Potomac Forum The Forum of Choice for Government & Industry Training Since 1982

The Forum of Choice for Government & Industry Training Since 1982

Agile Engineering, SAFe and DevOps: A Roadmap to Adoption - Agile Development in Government Training Workshop IX
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Keynote Speaker: 

Brent Weaver


Systems Implementation CCSQ

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services


Government Speakers:

Melissa Cohen

Director, Center for Enterprise Agility

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services


Rob Brown

Branch Chief

Department of Homeland Security-USCIS



Bob Maslyn

Senior Manager, SAFe Program Consultant



Tia Norman

Agile Program Manager

Enterprise Business Management Office - IT Standards

Department of Homeland Security



Bill Pratt

Director, IT Standards

Department of Homeland Security

Directorate for Management, OCIO



Simmons Lough

Software Architect


(awaiting agency approval)


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Meeting Location: 
Willard InterContinental Hotel

Willard Intercontinental Hotel
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington 20004
United States

Metro Center (Red, Orange, Blue Lines). Use the exit marked “12th & F Sts” to exit onto F St., then continue straight two blocks and cross 14th St.


There is no question that many Federal agencies have seen measurable improvements in the way that they provide digital services that support their missions.  Agile and Lean Thinking concepts have led to faster cycle times and increased efficiencies in developing software solutions.  However, many agencies feel that they have reached a plateau and are ready to move through to the next logical steps. Improving digital services delivery and getting working software into the users’ hands shouldn’t stop with just Scrum. What might a strategic progression for project delivery look like? Should we look at the Agile Engineering practices of XP? What about scaling Agile for larger projects and across multiple teams? If we’re improving efficiencies and software quality through these Quality First Principles, how can we get the finished product into the hands of the users faster? 


Most Agile transformation efforts in government and the private sector begin with the Scrum process.  As agencies progress in their Agile adoption, they begin to see the value of adding the Agile engineering practices, such as Test-Driven Development, Continuous Integration, and Pair Programming, to improve code quality and the downstream delivery of fully functional and tested software solutions. Scaling Agile for larger projects across multiple teams using approaches like Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) will often be the next step on the roadmap to Agile maturity.  As code quality and delivery readiness improve as a result of the previous progressive steps, the need to now lean out the deployment process becomes apparent.  Integrating development, security, delivery and operations early in the cycle, (DevOps), now becomes the next logical step. 


But as an agency, how do we get there from where we are today along the continuum of Agile adoption?   This will be the focus of our ninth Agile in Government workshop, Agile Engineering, SAFe and DevOps: A Roadmap to Adoption.


1.       Adoption of the Agile Engineering Practices, such as Test-Driven Development, Continuous Integration, and Automated Testing to improve quality


2.       Becoming proficient at scaling Agile for larger projects through such techniques as Scaled Agile Framework methods (SAFe)


3.       Implementing DevOps to improve downstream delivery of working software to the end-users



This workshop is designed to provide attendees with specific insight into the logical progression from basic Agile initiatives to the continuous delivery and continuous deployment of working software, based on Agile disciplines and Lean Thinking.  You’ll hear from other government agencies about how they are moving along this path, and the challenges you can expect to encounter.   The afternoon government panel will also share their insights on lessons learned based on their real-world experiences as they navigate through their Agile transformation, scaling and deployment at their agencies.

What You Will Learn: 

o Scrum seems to be working for us. Why should we also look at the more advanced practices?

o How can we assess the potential value of moving forward?

o How much of the Agile engineering practices can a Federal agency use?

o What agencies are using SAFe methods now to scale their large projects 

o How do we lay the right foundation in our preparation for DevOps implementation?

o How do we know if we’re ready to move to DevOps?

o We’ve already started down the path of Agile adoption. What are some of the commercial best practices we should consider as we move to SAFe and DevOps?

o What should we know about interacting with Agile partners from industry?

o What kind of training should our staff be looking for as part of this process?


Why You Should Attend: 

o The efficiencies gained in the application of Lean Thinking, and Agile disciplines can become of little consequence if the downstream delivery and deployment grinds the progress to a halt.

o There are agencies that are eliminating costly mistakes and downtime by successfully adopting SAFe and DevOps practices. Come and listen to their experiences and lessons learned.

o Agile, SAFe and DevOps practices not only take technical expertise, but require deep cultural change. Hear from experts and daily practitioners about the importance of managing these cultural challenges and how they are successfully driving cultural change based on their real-world experiences.


Who Should Attend: 

o CIOs, CTOs, Federal IT experts 

o Contracting and Acquisition professionals who are or will soon be supporting Agile adoption at their agencies

o Project and program managers who want to better understand their role in an Agile environment

o Agencies new to adopting Agile projects

o Agencies that have already started to adopt Agile practices who want to move to the next level of agility

o Development and Operations teams facing ongoing challenges to deployment



Presentations and panel discussions.



