[lpi-discuss] OCEO Update

Scott Lamberton scottl at lpi.org
Mon Nov 28 09:27:24 EST 2005

OCEO Update:

1.  Strategic Direction
2.  Financial Review and Budgeting
3.  Improved Relations with Sponsors and Open Source organizations
4.  Affiliate Relations and Area Operations Managers
5.  Human Resources
6.  Product Development and Certification milestones

This past June former LPI President, Evan Leibovitch, expressed a desire
to pursue other interests and following his departure LPI's Board of
Directors established an Office of the CEO (OCEO).  This office was
staffed by three people (Board members Jim Lacey and Gen Narui and LPI
co-founder Dan York).  The OCEO was instructed to provide strategic
direction to LPI while the organization defined its requirements for a
new CEO and President (please see http://www.lpi.org/en/news_item/124).

Since that time the OCEO has undertaken a number of initiatives to
strengthen LPI's operations, improve exam development, and provide
greater support to LPI's network of affiliates.

1.  Strategic Direction

In July, members of the OCEO and LPI Board member Torsten Scheck
traveled to Toronto, Canada to meet with senior staff and undertake a
thorough review of the organization's operations and exam development
activities.  These meetings enabled staff to have input on
organizational planning, review responsibilities and evaluate the
activities of their respective departments.

Following the July meeting with staff, the OCEO drafted an initial
strategy map for LPI using the balanced scorecard approach and, in
August, consulted with LPI's Advisory Council at LinuxWorld San
Francisco on such elements of the strategic plan as the mission
statement, mandate and vision of the organization.  The work on this
strategic plan is ongoing.

2.  Financial Review and Budgeting

The OCEO has been working closely with LPI's financial staff to identify
potential cost-savings and provide greater controls on spending.  This
has also included discussions with suppliers and vendors on improved
global pricing of our computer-based exams and the development of a
global "one price" policy on both computer and paper-based exams.  The
OCEO has also implemented cost saving measures through the use of VOIP
technology for conference calls and the reduction in support staff where
possible.  The OCEO has also undertaken a number of budget planning
documents including an institutional budget for 2006.

3.  Improved Relations with Sponsors and Open Source organizations

During LinuxWorld San Francisco the OCEO met with several existing and
potential sponsors to discuss the new direction of LPI and future
sponsorship opportunities.  These included representatives from such
organizations as IBM, Novell, Oracle, Intel, and other Fortune 500
companies as well as media sponsors Linux Journal and Linux Magazine.
The OCEO also met and discussed future activities with other
organizations in the Open Source movement such as Jon "Maddog" Hall of
Linux International, and representatives of USENIX and the Free
Standards Group.

More recently, the OCEO has negotiated new terms with IDG as part of a
renewed sponsorship of our participation in LinuxWorld events around the
world in 2006.

4.  Affiliate Relations and Area Operations Managers

In October and early November members of the OCEO traveled to Brazil and
China to meet with affiliate representatives in those countries to
discuss how to continue to improve exam sales in these countries and to
further support these affiliates in their promotional efforts.  In
Brazil, OCEO members Gen Narui and Jim Lacey met with LPI-Brazil council
members and their President Marcelo Marques.  The OCEO was also
interviewed by the Brazilian version of Linux Magazine and made a
presentation to instructors and students at a major Brazilian IT school
in Sao Paulo--Impacta Tecnologia (see
http://www.impacta.com.br/certific/cer_linux.asp).  In China, the OCEO
met with representatives of LPI-China (see
Red Flag, Asianux and Hansoft Inc. of Korea.

Part of these discussions also included the feasibility of Area
Operations Managers who would be responsible for implementing
region-wide strategies for exam growth in Latin America and Asia.  The
OCEO has also had similar discussions with LPI-UK and LPI-German on the
potential for a regional manager for Europe.  Subsequent to these
discussions the OCEO appointed José Carlos Rodrigues Gouveia as Area
Operations Manager for the Latin American region.   José Carlos has
extensive high level corporate IT experience throughout the Latin
American region with such companies as SGI, Novell, and PeopleSoft (see
http://www.lpi.org/en/news_item/130).  The OCEO continues to seek out
appropriate personnel who can take on similar challenges in Asia and Europe.

5.  Human Resources

The OCEO has initiated a thorough review of all staff and contractors at
LPI and created job descriptions that align with the organization's
strategic objectives.  This has resulted in some changes in staffing and
job titles.  For example, the certification or exam development team has
been more properly titled the "Product Development" team and allocated
relevant responsibilities for all product R&D.  This re-organization
will also lead to a greater focus of finance, operations, business
development and communications activities.  It is expected that this
work on job descriptions and contract negotiations will be completed by
the end of November.

6.  Product Development and Certification milestones

The OCEO has had a number of a exam-related milestones and initiatives
that it has announced since taking office in July:

NCCA Accreditation:

In August, at LinuxWorld San Francisco the OCEO announced that LPI had
obtained accreditation for the LPIC-1 program from the National
Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).  This achievement recognizes
that LPI's test development processes have met an independent
professional and recognized standard for certification. To our knowledge
no other IT certification has met such a standard. For more information
see: http://www.lpi.org/en/news_item/126.

Certification Update:

Also at LinuxWorld San Francisco the OCEO announced a series of
improvements to our certification exams.  These improvements included
ongoing rotation of exam questions, an on-schedule review of LPIC-1
objectives, a merging of RPM and DPKG Package Management exam questions
into a single 101 exam, and an invitation for community consultations
into both LPIC-1 and LPIC-2 objectives review.  For more information
see: http://www.lpi.org/en/news_item/125

100,000 Exams:

More recently, the OCEO was pleased to announce that worldwide LPI exam
totals had topped the 100,000 mark. Notable IT companies such as IBM,
Novell, SGI, NEC, Thomson Prometric and others joined together in
congratulating LPI on this achievement.  Please see:

Upcoming Initiatives:

The OCEO continues to place a strong emphasis on improving our exam
development and has actively sought out opportunities for further
product development.  An announcement will be forthcoming on the
development of a distribution-specific exam for our LPIC-1 program.

Finally, as a result of consultations with the LPI Advisory Council,
sponsors, industry leaders, staff and others the OCEO will be initiating
changes to the LPI Advisory Council.  This will involve the development
of two advisory groups: one for high level business development and
strategic consultations, and a Technical Advisory Council (TAC) for
informed technical advice on certification and product development
issues.  The product development team and Advisory Council Chairman,
James Stanger, will be working closely with the OCEO over the coming
months to identify potential candidates to serve on the TAC.
Suggestions for potential candidates or interested participants are
asked to contact James Stanger at jstanger_at_lpi.org.

Scott Lamberton
Director of Community Relations
Linux Professional Institute
Email: scottl at lpi.org
Web: http://www.lpi.org
Telephone: +1-416-666-1574

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