SEPG North America: Our Thoughts


Last week David Consulting Group attended the CMMI Institute’s SEPG North America as an exhibitor. Mike Harris, DCG President, and David Herron, Vice President of Software Performance Management, were both present. Below are their thoughts on this year’s conference. Spoiler alert: We’ll be back next year!

Mike Harris, President

I was delighted to see lots of new faces and new companies at the conference, both amongst the attendees and the speakers.  It’s great to see the conference moving forward under the stewardship of the CMMI Institute.

My biggest impression from the conference was the impact of Agile on the industry and on the CMMI Institute.  It was only a couple of years ago that we were seeing presentations about the compatibility of CMMI and Agile, with some debate over whether or not they could truly work in combination (we believed – and believe – that they can).  I felt that we finally put that issue behind us at this conference, which seemed to be full of presentations about successful Agile processes and Agile experiences in the context of CMMI.  

Specifically around the DCG table in the exhibit hall, we had a lot of interest in our Agile capabilities but a good number of visitors also picked up information about TMMi. Our suggestion that TMMi could be a very focused starting point for CMMi resonated with several people – particularly for organizations new to structured process improvement and worried that CMMI  would be too much to swallow (or sell to management) as a starting point.

Overall, it was great conference. I enjoyed interacting with the attendees and finding out what’s at the top of people’s minds these days – obviously Agile!

David Herron, VP of Software Performance Management

I really enjoyed the CMMI Institute’s conference this year.  From a vendor perspective, the flow of traffic in the exhibit area was excellent. There were many opportunities to speak with and to interact with conference attendees.

From a participant perspective, the wide range of presentation topics actually made it difficult to choose which presentation to attend, knowing that one good session would be sacrificed by attending another. Of course, this is a personal preference observation, but I was pleased to see a number of topics devoted to Agile, as well as numerous topics dealing with the practical application of metrics. Enterprise-wide Agile appeared to be among the more popular Agile topics. Scaling Agile methods to fit large development organizations using such practices as SAFe provided some worthwhile information.

The format for the presentations was interesting. The workshop sessions were each scheduled for 90 minutes and within each session there were usually three or four 20+ minute related talks presented by different individuals. Twenty minutes isn’t enough time to have an in-depth discussion on a particular topic, but it works well for introducing the material and if one is interested, there is always room for follow up with the presenter in between presentations. 

We all agreed that we will definitely be back next year. I am excited to see how the conference continues to grow and what topics will be at the forefront in a year’s time.

Mike Harris and David Herron
David Consulting Group


Written by Michael D. Harris at 05:58
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