Author Archives: Brittney_AC

SEPG North America 2013, Coming to Pittsburgh in October

As the new host of the SEPG Conference Series, the CMMI Institute is pleased to announce that SEPG North America 2013 will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 1-2, 2013. As the host of the SEPG North America conference, the CMMI Institute is thrilled to welcome a worldwide community of professionals to its home city for two days of high-quality learning and networking. The conference will deliver high-value, practical information to end users and practitioners and will offer excellent opportunities to connect with others in the performance improvement community.

The CMMI Institute and the SEPG program committee are working quickly to be able to announce information on speakers, registration, and more.

Moving forward, please visit for all information related to SEPG conferences. 


Important Update Regarding the SEPG Conference Series

In 1988, the SEI hosted a small workshop attended by approximately 30 process improvement professionals. Since then, this workshop has grown to become the SEPG Conference Series, the leading global conference series on software and systems process management. As the SEI works with its government sponsor and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to transition Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)-based process improvement activities to a brand-new CMU entity, the community will be vital in creating a shared, refreshed vision for process improvement.

The new organization will serve as the host for SEPG Conference Series and will begin assuming management and operation of SEPG North America 2013. To allow for a thorough transition, the new host has postponed plans for a March 4-7, 2013 conference in Orlando, Florida, and aims to hold the conference in the fall of 2013, possibly co-located or combined with the annual CMMI Workshop. You can help shape the evolution of the SEPG Conference Series by sharing your vision for the future of SEPG at

The SEI has been honored to host the SEPG Conference Series since its inception and looks forward to being a contributor to the state of the practice of process improvement in the future. In accordance with its vision of leading the world to a software-enriched society, the SEI will continue to offer the software and systems engineering communities a range of other conferences including CERT FloCon, the SEI Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) Conference, and the TSP Symposium. The SEI will continue to expand its SEI Webinar Series, podcasts, and series of focused workshops.

If you have questions or comments about the SEPG Conference Series, you may contact the new conference host by visiting

SEPG North America 2013: Dates Announced, Call for Participation Open

SEPG North America 2013, held in Orlando, Florida, March 4-7, will celebrate 25 years of integrating, innovating, and motivating the software and systems community. In addition to acknowledging the community’s past accomplishments, the conference program will place significant emphasis on the future and how we can tackle new challenges in the process improvement industry. Read more about the theme Integrate. Innovate. Motivate. and what it means for the technical program.

The call for participation is now open and SEPG North America 2013 presenters and abstract reviewers have a unique opportunity to inspire the next generation of process solutions. The Program Committee is seeking presentations that share ways we can integrate, innovate and motivate, inspiring the community to propel process and performance improvement into the next 25 years.

We are also pleased to offer the student poster presentation program, a valuable opportunity for full-time students to make connections, get quality feedback on their work, and explore employment opportunities.

The SEPG North America 2013 website includes more details on dates, deadlines, guidelines, and benefits of being a part of the 25th anniversary conference. Submit an abstract by September 5, 2012 for the opportunity to mark a mark on the industry.

SEPG Europe 2012: The Week in Photos

The sun is almost set on the 17th annual SEPG Europe conference. More than 160 delegates enjoyed a three-day schedule of technical sessions and networking events–including a reception at the Old Town Hall of Madrid.

Visit our Flickr photostream to see the week in photos.

SEPG Europe 2012 Keynote Highlight: Jan Bosch

Speed, Open Innovation, and Ecosystems: Implications for Software Engineering

Jan Bosch (no relation to Bosch the SEI Europe sponsor, as he pointed out) from Chalmers University of Technology delivered an energetic keynote presentation that offered his solutions to a problem inherent in many organizations. They often face two important needs-to respond in a timely manner to customer needs and to make open innovation an organizational capability.

With that in mind, Bosch previewed three main points:

  • Increasing speed trumps any other improvement R&D can provide to the company, the goal being continuous deployment of new functionality
  • Software engineering is at an inflection point-from “integration-oriented” to “composition-oriented” software engineering
  • Software ecosystems offer the next phase of growth for successful product platforms

Bosch underscored those takeaways by sharing some current trends in software. Using both real-world results and guiding principles, Bosch illustrated some important implications for software engineering, including the role of software architecture, the organizations of teams, and the activities needed to evolve a software ecosystem.

