Category Archives: Guest Blogger

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!


Reason #1 to attend SEPG Europe 2012 in Madrid!

The #1 Reason to Attend SEPG Europe 2012: To Live Your Passion

Jeff Dalton, SEPG Europe, SEPG, CMMI, CMMI Appraiser, CMMI Consultant, CMMI Instructor

Buenos días Amigos!  The grand feria SEPG Europe 2012 of June 5-7 is almost upon us!  But before we don the traditional Castizo dress (Rick Hefner, are you listening?) and gorge ourselves on barquillos (rolled wafers), buñuelos (fritters) and rosquillas (donuts), let’s complete our Top 5 Reasons to be there, shall we?

Here we go with Reason #1.

Drum roll please …

Reason #1: SEPG Europe is where you can live your passion.

This year’s host city for SEPG Europe, Madrid, Spain, is a model for living ones passion.  I really encourage you to experience it.

After reading Suyash Kumar Chopra’s beautiful post Spain:  A Traveler’s Oyssey to Discovery, I was inspired.  What colorful images!  I wanted to go NOW!

Although I had lived in Spain in the early 1980s, I have not returned since then. In those days I was an orchestra musician, playing with the symphony in Sevilla.  A lot has changed since then, but after reading Suyash’s post, do you know what did I did? I changed my plans and now I’m leaving TODAY (May 31st), to spend some extra time taking in the sights.  I’m in a taxi right now on my way to the airport (thanks Verizon 4G).  My son, my business partner, and I will be heading from Madrid to Sevilla via Spain’s famous AVE “Bullet Train” where we will spend the weekend in the former home of the patron of novelist Miguel de Cervantes, and then we’ll take the slow train to Granada, then back to Madrid for the conference.  After the festivities are over it’s on to the plains of la Mancha to tilt at windmills and follow in the footsteps of Don Quixote. Whew!

Living one’s passion means different things to different people.  In our world, whether your interest is multi-model, practical process improvement, high maturity, agile and CMMI, or any number of other disciplines, you’ll keep busy with a broad selection of technical sessions, designed to equip you with implementable solutions that can help you make your company betterBut you’ll have some free time, too, and really must do some exploring – I insist!

Here are five memorable experiences awaiting you in Madrid:

Fiestas de San Isidro – Not to distract you too much, but the conference occurs during the month-long holiday honoring the patron saint of Madrid.  With concerts, open-air dances and outdoor celebrations (including bullfights) Fiestas de San Isidro are the liveliest parties in Madrid.

Retiro Park – Parque del Retiro is one of my favorite spots in all of Madrid, and one of the most popular daytime destinations in the city.  The grounds span more than 350 acres of natural beauty.  And there are places to sail, skate, snooze or snack.

Plazas – You’ll find great people-watching at the city squares around Madrid, like the Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and Plaza de Santa Ana.  I love the plazas’ ornate design and artistic layouts.  I find it exhilarating to stroll among their cafes, bars, restaurants and shops.

Architecture – Madrid, like many cities in Spain, is a swirling realm of architectural contradictions. Modern, post-modern and avant-garde buildings stand beside ancient cathedrals.  Did you know, Madrid even has an ancient Egyptian temple?  It’s the Temple of Debod, built in the second century B.C.

What this means is that you can expect to spend three days in Spain with real life, practical and implementable solutions .  After the sessions you’ll do cool things with cool people in cool places.  And you’ll find your passion for process improvement.

What’s not to love?

Click here to register.

OK, I’m ready.  Please pass the buñuelos.

Jeff Dalton is President of Broadsword Solutions Corporation and 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

Reason #2 to Attend SEPG Europe 2012: Promote Your Passion!

The #2 Reason to Attend SEPG Europe 2012: To Promote Your Passion

Jeff Dalton, CMMI, SEPG Europe 2012, CMMI Appraisal, CMMI Training, CMMI Consulting
Buenos días Amigos!!  The matadors are brooding in their cafes.  The crowds are lining the streets and it is almost time for the bulls to start running toward SEPG Europe 2012 on June 5-7.  Yes, the world-renowned CMMI feria is almost here, and that must mean it’s time once again for my Top 5 Reasons to be there.

Come close to the railing.  You won’t want to miss a moment of the action as we get on with our list of Top 5 Reasons to attend SEPG Europe 2012.  And away we go with Reason #2!

Drum roll please …

Reason #2: SEPG Europe is where you can promote what you are passionate about.

What?  Self-promotion?  I can hear the click-click-click as people madly try to x-out of this blog post.  “You’ve got to be kidding me,” they say aloud.

But wait.  I know few things have the power to make an engineer more uncomfortable than self-promotion.  I realize that many of you would rather submit yourself to 100 process mandates, or 50 days without Jolt Cola, than utter a single boastful word.

The good news about SEPG Europe is, you’re among friends here.  We don’t think it’s boastful to share success stories.  Indeed, we are here to find out from each other what’s working.  So if you are doing something with the CMMI that is really helping put your company on the path to greatness, your peers would love to hear about it.

Remember, folks at SEPG Europe are coming from a variety of backgrounds.  Some are Certified Lead Appraisers seeking to get better at guiding their customers.  Some are CMMI program sponsors who are looking for innovative and creative solutions for delivering on-time, high-quality software to their customers back home.  Others are just learning how to spell “CMMI” for the first time.

What we all share is a common interest in process, performance, and organizational improvement.

And here’s a shocker.  Some of the conference attendees are actively looking for a potential SEI Partner.

If you are an SEI Partner, it would probably be a good idea to be at least a little bit visible, would you agree?

One great option is to take advantage of the sponsorship or exhibiting opportunities SEPG Europe offers.

