Agile in Government: Theory, Practice, and Proof it Works – Johnson

4:00 pm -4:35 am

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Breakout Room 3



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Abstract: Agile is trending hot in all areas of project management, and especially in government. Why? Because life in government continues to be more and more uncertain. Uncertainty doesn’t fit in the predictive approach, with fragile schedules set to slip if deadlines are missed. Agile takes that uncertainty and flips the script with an anti-fragile approach where uncertainty is expected, worked into delivery, and offers a way to derive unbelievable benefits. Bombarded with stories of GSA’s 18F and the Air Force’s Kessel Run, the program manager is still asking the question, “yes, but how do we do this and stay compliant with the FAR, DFARs, and hold our vendors accountable?” The vendors are asking, “how can I take the risk of Agile under firm-fixed price?”

This presentation, “Agile In Government: Theory, Practice, and Proof It Works” delivers the answers with personal examples of delivering award-winning projects using Agile for the Navy CNIC Energy Program and the National Archives. The presenter will illustrate theories on why Agile Loves Uncertainty, the contracting approaches for T&M and FFP that align with FAR best practices, and answer questions on real-world cases from first hand experience. It will also demonstrate just how scalable the Agile contracting methods are with examples from spacecraft, to supercomputers, to award winning civil engineering projects. Deliver twice as fast, on-budget, and achieve over ten times the value. No hype, just facts and ready-to-use techniques from a project manager who’s done the work.  This presentation draws on the free online Agile courses developed by the speaker available on edX and the University of Maryland’s Project Management Center for Excellence (

PMI Talent Triangle: Technical Project Management