughout this tell. Tell us–what are you most looking forward to at SEPG North America 2012?

Why I’m coming to SEPG 2012 (again) this year – Reason #1!

The #1 Reason to Attend SEPGNA: The Social Experience

Jeff Dalton, CMMI, CMMI Appraiser, CMMI Consultant, CMMI Certification, CMMI Training, CMMI Appraiser

Howdy Partners.  Land sakes alive, the big event in the ‘ol West is nearly upon us!  Yes, the SEPG North America rodeo is just is a couple of shakes of a lamb’s tail away (March 11 through March 15), and that means it’s time to rope in my Top Ten reasons to be there.  Here’s a round-up of Reason #10, Reason #9, Reason #8, Reason #7, Reason #6, Reason #5, Reason #4, Reason #3 and Reason #2.  So today we’re gonna get down to it and ride this steed into town – together.

So let’s saddle up one last time and finish my list of Top 10 Reasons to attend SEPG North America 2012.

Drum roll, please!  Reason #1 is …

The Social Experience.

That’s right, the people!  People are why we come together.  People are what make us a community.  As I mentioned in other posts, I’ve been coming to the Conference for the last umpteen years, and this is by far the best time of the year for me – due to the people.

We work and live in an amazing community of really sharp, forward-leaning people.  Getting together every year at SEPGNA is a great way to interact and collaborate with them.  We’ll hang out, learn, talk, laugh and raise a glass to everyone’s success.

I’m not just talking about Partners and SEI folks, either.  Customers will be there, real –life adopters of the CMMI.  You’ll mix with a lot of different companies and have a chance to hear their experiences about how they did it, the good, the bad and the ugly.  And if you hang out for happy hour you will REALLY hear some tales!

(Cue the Spaghetti Western whistle tune.)

Here are just a few of the many opportunities we’ll have to socialize at this year’s event:

Monday – the show opens in the afternoon with a big shindig on the conference floor.  This is where many of us will be reunited for the first time since last year.  Come out, meet vendors, meet old and new friends, and enjoy a beverage of your choice!

Also on Monday is the SEI Partner Lunch where Partners will meet old friends and get to know new ones.  You’ll have a chance to hear others’ experiences with what’s going on with the CMMI and the market.  This will also be my first opportunity to speak with the Partner group in my new role as Chairman of the Partner Advisory Board.  But it doesn’t end there.

Tuesday – The good times carry over to the conference  reception on Tuesday evening where you’ll experience the CMMI social event of the century!  OK, sounds pretty geeky, but it’s always a great time.

After the reception stop out at the famous ISD party and its equally famous band – The Model Mappers!  They play at Gecko’s Nob Hill  from 8:30 – 11:30 pm.  It’s just a short ride from the convention center.  Every year, they really go all out for their customers, and everyone talks about it for months!

Wednesday – if you’re one of Broadsword’s customers, you are invited to join us for our annual Client Appreciation Dinner and User Group.  It’s a diverse, eclectic group, and we always meet at one of the finest dining establishments in town.  We’ll eat, drink and be merry, well into the night.  (Locate a Broadsword representative at SEPGNA for more info).

Other Partners put on events throughout the week, so keep your ear to the ground and you might just catch a late-night celebration.

Those are just a few of the formal events.  But there are far more informal occasions to interact, talk and get to know each other better.  Personally, I find these chance meetings to be among the most enjoyable of all.

Last year I had an impromptu discussion with David Greer, Hillel Glazer, and a few others on the need to collect CMMI User Stories, and a new research project was born!  Stay tuned for our results on that one.

So that’s it, my friends.  Those are my Top Ten Reasons to attend the SEPGNA this year.  As you can see, SEPG 2012 is a win-win, and everyone should come to ABQ next week.  Best of all, it’s not too late to register – and we’ll see you in Albuquerque!

Need more reasons to go?  You gotta be kidding me!

Jeff Dalton is President of Broadsword Solutions Corporation and the incoming Chairman of the SEI’s Partner Advisory Board.  He is a SCAMPI Lead Appraiser whose blog can be read at  He can be reached at