Friday, March 1, 2013

NEW INFORMATION on the SEPG 2013 Conference

Hey, CMMI Appraiser – Can you give us an update on the SEPG conference? ~ engineering and software professionals just about everywhere I go

Dear Readers,

It seems that everywhere this CMMI Appraiser goes – conferences, Scrum Team Rooms, even restaurants – curious engineers are stopping me to ask about the status of the SEPG conference. While I haven’t been able to reveal much in my tweets and blog posts lately, I do have a bit more information to share today. So, do me a favor … if you know someone who wants the latest scoop on SEPG 2013, would you be so good as to forward them this link, so I can finish my lunch in peace? THANKS!

And now, the update:


As I explained in my last post, the CMMI Institute, which is the new organization that now manages the CMMI set of products, has also assumed responsibility for producing the SEPG Conference. The regular March SEPG Conference was postponed to give the CMMI Institute team time to work with the Partner Advisory Board (of which I am Chair, and my company, Broadsword Solutions, is a Partner) to compile ideas. We conferred with Partners, end-users, sponsors, and other attendees on what they REALLY WANT in an industry conference that features the leading process improvement model.


  • Speakers and content are king
  • Attendees would rather spend two days at a content-rich, fast moving, scaled-back conference than four days sifting through tons of speakers to find what was valuable to them
  • People want to network, meet new colleagues and clients, and get answers to their most pressing process issues directly from those who have solved them
  • The Conference location should be easy to get to, and close to large concentrations of Capability Maturity Model Integration adoption.


  • More experienced, strong, understandable speakers with fresh ideas who are proven leaders in their field
  • More end-users talk about how the CMMI really helped them improve
  • More relevant content


  • Huge halls
  • Opulent surroundings
  • Too many speakers, especially consultants (unless they REALLY know their stuff)
  • Too much focus on Levels, and not enough focus on performance


  • A scaled-back conference that is the minimal viable product, sized to bring the most value for the lowest cost (just enough, not too much).
  • A completely different speaker format that is a fast-moving mix of lightening talks, presentations, hands-on workshops, and on-stage interviews on three stages.
  • A core group of speakers from a list of proven, experienced presenters
  • A call for additional presenters, with a focus on end-users to tell us their stories of success (or failures)
  • Multiple after-hours networking events at local establishments with featured speakers giving bonus lightening talks
  • One, high-impact keynote speaker to open the conference
  • Conference closes with CMMI Institute CEO Kirk Botula speaking about his vision for the future of CMMI.


  • A two-day conference
  • Potentially held in either the Washington, DC area (near BWI - Baltimore/Washington Airport) or in Pittsburgh, PA (personally, I love BWI because it's so easy to get in and out of....)
  • Potentially held in late October


One thing is clear about the future of the SEPG Conference, and that is that we ALL want something new, valuable, and packed with great learning. In short, people don't care how fancy it is, they want content. This has been – and continues to be – our focal point.

Your feedback is welcome. The plan is not yet finalized, so email me with your enthusiasm, ideas, complaints, rants, or flame-mail at

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Jeff Dalton is a Certified SCAMPI Lead Appraiser, Certified CMMI Instructor, author, and consultant with years of real-world experience with the CMMI in all types of organizations. Jeff has taught thousands of students in CMMI trainings and has received an aggregate satisfaction score of 4.97 out of 5 from his students.

Visit for more information about engineering strategy, performance innovation, software process improvement and running a successful CMMI program.

To download eBooks about CMMI, visit Jeff’s Author Page on Amazon.

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