SEPG houseful !

CIOL Bureau
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HYDERABAD: Process improvement is becoming widespread. It was evident at the two-day SEPG Conference 2003 at Hyderabad. Of the five editions of SEPG Conferences so far this one was the biggest with a turn-out of about 300 delegates and speakers "It is quite a houseful," agrees Navyug Mohnot, Executive Director, QAI. "Every year the industry grows, as a consequence the conference also grows. We have had a lot of support from the AP government and Hysea too." he adds.


The fact that it was attended by all levels of management adds weight to it. However, in the total turnout the composition of foreign delegates was very low. There were just a few from China. "The foreign delegates will be a no-show in the future too," said Mohnot elaborating that "There is SEPG US, SEPG Europe. Then the QAI does SEPG, India, Singapore, Thailand, China and we did it at Taiwan too this year. Also, this year SEPG Australia is being launched so there is no need for people to travel."

The conference brought forth the trends in industry. With regard to the process involved in picking up the industry trends and inviting plenary speakers, Mohnot explains that the selection of papers is a community process and cannot be closely regulated. The papers are just called for and various companies participate. This year they they have received about 200 submissions from large, medium and small companies on a range of topics. The speakers are essentially the thought leaders of the industry and invariably hail from large organizations. "The review committee of seven people brings down the number of papers to 30. Out of which two become the winners rated by none other than Mark Paul -- one of the authors of CMM at the Carnegie Mellon University," adds Mohnot.

This year the growth has been not only in terms of number of submissions, which increased to 200 from 165 of last year, but also in the number of parallel tracks. "With so much of intellectual capital it was just unfair to have just 18 or so papers read so we simply doubled the number of tracks," gushes Mohnot. But the delegates did feel rushed from a session to another and wished for a greater opportunity to interact with the speakers.

However, there is a take-away benefit which everybody agreed upon. The interest in Six Sigma and CMMI, which was the running theme, is proof enough. The conference did expose the delegates to the best practices and the benefits accrued from following quality processes. It brought together people who are at various levels of putting quality processes in place. And that is the starting point of building on operational excellence in an organization.