After stating his case for the importance of speed over efficiency, Bosch focused on the ability of open innovation to drive growth by innovating with partners and sharing in the risk and the reward. He discussed some ways that Intuit fostered open innovation in directed and integrated contexts.

He wrapped up the presentation by saying, “If you take one idea way from this presentation, it should be this: focus on speed. If you do that, you will get efficiency as an outcome.”

He also left the audience with several other implications and his shadow beliefs. Among them is the notion that data always trumps opinion and that getting first to market with new functionality that closely aligns to customer needs is a significant competitive advantage that drives growth and results in market leadership

SEPG Europe 2012 Keynote Highlight: Mario Piattini

Managing Process Diversity and Training 

Mario Piattini, director, Information Systems and Technologies Institute, UCLM-Indra Joint Software Research and Development Center, delivered the day’s first keynote presentation.

“Software developers are charged with decreasing costs and improving delivery, productivity, quality, satisfaction, and ROI,” said Piattini. “And to do that, they must have passion for good processes.” Piattini shared expert insights on the need for organizations to tailor software process models to fit the characteristics and needs of the organization and its customers. He used some words of wisdom from Watts Humphrey to make this case: Just as there are no two identical software projects, there are no two identical software processes in the world.

Using real-world examples related to global software development and software product assessment, Piattini illustrated that by combining product line approaches and mechanisms for process tailoring, organizations can better address the multiple contexts of use required to address today’s varied business landscape. He also talked about tool support for implementations.

He concluded by saying that it is very important to have a passion for process. But, as in life (and football), passion is not enough. To establish a sound commitment to software, we need to manage processes by playing the same game, just different variations of it. In doing so, we can offer a real global delivery model for process improvement.

IEEE Software Paper Winners Announced at SEPG Europe 2012

New this year, SEPG Europe 2012 was held in collaboration with IEEE Software magazine, offering an opportunity for technical program presenters to have a paper selected for inclusion in an SEI Special Report, as well as to be considered for possible inclusion in a future issue of IEEE Software magazine. During the call for participation period, abstract submitters had the option to indicate interest in this opportunity.

Patrick Kirwan announced the winners for the best paper submission as decided by the IEEE Software article review committee. Radouane Oudrhiri and Fabrizio Pellizzetti of Systonomy LTD in the UK received the award for their paper “SPC, Six Sigma, and CMMI: Integration and Deployment Challenges.”


SEPG Europe 2012 Social Events: Networking with Exhibitors, Experiencing the Hospitality of Our Host City

SEPG Europe 2012 delegates had the chance to meet with exhibitors and student poster presenters upon the conclusion of Tuesday’s technical sessions. The lively crowd enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and drinks while continuing the conversations that were sparked during the afternoon sessions.

Following the Exhibits Opening Reception, delegates boarded a bus and traveled to the Patio de Cristales at the Casa de la Villa. The Casa de la Villa originally served as both a prison and Town Hall, and the building still has two entrances that point to this dual function.

Ignacio Fernandez, chief executive officer of the Madrid Visitors and Convention Bureau, welcomed the group to Spain’s capital city. Fernandez expressed his desire for all SEPG Europe 2012 delegates to feel at home in Madrid and his gratitude for choosing Madrid as the host city.

Paul Nielsen addressed the crowd and shared what a diverse group of delegates we have–all continents are represented with the exception of Antarctica. “We are a true global community,” Nielsen said, “and we have felt very at home in Madrid.” He shared his thanks to the city of Madrid for hosting the reception and making everyone feel very warmly welcomed.

SEPG Europe 2012 Keynote Speaker Highlight: Andrew Nolan

Management–and the Root of All Evil

While many people think of cars when they hear Rolls-Royce, keynote speaker Andrew Nolan shared that many of the company’s 13,500 software engineers work to provide integrated power systems for aerospace and marine applications. There was not a car in sight in his six-minute opening video.

Nolan spoke about the common battle between project managers whose primary focus is on early delivery and engineers who focus on maturity. “Delivery is the main point that determines the cost to achieve full product maturity,” Nolan said. “The pressure to deliver prematurely reduces maturity and increases cost.”

