Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why I'm going to SEPG 2012 (again) this year - Reason #5

The #5 Reason to Attend SEPGNA: It’s where learning begins.
Jeff Dalton CMMI Appraiser CMMI Consultant
Howdy, Partners – we’re just two hoots and a holler away from the world’s greatest CMMI round-up, SEPG North America, on March 12-15 in Albuquerque, and by gum, it’s time to share another one of my rootin-tootin Top 10 Reasons to be there.  I reckon you don’t need much more convincin’ after Reason #10Reason #9Reason #8Reason #7 and Reason #6.  But there’s pleasure in the sharin’ … ‘specially once I drop this here phony New Mexico cowpoke accent.
So let’s get on with my list of Top 10 Reasons to attend SEPG North America 2012.
Drum roll, please!  Reason #5 is …
It’s where learning begins.
I’ve found that most of us share the burning desire for lifelong learning.  That’s why we read books, articles, and blogs.  It’s why we listen to speakers and take professional development classes.  And most importantly, it’s why we come together on a regular basis: to learn.
By now you probably know that one of the places where learning begins in our industry is at the SEPG Conference.  Learning experiences range from formal presentations, day-long tutorials, and half-day workshops to informal conversations and social interactions.  Here, you get to rub elbows with some of the finest professionals in the engineering process improvement and CMMI universe.  We all share strategies and tactics, tips and techniques, best practices to adopt and pitfalls to avoid.  And we’ll have the truly unforgettable experience of building on our skills and knowledge, together.
Many of you, like me, will be coming back to the SEPGNA Conference.  (This is actually my umpteenth trip!)  I can honestly say that I learn something new every time I go.
Personally, what I find most valuable to learn about are actual client experiences.  I gravitate toward presentations that delve deeply into the topic, and like to learn the most from people’s actual experiences.
For example, at past SEPG conferences, I’ve learned about new ways that appraisals are conducted to be more agile and efficient.  I’ve learned new techniques for how to interact with sponsors.  I’ve attended great presentations that offered lessons learned from dealing with executives.  I’ve learned the 10 things you shouldn’t do at a CMMI appraisal.  And I’ve had fun too – with entertaining and interesting speakers like Pat O’Toole, Hillel Glazer, Bill Smith, Heather Oppenheimer, Judah Mogilensky, David Anderson, Mike Konrad, and many more.
We can expect even more at this year’s SEPGNA.  On the docket are dozens of excellent speakers on many timely and relevant topics.  So whatever you choose to attend, you'll have fun, learn a lot, and leave Albuquerque smarter about process improvement, CMMI, and many other topics than before you came.
If you haven’t already signed up, be sure to register – and we’ll see you in Albuquerque!
Need more reasons to go?  Check back soon for Reason #4.
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 www.asktheCMMIAppraiser.com.  He can be reached at appraiser@broadswordsolutions.com.

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