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October 6, 2009—The inaugural SEPG Asia-Pacific conference was held September 16-18 in Osaka, Japan. Delegates came from 13 different countries for the first SEPG conference for process professionals in the Asia-Pacific region.
The SEI has been hosting SEPG conferences since 1988 to provide a forum for software, systems, and service professionals to learn, network, and engage in improving business by improving process and workforce capabilities. The SEPG Conference Series includes annual conference offerings in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Australia. This year, responding to the growing need for process management learning and networking opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, the SEI expanded SEPG Australia to encompass all areas of Asia-Pacific.
Industry thought leaders Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Yoshiaki Kushiki, Paul Nielsen, and Mario Tokoro gave keynote sessions.
Natarajan Chandrasekaran (Chandra) is responsible for formulating and executing Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) global strategy and has been at the helm of several key strategic transitions at the company. Chandra’s keynote was titled Quality is Designing for Certainty to Customers. Faced with the current downturn, a business would have little option to rely on a second chance, he said; the business would need to hit markets with certainty designed into it—the first time right philosophy. The key question he posed is “How can certainty be an element in the design of business, products, and IT?” Chandra discussed how ritualizing of quality has led to a gap between quality of experience and quality of service. He advocated that instead businesses should design for certainty, which means changing the way they build systems for first time right and delivering the same to customers with high levels of customer satisfaction. Quality must also encompass the way businesses interact with their customers.
Yoshiaki Kushiki is in charge of standardization and business-academia collaboration in R&D at Panasonic Corporation. Kushiki’s keynote was titled The Future of Embedded Software that Adapts and Grows with the Overwhelming Changes in the Surrounding World—From Embedded to Environmental. According to Kushiki, Japan is one of the biggest embedded software industry countries. Embedded software is used in almost all consumer electronics and automotive systems. The embedded software for consumer electronics has been overwhelmingly changed since the 1990s by the digital revolution. And it has been changed again by the network revolution after 2000. Now, consumer electronics face the new big revolution of energy saving and resource saving for sustainability. Kushiki talked about how today, the methodology for embedded software has to take into consideration not only consumer electronics inside requirements but the environment and regulations surrounding consumer electronics, such as carbon-dioxide reduction, universal design, safety and reliability, power and cost saving, personalization for each customer, and linking with heterogeneous networks.
Paul D. Nielsen is the director and chief executive officer of the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute. Nielsen talked about new approaches in process management and new process improvement models that the SEI is developing. One of the new models is the Resiliency Management Model (RMM), which provides a comprehensive roadmap that enables organizations of all sizes to establish, manage, and evaluate operational resiliency, and encompasses both security and business continuity. Nielsen also talked about the new Data Management Maturity (DMM) Model for the financial industry that the SEI is creating as part of a partnership with the Enterprise Data Management Council. This model will define components of data management at the business process level so that financial organizations can assess themselves against documented best practices. In addition, Nielsen discussed the Smart Grid Maturity Model. Originally developed by IBM, the SEI is developing and expanding the model, which aims to use digital technology to modernize the power grid. Nielsen also talked about the newest addition to the CMMI family: CMMI for Services (SVC).
Mario Tokoro founded Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. in 1988 and led it to be one of the world’s renowned research laboratories in a broader computer science area. Tokoro’s keynote was titled Huge and Complex Software Systems Are Open Systems. Tokoro discussed how the industry is facing two kinds of complexities, which lead to uncertainty and unpredictability in huge and complex software systems. One is internal, such as that caused by programming errors and incomplete specifications. The other is external, such as that caused by improper operations, unexpected use, and attacks across networks. When a system is distributed over networks, the entire structure and behaviors of the system is unknown at any instant. Thus, the external observers’ view of a huge and complex software system should not be taken. Instead, Tokoro maintained, a huge and complex system should be treated as an open system, to only consider the internal observers’ view.
The keynote sessions preceded tutorials and presentations, many focused on work in the Asia-Pacific region. Session topics included the new CMMI for Services model; People CMM; CMMI Version 1.3; TSP; PSP; Automotive SPICE and CMMI; integrating multiple models; organizational development and managing change; controlling appraisals; getting useful SCAMPI results from improvement-driven appraisals; getting high performance from high maturity; measurement and analysis; building an effective business case for process improvement programs; and case studies and experience reports.
Read more highlights in the conference newsletters and see photos from the conference at the SEPG Asia-Pacific website.