He proposed that many major problems that occur in the life of a project manifest themselves as technical issues, but the root cause is poor risk management. Chaos and instability will drive cost and undermine product maturity, so good management is essential to success.

Nolan left the audience with these parting words of advice: the largest and often easiest improvements will come from improved management and leadership. First bring stability, then bring performance.

SEPG Europe 2012 Keynote Speaker Highlight: Angel Jordan and Anita Carleton

The official start of the conference was marked by the plenary session led by Paul Nielsen. He offered some welcome remarks to the delegates from 26 countries–including some “honorary Europeans”–and introduced the team of speakers delivering the first keynote address.

Angel Jordan and Anita Carleton took the stage to deliver a retrospective of the past 30 years and a look ahead at process improvement.

30 Years of Process Improvement and Counting: A Retrospective

Jordan opened the presentation noting that before the SEI, there were very few software engineering practices that produced consistent results. Jordan revisited the origins of the SEI, beginning in 1985 when its strategic plan–supported by the U.S. Department of Defense–was recognized as a fundamental activity. The SEI has a long history of developing solutions to meet the needs of teams and organizations, and Jordan covered the inception, development, and evolution of a number of SEI work products. For example, the Software Capability Maturity Model was born out of a need for more precise definitions of the methods and models, the Software Capability Evaluation was the result of a need for Acquisition Officers to assess the maturity of their contractors, and the CERT Resilience Management Model came about when the SEI recognized that the best practices of some organizational challenges could best be managed with a capability maturity model.

Before he turned the microphone over to Carleton, Jordan spoke about the far-reaching, global adoption of CMMI: it has seen implementations in 74 countries on six continents. In conclusion, Jordan commented, “We can make the broad claim that the SEI has made seminal contributions to managing not only software and its development, but also related services, including resilient systems.”

The Future: How Good Are We at Predicting It?  

Spam will be a thing of the past … computers of the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons … there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home … Carleton used these past predictions to illustrate how difficult it can be to determine what’s next in the industry. However, Carleton noted, we do get some things right. There were several threats to the future of software and systems development that were correctly identified in 1984. We predicted it–so why can’t we fix it? Carleton quoted the late Watts Humphrey who offered an eloquent perspective: “While technology can change quickly, getting your people to change takes a great deal longer. That is why the people-intensive job of developing software has had essentially the same problems for 40 years.” 

Carleton shared that the SEI’s vision and strategy for the future of process improvement includes efforts to innovate software for competitive advantage, advance quantitative methods for engineering software, and secure the cyber infrastructure. “Looking ahead, the SEI will continue to look at how architecture, measurement, and cyber security can work together in an integrated, interconnected way,” Carleton concluded.

SEI Participates in CMMI-DEV V1.3 Translation Event

Members of the SEI management team participated in a special event celebrating a year-long, 10-country effort to translate CMMI-DEV V1.3 into Spanish. Held at the Ministerio de Industria, Energia, and Turismo, the event brought together members of the SEI and organizations that contributed to the translation to share the significance of this effort.

Paul Nielsen opened the SEI’s portion of the program by noting that CMMI has become the de facto standard for process improvement best practices. Although CMMI has set the gold standard, Nielsen noted, the model continues to evolve to meet the needs of practitioners from around the world.

“This timely translation makes CMMI more accessible to Spain and countries in Latin America, and it deepens the understanding of the principles CMMI embodies,” Nielsen said. “The model will continue to expand its influence throughout the world.”

Nielsen also acknowledged the vital support of all organizations that contributed to the success of CMMI and made the translation possible. “The SEI is proud to have played a key role in the development of CMMI,” Nielsen remarked. “But the SEI is only a steward of this information; the global software community contributes greatly to its success.”

Anita Carleton added that it is because of the strength and commitment of the worldwide community of practice that CMMI has become the global model for process improvement. She expressed her pride in the Spanish translation which will join the Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, and Portuguese versions. Carleton noted that Arabic and Korean translations are soon to come.

Rusty Young, manager of CMMI, commented that Spain and Latin America are growing areas of adoption and he recognized the large amount of work that went into the translation effort.

Among his various remarks, Angel Jordan issued a challenge to the 100-plus members of the audience. With the CMMI-DEV V1.3 Spanish translation now complete, he encouraged the group to work on the CMMI-SVC and CMMI-ACQ translations efforts.

