Christine Schmidt

Presentation: Adapting Agile Principle in a Historically Non-agile Environment

Abstract: The development of several mini-websites (microsites) at the American Chemical Society is being presented as an example of utilizing an agile workstyle in a historically non-agile environment. Two of the microsites were the conversion of a print magazine to a digital product, while the third was the re-creation of a course catalog. The projects required some non-standard application of agile principles to promote the collaboration and engagement characteristic of agile project. The business owners worked closely with members of the Web Strategy and Operations team on all aspects of the microsite development, including the discernment of the design, the features, and content workflow. After the first project, all stakeholders were invited to weekly project meetings, with enough information to allow the stakeholders to decide if they needed to attend a meeting. A dashboard allowed all participants to see the status of the project, and many tasks were tracked with Jira. The projects often faced resource limitations, e.g. team members were not exclusively dedicated to the projects. Competing activities and projects posed major challenges to the project cadence, communication, and general team dynamics. This talk will show the agile principles applied to the projects and will discuss some of the tactics taken to overcome the challenges.

PMI Talent Triangle: Technical Project Management

Biography: Christine Schmidt has worked at the American Chemical Society for aproximately 27 years. She has managed education programs including two national program targeted at high school students, as well as two textbook projects. In 1999, she made the jump to technology, beginning with managing websites for a set of magazines, and later working on the ACS’s primary website. She has worked on technology-based projects and products in positions within IT and Membership divisions. She currently has a wide variety of functions, including project manager for various department-led initiatives, product owner for a social collaboration platform, consultant on various enterprise-wide projects, and staff liaison to a governance committee.