7:30 AM

Registration and Continental Breakfast


Art Chantker, President, Potomac Forum


An Overview of the Roadmap

Jeff Henley, Lean-Agile Federal Practice Director, CC Pace


Presentation: An introduction to Agile Engineering

Kuryan Thomas, CTO, CC Pace


Keynote Presentation: SAFe

Brent Weaver, Director, Systems Implementation CCSQ, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services


Refreshment Break


DevOps – Keeping Pace with Emerging Concepts in Agile Delivery and Product Deployment

Ashok Komaragiri, Senior Technical Consultant, CC Pace


Hosted Working Luncheon
Students will be presented with a discussion topic based upon the morning’s presentation and will be asked to discuss.  Each lunch table will select a “leader” who will “report out” after luncheon


“Report out” of Working Luncheon Discussion Topic




Panel: How Are They Making It Work?

Moderator: Jeff Henley, Federal Practice Director, CC Pace


Federal panel:


- Rob Brown, Branch Chief, DHS-USCIS, OCIO

- Melissa Cohen, Director, Center for Enterprise Agility, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- Bob Maslyn, Senior Manager/SAFe Program Consultant, GSA 
- Veretta “Tia” Norman, Agile Program Manager   Enterprise Business Management Office - IT Standards, OCIO, DHS   
- William “Bill” Pratt, Director IT Standards DHS Directorate for Management, OCIO  
- Brent Weaver, Director, Systems Implementation CCSQ, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services


Refreshment Break


DevOps Initiatives at USPTO


Simmons Lough, USPTO (Pending Agency Approval)


Commercial Best Practices: A Case Study

Philippa Fewell, VP, CC Pace


Wrap-up - Lessons Learned from the Field

Jeff Henley, Lean-Agile Federal Practice Director, CC Pace


Workshop Adjourns


Post Workshop Discussions with Instructors on Specific Individual Topics






Registration Information: 

  Early Bird Registration Fee AFTER May 25th
Government Employees:
(Federal, State or Local Government Issued ID)
Special Reduced Rates in Support of Government Budget Reductions
Team Rate for Government: Send a government team to learn together. Register two government employees from the same office at the same time and the third person registers at $200 off the current government rate.
Industry and Contractors:
(Including contractors on-site and in direct support of government agencies).

Registration Includes: Presentations, Workshop Notebook, Continental Breakfast, All Day Refreshments and Hosted Luncheon

Guest Speakers: 

William Pratt

Director, IT Standards & Program Support

U.S. Department of Homeland Security


Bill is the Director of IT Standards & Program Support in the CIO’s Enterprise Business Management Office at DHS.  He leads the DHS IT Systems Engineering Life Cycle (SELC), Agile, and IT Program Management Centers of Excellence.  Bill and his team are coordinating the adoption of Agile and Incremental software development as the preferred process at DHS.


Recent metrics indicate that 87 percent of major DHS software development programs are delivering new releases in six months or less.  Bill led efforts to create the DHS Agile Development Guidebook, which was awarded the 2015 AFFIRM Award for Leadership in Best Practices Implementation.


Bill also was the ICE Section 508 Coordinator, for which he was named the DHS Section 508 Coordinator of the Year in 2013.  Bill has more than 30 years of experience in IT development, supporting the federal government, private industry, and the DoD. He holds certifications as a PMP, Certified ScrumMaster, and in ITIL Foundations.

Tia Norman

PMP, PMI-ACP, ICP-Agile Coach, DHS PM Level III

Branch Chief – Agile Maturity & Governance

Office of the Chief Technology Officer - Strategic Technology Management

Office of the Chief Information Officer

U.S. Department of Homeland Security



Tia Norman serves as the Agile Program Manager at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Headquarters, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Enterprise Business Management Office (EBMO).  Ms. Norman is instrumental in executing the adoption of Agile and Incremental software development as the preferred methodology at DHS and its goal to achieve Agile mastery across all DHS Components through outreach and education.


Ms. Norman, an Agile practitioner since 2012, is responsible for the DHS Agile Center of Excellence (COE), Agile outreach, Agile coaching, and Agile governance.  Her duties include conducting extensive outreach efforts to increase the understanding and benefits of Agile software development, Systems Engineering Life Cycle (SELC) Framework, and Agile adoption across DHS.  Ms. Norman has been integral in developing a number of Agile training programs, governance, Agile information sharing sessions, and Agile tools including: DHS Agile Guidebook, Agile COE website, Agile Toolkit, DHS Agile Instruction, DHS Agile Community of Interest Forum, Annual DHS Agile Expo, and Agile best practices.


She has a Master of Science degree in Project Management from the George Washington University, is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP), and certified Level III DHS Acquisition Professional Program Manager.

Robert (Bob) Maslyn

Coordinator, Agile Team, Integrated Award Environment Program


Bob has worked both the business side and the IT side of the GSA Integrated Award Environment Program for the past decade. The Program has evolved from using traditional waterfall project management practices since its inception in 2002 to adopting Agile practices beginning in 2014. Bob has certifications as a Product Owner, Scrum Master, SAFe Agilist, and PMP. He coordinates the IAE Agile Coaches and Release Train Engineer team which oversees 14 Agile teams.

Cancellation Policy: 

Confirmed registrations who cancel within 3 business days of the program will be subject to a $250 cancellation fee. Registrations cancelled after the program starts are subject to the full registration fee. Substitutions can be made at any time. In the event a particular training workshop is cancelled, the liability of Potomac Forum, Ltd is limited to refund of any prepaid registration fee.

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