SEPG Europe 2012: Happening Now

SEPG Europe 2012 is occurring 5-7 June 2012 in Madrid, Spain. The SEI warmly welcomes delegates from 26 countries from around the world for learning, networking, enjoying local culture, and sharing a common ¡Passion for Process!

If you are not attending in person in Madrid, you can still follow along. All week, the SEPG Europe 2012 staff will be sharing news here on the SEPG Conference Series blog and on the @SEPGConferences Twitter account (conference hash tag: #SEPGEU).  If you are not a Twitter user, you can easily see a summary of the key learnings on the SEPG Europe 2012 homepage.

Madrid: Capital of Spain, Passionate City, and Host of SEPG Europe 2012

The following post has been submitted by guest blogger Jaime Mata, Accenture. 

June 5-7 are in red in my calendar since 1 year ago when we knew in Dublin that SEPG Europe, the annual event in the CMMI and SEI space, would come to Madrid in 2012 for the first time ever. We were glad (although we had campaigned for Málaga). This would mean that Madrid, capital of Spain, one of the most active countries in the CMMI world, would become the host, the center, the showcase, the meeting point for the CMMI network, powered by the SEI.

Madrid is a multicultural, dynamic, passionate city with an active entrepreneurship spirit and full of opportunities where improvement professionals can help to companies with current challenges.

Accenture is sponsor of the event, and will be presenting two interesting topics:

-Next Generation Process Models (Innovations track), with Preetha Bedi on Wed 6 at 14.00

-Increase the Value of Your Project Management While Reducing the Cost with CMMI and Lean Six Sigma (High Maturity track), with Ricardo Panero (ex Accenture) and myself on Tue 5 at 11.50

Hope to meet a lot of CMMI friends and fans and share ideas and experiences!

Spain: A Traveler’s Odyssey to Discovery

The following guest blog post was submitted by Suyash Kumar Chopra, SEPG Europe 2012 delegate.

Hola. It is the first word of Spanish language which I learnt after my abstract was accepted. It will also be the first time I travel to any European country. And that too, to Espana, makes it all the more exciting.

Land of Tapas and Flamenco pauses life for seconds.  Land of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona trigger the adrenaline rush. Land where Pamplona and La Tomatina form part of life. Imagine paella and chocolate con churros gliding past your taste buds.

For me, the most significant fact which I like about Spain instantly is that after Italy, it has the world’s second most number of UNESCO heritage sites. A country with a rich history and culture.  And more than that, a country richer in preserving its history. Ride a time machine and go back to the 12th century University of Salamanca. Dominated by Iberia peninsula, this country embraces people from every religion and they live in harmony. Be it Jewish, muslims, or Christians. Else, where in the world would you find a cathedral built on top of a Moorish mosque. Visit Toledo to experience that. Be it Gaudi architecture of Barcelona or the aqueduct of Segovia or Alhambra of Granada, you have everything packaged under Spain. It is a land where history and modernism play twins. Being a modern city, it is said that Madrid never sleeps. So, revel

Sit on the Mediterranean coast and get lost in Don Quixote. Dare to cross Strait of Gibraltar and roam around Andalusia region. Gulp down the famous Sherry or Cava or Red wine of Spain, and experience ethereal vibes. Amidst all this, one should never miss Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ at Reina Sofia museum or Prado museum, world’s biggest art gallery in the world, both located in Madrid. Your trip to Spain is also incomplete if you don’t buy a sword from Toledo or a guitar to gift someone back home.

And then when you have finished all, it is time to start again at Puerta del Sol, Spain’s ‘kilometer zero’.

I am eagerly waiting to romance the history, geography and modernism of Spain. Thanks to SEPG Europe. ‘Hasta Pronto’ in Madrid.

SEPG North America 2012: Proceedings Now Available

Thank you to all who joined the SEI for SEPG North America 2012 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We hope you enjoyed the time we spent together learning and networking in the heart of the American Southwest. Read more about SEPG North America 2012.

If you did not attend, you now have the opportunity to see what was discussed and to share it with your colleagues. The daily conference proceedings are now available on the SEPG North America 2012 website.

Bookmark to stay up to date on future events from the SEPG Conference Series.