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Agile in Government [clear filter]
Monday, August 5

10:45 EDT

Agile adoption in Aeronautics Computing Center of Brazilian Air Force (Fernando Rodrigues de Sá, Everton Lucas)

The adoption of Agile Methods at CCA-SJ was an initiative of our system developers. Scrum was chosen as the framework for development. Despite this, at the beginning, teams were not following the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. Scrum teams were not properly formed. Scrum Guide was not even known by many developers. We also faced some problems in the interaction between individuals, since there were conflicts between military hierarchy and Agile Principles.
The Agile Transformation began with an intense work of 3 Agile Coaches. After our first results in adopting Agile Methods, we are increasingly gaining the confidence of our C-Level. In less than a year, I led this journey to success. Now we have a PMO where I lead a 9 members team. The planning of projects to be developed in 2019 was based on Scrum. That is, the new teams were formed according to the Scrum Guide.
In this talk I will present our journey in this Agile Transformation. I will also present two projects that were entirelly conducted based on Agile Methods. Our cases of success: a Low Cost Flight Simulator and a system that controls the overflight of foreign aircraft in Brazilian's airspace.The work that we are doing at CCA-SJ in the adoption of Agile Methods is pioneer in the Brazilian Air Force.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Transparency is key to gaining trust.
  • The importance of both top-down and bottom-up approaches.
  • Reinforcement of the importance of applying the principles and practices of the framework.
  • A case of success becomes an example for other teams and encourages the changes that can be made.


avatar for Everton Lucas

Everton Lucas

Agile Coach, Aeronautics Computing Center of Brazilian Air Force
Developer since 1999, I've worked on products that used Delphi, PHP, C #, Java, PL/SQL, Ruby on Rails and Python. Bachelor in Information Systems. I'm always looking for learning between developing software and agile methods for one reason: the themes and knowledge complement each... Read More →

Monday August 5, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
National Harbor 4/5

10:45 EDT

Agile Legislation (Troels Vincents Hjortholm, Terkel Tolstrup)

By nature, it is contradictory to work in an agile set-up with the mindset of constant change and adaptability, while at the same time being assigned to fulfil a fixed legislation as a premise.
How can you work in an agile set-up when – from the agile perspective – you must comply with rigid rules and regulations and you discover the need to adjust or change a specific law and/or the legal interpretation of the law? Rigid in the sense that changing a law or legal interpretation takes time – more time than an agile approach normally allows for.
Nevertheless, the reality is that this is the premise of governmental organisations all around the world. However, by establishing a close collaboration between law makers and the agile delivery organisations a very fruitful collaboration can arise where both parties can benefit from better results.
In this talk, we will present three concrete examples from Denmark, including a government agency, a highly regulated public fund and a compliance program; all three examples have managed to drive value out of agile ways of working while at the same time working closely with lawmakers for mutual benefit.
Government agency case:
The government agency has implemented a full-scale SAFe program, where they manage to be in close dialogue with the law makers to adapt the laws according to the functionality available from each release in the agile program.
Public fund case:
For many years the public fund has supervised important parts of the Danish welfare system. They have successfully implemented agile ways of working, including legislation projects where all three project parameters: time, cost and scope are fixed. In this case, we will focus on how to interact with the legislators by being in continuous and close dialogue, so the legislators can help remove the impediments which are identified by the agile programs in the administrative interpretations of the laws to deliver better and simplified digital solutions.
Compliance program case:
We often think of compliance with government regulations as either compliant or non-compliant. However, in this case we will walk you through the major findings of a company’s agile compliance program where, in one year, they achieved 30 releases of new functionality supporting the compliance program. This was only made possible by including the government compliance agency in continuous dialogue and involvement.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Inspiration on agile collaboration between law makers and agile delivery organisations to achieve improved legislation and simplified digital solutions.


avatar for Troels Vincents Hjortholm

Troels Vincents Hjortholm

Senior Manager, Deloitte
Troels V. Hjortholm is the leader of Deloitte Nordics Agile Community and has +11 years of solid agile experience covering everything from team coaching to enterprise agile transformations. Troels is passionate about applying agile ways of working to create successes within the Public... Read More →
avatar for Terkel Tolstrup

