Thursday, May 31, 2012

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 ones 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 better.  But 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?
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

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