11 June 2008

A rarity and a first for me...

Munich.  A quick update.  I'm attending the SEPG-Europe conference here and things are going rather nicely.  Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that my plane left the

Seimens Building I visited
US quite later than planned.  I arrived to the hotel with just enough time to shower and dig out the clothes from my bag needed to change into before being picked up by my friend, colleague, and fellow certified high maturity lead appraiser Winfried.  Winfried works for Seimens AG, nearby, where he'd arranged for me (and others, on different days) to speak so the folks there who can't attend the conference can benefit from the conference coming to town.  (Brilliant, actually.) 

So, that went well.  I delivered a rendition of my Keys to Making CMMI and Agile Compatible talk.  My first taste in a long time of a foreign audience of one specific nationality.  The last time I spoke to a foreign audience it was at a conference over 3.5 years ago where the session attendees were of mixed nationalities.  But it gave me a little sense of what it might be like for today's instantiation of the Crash Course.  (Slides to follow.)

The (mostly) European audience seemed to be less accustomed to participation than I was expecting.  One person noted how it seemed audiences here are less accustomed to taking responsibility for their own learning than elsewhere.  Even with prodding and poking, it was tough to get folks to loosen-up.  (Later feedback informed me that despite my best efforts, as I progressed through the material, my speaking sped up to normal East Coast speed, not my de-tuned foreign-audience-speed speech.  I wish someone had said something... back to audience participation.)

Anyway, what was truly impressive to me was this... I asked who among them were using or looking to use CMMI because external market forces were imposing the need for a rating in order to compete.
ZERO hands went up!  I poked and prodded again and NOT ONE person said they needed CMMI because some work they want to win requires they use it.  So, as a (more or less) professional question-asker, I asked the converse of the question and found that EVERYONE was using or looking to use CMMI because of the improvement it could bring to them!  Including several who, during the initial ice-breaking, indicated they were fans of agile development.

I have never spoken before a CMMI-oriented audience where not a single person was there because they were wedged into using CMMI by some arbitrary externality.  Where everyone truly wanted to see how CMMI could help them improve.  And, not because someone was using a carrot and a stick with them.

I could do nothing more than applaud in their direction.

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At 12 June, 2008 10:24 , Anonymous Mike Kornad said...

Very impressive story, Hillel! (having an audience where all are implementing CMMI for intrinsic reasons).

Relative to speeding up as you speak: I have the same problem to some degree: it's hard to not speed up when you're focusing on communicating the message.

At 14 June, 2008 05:08 , OpenID russian-sla said...

If it your first experiense for foreign audience... Maybe the second could be performed in Russia. :) It's my realistic proposal for you.


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