Terkel Tolstrup

Partner, Deloitte
Advise enterprises in adapting an agile culture and mindset. Experience from being an early adapter of eXtreme Programming practices around 2002. Moving into agile organizational setups and transforming large scale organizations from implementations in projects to establishing and... Read More →

Monday August 5, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
Chesapeake 4/5/6
Tuesday, August 6

09:00 EDT

Experiments, Measurements, and Relationships: How Large Federal Projects Can Succeed (David Blair)
Limited Capacity filling up

Federal agencies often have a reputation for being deeply silo-ed bureaucratic institutions that struggle with innovation. But at USCIS, evolving product management has joined forces with forward thinking IT leadership to advance technical innovation that transforms the mission. Citizenship and Immigration has embarked on a vision of moving to a paperless system for a workflow that has historically required hundreds of paper forms. Through this journey, the need for an involved, responsive, and collaborative partnership between business and technology stakeholders has become imperative. DevOps practices have allowed for a continuous flow of delivery of new valuable functionality directly to public and internal users. But this new landscape creates new challenges borne out of this technological maturity. How do we continuously release new features without disrupting the business? How do we know we’re making the right functionality? How can we anticipate the demand for specific features? And how can we measure the impact on business performance measures that have historically been illusive?
We’ll explore some experiences and lessons learned from the Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) program. David Blair, the IT Program Manager, will discuss the innovative “soft launch” approach used to release a public mission critical system for just 72 hours, how the limited availability to the public allowed for feedback, and what technology made that possible without disrupting the ongoing business processes. He’ll discuss how the partnership with mission-oriented stakeholders was one of the key drivers of the program success. And how together, consistent practice of non-disruptive, reliable deployments built confidence in both IT and the business. The daily repetition of deployment success indicated to key stakeholders that production changes could be made safely and quickly. Engaged product ownership helped verify that internal and external users’ needs were being met and feedback was being incorporated immediately. Business performance metrics became the primary measures of IT success. It is this collaborative business/IT partnership that is key to the success of a modern federal enterprise.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Attendees will learn approaches to overcoming federal challenges to continuous deployment
  • Attendees will learn methods to modernize processes through software without a big-bang approach
  • Attendees will learn how to build trust between the mission/business focused stakeholders and the IT program leadership
  • Attendees will hear an example of how these approaches were actually successful within a large federal institution
  • Attendees will learn how to identify business performance measures that can help indicate IT value delivery



Tuesday August 6, 2019 09:00 - 10:15 EDT
National Harbor 4/5

10:45 EDT

Government Products Deserve Love Too (Jason Gudalis)
Limited Capacity seats available

Product management and the public sector seem to go together like oil and water. After all, when was the last time that you experienced a government product that you really enjoyed using? It might be rare, but user enthusiasm for products in the public sector isn’t fiction. Current Product Manager of FBI’s Sentinel and former Technical Director of Department of Defense product portfolios, Jason Gudalis will provide a deep dive into building products that elicit passion by:
  • Capitalizing on the strengths of the public sector to foster healthy product development
  • Mitigating the weaknesses of the public sector to protect healthy product development
From eliminating the barriers between users and product teams to managing an agile product roadmap, he’ll share the lessons and stories that fundamentally shaped his approach to agile development and product management -- and helped him create lovable product experiences in the unlikeliest of places: the federal government.

Learning Outcomes:
  • * Strengths in the public sector to capitalize on for agile development and product management
  • * Weaknesses in the public sector to mitigate for agile development and product management
  • * Effective and efficient team organization
  • * Agile and healthy execution of requirements
  • * Mechanisms to make organizations more customer focused


avatar for Jason Gudalis

Jason Gudalis

Product Manager

Tuesday August 6, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
National Harbor 4/5
Wednesday, August 7

10:45 EDT

7 things we do for our agile transformation at scale (Cecile Auret)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Your IT department is so big that you don’t even know the name of all the managers after 2 years! Your government agency has a reputation of bad service and old fashioned digital services! You know the organization must change but you don’t know where to start!
If you belong to a giant organization with silos and old school management practices in place, come to hear our open and honest story of how our agile transformation and learning journey is organized.
We are transforming our work methods since 2015. Through the new practices brought or encapsulated by SAFe®, we tear down historical silos and deeply transform the communication patterns. On the way, we even on-board non-agile teams as well as teams working on desktops and infrastructure.
With an IT department of 1600 people plus as many external contractors, this transformation is no small deal. It takes a good strategy, a small team of driven individuals and a culture open to change despite the unknown. Slowly but surely, culture evolves. The journey is long and full of surprises.
By the end of this session, you will understand how a French government organization is changing to build better solutions, better respect the tax payers’ money and attract new talents.