Another option is simply to take the bull by the horns and talk with folks about what you do.  One time at an SEPG conference, when I gave a presentation called “The Agile SCAMPI: Taming the Savage Beast.”  There was a decent crowd (drawn, perhaps, by the free hats and books I was giving away) and I hope they received some good information about making Appraisals simpler and more Agile.

One company in the audience was in the process of tackling a large-scale, multi-site process improvement program.  They needed help with planning, training, and conducting a multi-site SCAMPI Appraisal.  They had already zeroed in on a small set of Partners to choose from but after my presentation they added me to the list.  Just like that!  I ultimately started working with them and it was a win for everyone involved.

You know what I’ve been saying ever since?  Come to SEPG conferences for the technical sessions, but stay for the networking.  You never know when you’re talking with your next big client – or your next Partner.

SEPG Europe 2012 is a great place to promote your passion.  And that’s no bull. Olé!

Click here to register.

Need one more reason to go?  Check back soon for Reason #1!

Jeff Dalton is President of Broadsword Solutions Corporation and 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

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.

Reason #3 to Attend SEPG Europe 2012: To Share Your Passion

The #3 Reason to Attend SEPG Europe 2012: To Share Your Passion

Jeff Dalton, CMMI, SEPG, SEPG Europe, CMMI Appraiser, CMMI Instructor, Scrum and CMMI

Buenos días Amigos!  It’s time once again for my Top 5 Reasons to Attend SEPG Europe 2012 on June 5-7.

You know, having been to Spain a few times, I’ve seen first-hand their legendary spirit and propensity to live life to the fullest.  So I was not surprised when Madrid was selected as this year’s gathering place for engineering and software executives and practitioners who are passionate about process improvement and learning to do more with the CMMI.

As I put together my list of reasons to attend SEPG Europe 2012, I considered that living life to the fullest was a combination of sparking one’s passion (Reason #5) and consuming great quantities of useful knowledge (Reason #4).   It all comes together in Reason #3.

Drum roll please …

Reason #3: SEPG Europe is where you can share your passion with your peers.

It’s true that every SEPG conference gives you the chance to be with like-minded professionals who are just as passionate as you are about process and performance improvement.  SEPG Europe offers even more.  At SEPG Europe, you will …

Connect (or re-connect) with international customers

We all want to stay connected with our international customers, but the reality is that everyone’s busy – and the world is a big place!  We’re solving problems and flying at a hundred miles an hour.  It can be hard to slow down and find time to spend together.  Well, SEPG Europe gives us that time.  The three-day conference offers an extended opportunity to share with your customers why you are so passionate about organizational process and performance improvement, and for them to share the same with you.

Connect (or re-connect) with business partners

There’s no better place than SEPG Europe to form strategic relationships with compatible companies from all around the world.  Some day, an opportunity will arise in which you will be glad you have an international partner you can work with and trust.  By forming these relationships at SEPG Europe, you’ll form strong, personal relationships with potential partners.

What I love is that SEPG Europe offers these rich networking opportunities in addition to the robust technical program.  That means you can learn  while connecting with familiar faces and starting new relationships.

To me, spending time with quality people is one of the best ways to live life to the fullest.  I hope you’ll join us in Madrid, and show us what living life to the fullest means to YOU.

Click here to register.

Need more reasons to go?  Check back soon for Reason #2!

Jeff Dalton is President of Broadsword Solutions Corporation and 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

Reason #5 to attend SEPG Europe: Spark Your Passion!

The #5 Reason to Attend SEPG Europe 2012: Spark Your Passion!

Jeff Dalton, President of Broadsword, CMMI Lead Appraiser, CMMI Consulting

Buenos días, amigos! So you’re wondering whether to pack your suit and join us in Madrid, Spain, for this year’s SEPG Europe 2012 on June 5-7? Just as there are many traditional flamenco songs, lyrics, dances and instrumental styles in Spain, there are many reasons to attend SEPG Europe this year.  For the next few weeks,  I’ll be counting down the top five.

La lista?  Here are my Top Five Reasons to attend SEPG Europe, starting today with Reason #5.

Drum roll please …

SEPG Europe is where you can spark your passion for your profession.

SEPG Europe is the premier software process improvement conference in all of Europe.   Here you will meet hundreds of professionals from around the world –   people who care as much as you do about learning, networking and exploring solutions to their process problems.  These are the same practitioners who have been driving the CMMI’s reputation as the global leader in performance and process improvement.  You have a place among them.

The program is compelling.  This year the technical tracks offer more experts and more information than ever before – and more ways to get you thinking about solutions.  Designed for both experienced professionals and those who are new in the field, the conference program will challenge assumptions with its comprehensive view of the changing landscape of engineering and process improvement.

The slate of programs has been expanded and enhanced to meet you where you are in your career, and move you forward. Take a look at the range of topics awaiting you:

  • Agility and Rapid Process Improvement
  • People, Teamwork, and Organizations
  • Process as the Basis of Risk & Resilience
  • Process Improvement in Small and Medium Business
  • Leading Organizational Change
  • Software and Systems Engineering Innovations
  • Multi-Model Process Improvement
  • High Maturity
  • Professional Development

Is your heart pumping yet?  Within each track are technical sessions designed to dive into the principles and practices that can help your organization better understand how to harness the power of process improvement.

So let’s get fired up, amigos!  It’s a three-day process feria filled with real-life, practical and implementable solutions that will help you take your business to the next level. What’s not to love?

Click here to register.

Need more reasons to go?  Check back soon for Reason #4!

Jeff Dalton is President of Broadsword Solutions Corporation and 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