Saturday, March 12, 2011

I hear that Lead Appraisers have to attended SEPG to keep their certification. Is this really true?

Dear Appraiser,

I heard the the SEI is requiring all Lead Appraiser to attend two SEPG's every three years in order to maintain their LA Certification.  This is incredible!   My company will never pay for all of that! What can be done to change this insane requirement?

The one thing I LOVE about this business is how fast the rumors fly! And they're not just juicy rumors. You know, the kind that happen after-hours down in the mail room.  They're the evil kind and usually someone created them to win some business or to get a free trip to Portland!

Once I met a CMMI Instructor candidate who told his employer that "The SEI requires me to go to every international site to teach this class."  He cashed in his business-class ticket for two coach seats and he and his wife travelled the world!  Whooo hoooo!  Another time I did an appraisal where their LAST Appraiser told them the SEI said "the appraisal team all had to wear matching shirts!"  This is a true story  (and why he was their LAST appraiser!).

As a matter of fact, I make my living being the "second" appraiser.  Think about THAT one.....

Last time I looked, the SEI wasn't very fashion conscious (you can't even buy their shirts anymore), nor were they travel agents.  They are also, sadly for some, not trying to force you to Portland (although I bet they would love for you to come).

The cool thing is that when I hear these rumors I can almost always trace them (I almost said "REQM SP1.4 them....") back to some evil person who is trying to manipulate someone else by using what I call the "SEI Hammer."  This is the same hammer that is used to tell a company that every sub-practice must be fully implemented (so you buy more consulting time), that you need templates for everything (so you buy the consultant's templates) and that every member of your company must take the CMMI class (so you pay instructor fees).

Don't get me wrong, consulting, templates, and training can be a good thing - sometimes a VERY good thing. But nothing is automatic.  And if someone says "The SEI makes you do this" then, you should be asking some serious questions.  95% percent of time it's hogwash (that's nonsense" for all our non-english speakers....).

On the subject of certification renewal, Jeff Welch and the folks at the SEI have done a pretty good job (along with feedback from the Partner Advisory Board and other members of the community) of coming up with a broad range of options for eligibility.  This is all brand new, so some of it could change.

In order to maintain your LA certification there will be a "Point System" where 5 points is the magic number.  You will receive between .05 and 1 point for attending SEI training classes, leading an appraisal, conducting a CMMI class or some other "SEI" activity.  There are maximum point accumulations in each category.  You will also receive .05 points for attending outside training classes, workshops, conferences (bingo!), for participating in a SCAMPI A/B Appraisal, and for being on an SEI working group, the PAB, or other committee.  There will also be points for writing books, articles, or presenting papers.  Heck, maybe I can get a point for writing this blog!  Hmmmmm.....Mr. Welch?

Details of this plan will be available this month from the SEI..... so stay tuned.

So, while I would love it if they would make me come to SEPG every year (since I go anyway) to maintain my certification, it just isn't so!

But I DID hear that the SEI is making me live at the beach year-around . . . . . can I send them the bill?

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