Learning Outcomes:
  • By the end of this session, you will be able to:
  • • Understand the transformation strategy and roadmap
  • • Discover how the transformation team works
  • • How communication influences the results
  • • How the SAFe framework is assisting the change
  • • How to leverage profession based communities within the enterprise to move to agile


avatar for Cecile Auret

Cecile Auret

Change agent, Pole-emploi
I help teams and programs move to agile with scrum, kanban and the Scaled Agile Framework®. I also construct training material and develop communities of practice. I’m happy to talk about agile methodologies, management and the ups and downs of a transformation.

Wednesday August 7, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
National Harbor 2

14:00 EDT

Shorten that Feedback Cycle - Deliver Products that Customers Value (Ankur Saini)
Limited Capacity filling up

Is there a silver bullet for implementing agile to deliver products that are fit for purpose and fit for use? Shorten your feedback loops is what experts agree on. However, feedback loops in highly structured, siloed and regulated environments, such as the Government, have built-in challenges, ranging from regulation to competing stakeholder interests, which inhibit agility if left unaddressed. This session presents a backstage pass to the journey of a mission-critical system at General Services Administration (GSA) - from a well-intended failure to a hallowed agile success story - through the eyes of the GSA Program Manager. By examining the successes and failures along this journey through an interactive conversation, we will discuss how we have conjured up an agile methodology that works within our constraints at GSA, and has allowed us to enhance user experience for over 2000 users in a short amount of time. This methodology optimizes a series of interrelated feedback loops (from product conceptualization through production deployment) to deliver customer-centric products faster. Using workplace experiences, we will interactively examine how different organizations within GSA, including but not limited to Contracting Office, Program Office and IT, have collaborated to making agile a reality at GSA despite being geographically dispersed. Further, we will share our observations and techniques we’ve employed to minimize risk from cognitive biases and likely pitfalls that one may encounter when attempting to implement agile practices.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Understanding the agile methodology as a network of interrelated feedback loops.
  • Jump-starting implementation of agile practices in their organization to deliver customer-centric products through optimizing feedback loops.
  • Detecting anti-patterns in the agile practices and in their organization and collaboratively develop solutions to course-correct.
  • Defining success metrics for their process and products, and identifying indicators that impact those success metrics.


avatar for Ankur Saini

Ankur Saini

Program Manager, U.S. General Services Administration
Ankur Saini is a solutions architect who partners with CXOs, Product Owners and Developers to deliver business value through successful technology initiatives. Certified as a PMP, CSM and ITIL Expert, he has over 15 years of experience leading multi-million dollar software development... Read More →

Wednesday August 7, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
Chesapeake D/E/F

15:45 EDT

Overview of the GAO Agile Assessment Guide (Michael Holland, Jennifer Leotta)
Limited Capacity seats available

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that reviews federal programs in response to Congressional requests. In the past, we have found that federal agencies have struggled to adopt and execute Agile. As a result, we began to develop the GAO Agile guide in consultation with approximately 400 experts from across government, industry, and academia. The guide will establish a consistent framework based on best practices that can be used across the federal government for developing, implementing, managing, and evaluating agencies’ IT investments that rely on Agile methods.
The guide will provide a comprehensive framework for Agile adoption. The will inform agency transitions to Agile and oversight entities as they seek to evaluate these transitions. For example, the guide will cover topics such as agency, team, and program-level best practices for adopting Agile; requirements management best practices, acquisition best practices for Agile projects; and best practices for cost and schedule estimating and using Earned Value Measurement on Agile projects. It will also discuss Agile adoption and execution metrics and provide a discussion on myths surrounding Agile development. GAO has previously developed guides for cost estimating, schedule estimating, and technology readiness assessments that have been widely adopted in the federal government and beyond.
This presentation will provide an overview of the GAO Agile Assessment Guide and the best practices described within.

