Stuart Lesley

Presentation: Helping the PMO and Agile Play Nice Together

Abstract: In the federal space how can you be successful with Agile while being able to conduct long term planning and meet reporting requirements? Introduce a framework that bridges the gap between the Agile development process and the PMO’s responsibility.”

In recent years, agencies have adopted the keyword “Agile,” hoping it is a silver bullet to cure all the malaise. It’s common is hear people say things like: “For sure we will be on schedule this time because we are using scrum now. Don’t worry about planning or documentation, just run, we are on sprint.” However, the outcome of those agile projects has not been all satisfactory.

On one hand, the government budgeting, reporting and oversight process requires the PMO to have long term plans for the program and be able to assess progress and status on a regular basis. On the other hand, the agile teams are saying we can only plan for the next 40 days; or, just trust us, we will get it done, at some point; the planning will only slow us down. We argue that even in the Agile world, there is value for long term vision and roadmap. Without proper and constant planning, the Agile development process could run off the track or run toward the wrong direction.

In this presentation, our intention is to show that there is a way to meet/balance the needs of both the PMO and Agile teams, we call it the “Integration and Implementation Planning Framework.”

PMI Talent Triangle: Technical Project Management

Biography: Stu Lesley has extensive experience with the trials, tribulations, and challenges of large government organizations and has learned to focus on the “art of the possible”. He believes in his sponsors even when they sometimes don’t believe in themselves. This combination of focus and belief often finds success where none had found it before. He is a very experienced facilitator which comes in handy as he helps his sponsors take on new challenges and approaches.

Stu Lesley has been with the MITRE Corporation (a Federally Funded Research and Development Center – FFRDC) over 14 years providing system engineering and PMO support to a wide variety of sponsors include the GSA, the IRS, and the U.S. Census Bureau. Before coming to MITRE he was a requirements engineer supporting projects large and small with software development company utilizing the waterfall method (Yea Agile!). Before that he proudly served in the U.S. Coast Guard in both an enlisted and commissioned capacity.