Learning Outcomes:
  • To familiarize the audience with resources available to them
  • To provide an overview of key themes to effectively manage software products using Agile methods in the government
  • To disseminate information regarding the best practices GAO has established through our internal research and discussion with approximately 400 experts
  • To share information about practical challenges in the federal government among participants during the question and answer period


Wednesday August 7, 2019 15:45 - 17:00 EDT
Chesapeake D/E/F
Thursday, August 8

09:00 EDT

The TBM Movement in Government – Friend or Foe to Agile Adoption? (Steve Mayner)
Limited Capacity seats available

Governments have historically struggled to gain transparency and accountability for investments in Information Technology (IT). In the U.S., initiatives such as the IT Dashboard and FITARA have had mixed success, driving the present administration to turn to the Technology Business Management (TBM) framework as the latest move to “improve the consistency, granularity, and quality of Federal IT spending information.” The General Services Administration (GSA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are actively working with industry and agency early adopters of this model to develop a playbook of best practices as part of the goal of government-wide adoption of TBM in all U.S. federal agencies by 2022.
At the same time, government adoption of Agile and DevOps practices continues to accelerate. Interest in models like the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) has grown in part due to the guidance it provides for lean portfolio management practices essential for managing the development of technology-centric mission-critical capabilities. Concepts such as aligning IT spending to value streams, dedicated teams-of-teams, Lean Startup practices for rapid prototyping before committing to full development, and more are already changing how government enterprises think about how their technology dollars are spent.
This session will explore how the major movements of Lean-Agile, DevOps, and TBM investment management intersect. How do they synergize, and where are the potential friction points? How can agencies use SAFe to accelerate TBM adoption in a way that harmonizes the two? Examples from pioneering implementations of TBM in U.S. federal agencies will be used to illustrate early lessons learned.
Topics to be covered include:
Federal IT Spending and TBM
  • The problem to be solved
  • How TBM intersects with FITARA
  • Rollout strategy and timing
Overview of TBM
  • What is TBM?
  • The TBM taxonomy
  • TBM Council recommendations for Federal adoption
Overview of SAFe
  • Core competencies of the Lean Enterprise
  • SAFe adoption in government
Lean-Agile, DevOps and TBM
  • Synergies
  • Friction points and challenges
Leveraging SAFe for TBM in Government
  • Position for value
  • Core disciplines
  • Continuous improvement
  • SAFe and the Four TBM Value Conversations
  • Lessons learned from early adopters of TBM in government

Learning Outcomes:
  • Attendees will leave the session with:
  • - A basic understanding of the key elements of TBM and SAFe
  • - Insights into the trajectories of TBM and SAFe adoption in the U.S. government
  • - A summary of the synergies and friction points between TBM and Agile adoption
  • - Specific guidance for using SAFe to accelerate TBM adoption in a government agency


avatar for Steve Mayner

Steve Mayner

Scaled Agile, Inc., Scaled Agile, Inc.
Dr. Steve Mayner is an executive coach and Lean-Agile evangelist with a passion for cultivating transformational leaders and high performing teams. His 30-year career in business includes roles as Vice President in multiple Fortune 500 companies, as well as Chief Technology Officer... Read More →

Thursday August 8, 2019 09:00 - 10:15 EDT
Chesapeake D/E/F

10:45 EDT

My government agency is unique... just like all the other agencies (Joshua Seckel, mark ginise)
Limited Capacity seats available

Many people have implemented successful agile transformations in a federal agency on a project or program, some even converting entire agencies. Then they tried to take that method and apply it to another program or agency - and failed. What went wrong? Most government agencies are roughly the same size as a company, Departments are collections of companies, and the entire federal government is massive at a scale beyond most enterprise changes. Just like companies, each agency has unique cultural differences and technical proficiencies. But there are overall federal practices and ideas that can help with an agile transformation.
Are the governance practices from USCIS adoptable in other agencies? Can the leadership champion at FBI Sentinel be duplicated? Is the recovery from healthcare.gov something that should be emulated on other programs?
Based on discussions with many federal employees and a few contractors working in various agencies, including Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Treasury, Transportation, the Intelligence Community and others, this talk will dissect and analyze anecdotes and stories across various federal agencies with advice on what seems to work universally, what seem to be antipatterns, and what is very agency specific.
We looked across several vital areas for agile adoption and transformation: technical practices, leadership engagement, governance, procurement, and mindset. For each area, we will summarize, with specific examples from federal agencies, practices that have worked across multiple agencies, practices that have seen success in one or two agencies, and practices that have not been successful at any agency in promoting change.

Learning Outcomes:
  • What specific ideas are likely to work within a federal agency
  • What specific ideas are unlikely to work within a federal agency
  • What specific ideas are very dependent on the culture of the agency
  • How to apply these ideas to get agile transformation started

avatar for Joshua Seckel

Joshua Seckel

Specialist leader, Deloitte
Come talk to me about any and all parts of agile transformation at the Deloitte booth or in my session or around the conference!
avatar for Mark Ginise

Mark Ginise

IT Professor, Agile, Dept of Defense, DAU
Agile IT Professor focused on the 873/874 Agile pilot programs. Currently working on the newly formed DevSecOps Academy as a hands-on instructor using the latest in cloud enabled technology to show DoD programs how to accelerate the DevSecOps adoption.

Thursday August 8, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
Chesapeake D/E/F

14:00 EDT

Nine levels of Agile Hell... and how to get out! (David Fogel, David Bujard)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Government Agile transformations can feel like overwhelming efforts – but do not abandon hope! This interactive, audience-driven presentation reviews how government and large organizations escape common Agile adoption challenges.
You - the audience - will prioritize your pain points; we’ll focus on the six Agile hells most highly prioritized. We will discuss real examples of “escaping” out of each Agile hell, with pro tips and success patterns you can apply.
The Agile hells we have navigated include:
  • No Transformation hell - A federal program or department wants to change but can’t start or can’t finish
  • Too Fast hell - Newly Agile federal programs sometimes respond TOO rapidly, too often changing priorities.
  • Technical hell - Programs can become bogged down in technical debt and manual processes.
  • No Trust hell - Government delivery can be slowed by lack of trust between contractors and feds, between business and IT, or between compliance and delivery groups.
  • Product Owners hell - Government Product Owners can be unavailable, think they are managers, aren’t empowered to provide vision, or struggle with prioritization
  • Too Big hell- A frequent pattern in federal Agile! Large batches produce slow progress, low visibility and high complexity, seen in big programs, big deployments, and big contracts.
  • Collaboration hell - Government teams can struggle with collaboration within the same organization across roles and across the fed-contractor divide.
  • Stove-piped hell - Government organizations can struggle to collaborate across contractual or organizational boundaries within the same enterprise
  • Leadership hell - An organization can only be as agile as its leadership. In the government, how can you work with leaders who aren't ready to be agile?
For each Agile hell, we focus on successful techniques to escape from these common dynamics. Unlike other presentations, we won't be doing a deep dive, but we will cover the most important challenges our audience face.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Audience will get an appreciation of some aspects of Agile that are known to be difficult impediments.
  • More important: the audience will have specific actionable solutions to their concerns.

avatar for David Fogel

David Fogel

Professor of Agile, Department of Defense
David Fogel has referred to himself as an Agile enthusiast since 2008. Threaded in Dave’s two decades in IT, he has been a Satellite Communications Operator/Maintainer, Technical Trainer, Criminal Investigator, Nuclear Biological Chemical Safety Officer, Scrum Master, Book Club... Read More →
avatar for David Bujard

David Bujard

Blackstone Technology Group
David Bujard is an Agile coach at Blackstone Technology Group, with 16 years of experience with delivering software at USCIS. David has served as a development team lead, scrum master, and enterprise coach.Outside of work, David volunteered as a lay chaplain for 10 years at Georgetown... Read More →

Thursday August 8, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
Chesapeake 4/5/6

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