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

The Forum of Choice for Government & Industry Training Since 1982

POSTPONED: Agile Development in Government Training Workshop IX

Laying the Right Foundation for Agility Within Your Agency

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Keynote Speaker:


William "Bill" Pratt

Director, IT Standards & Program Support

Office of the CIO

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Awaiting Agency Approval

(Author of the widely acclaimed DHS AGILE Guidebook used by DHS and many other Government Agencies.)



Guest Speakers:


Melissa Cohen

Director, Policy and Programs Group

Center for Medicare Medicaid Services (CMS)


Daniel Levenson

Digital Service Contracting Advisor

Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)


Jonathan Mostowski

Member of the Defense Digital Service Team

The White House & Pentagon


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

Branch Chief - Agile Maturity & Governance

Office of the CIO

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Awaiting Agency Approval


Ashok Komaragiri

Senior Techinical Consultant

CC Pace


Philippa Fewell

Vice President

CC Pace


Jeff Henley

Federal Practice Director

CC Pace



Additional Guest Speakers Pending Agency Approval

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

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.


With the current Administration’s emphasis on IT Modernization coupled with today’s demanding environment and reduced budgets, most Federal agencies are at some level of Agile adoption or transformation to increase efficiencies and meet these challenging demands.  However, many would welcome insight into how best to address the cultural issues and other factors contributing to impediments to Agile adoption.   Knowing how to achieve success in this process by laying the right foundation will be the key focus of this workshop.


Agile software development and delivery is gaining much more staying power in a growing number of Federal agencies than anyone expected even a few years ago.  As agencies move forward in their adoption of the kind of business agility we have seen in the private sector, there are concerns about how much of the Agile principles and concepts can Federal agencies adopt, given their unique cultural and regulatory environment.


Lean Thinking concepts and DevOps principles have led to faster cycle times and increased efficiencies in delivery.  However, many agencies are still trying to get a handle on the acquisition and contracting challenges unique to Federal procurement of these Agile digital services.  Then there’s the question of the government’s role in the oversight of Agile delivery.  How will the Product Owner successfully ensure that the government’s business needs are really being met through the development cycle? What insight into Agile delivery approaches will the Contract Officer and the Contract Officer’s Representative need, in order to best manage the entire engagement process with their vendors?  This

workshop will provide answers to many of these key concerns.


Agile Development in Government Training Workshop IX: Laying the Right Foundation for Agility Within Your Agency is designed to provide attendees with practical suggestions from other government agencies to address the kinds of challenges to prepare for based on their own experiences with Agile transition approaches that have worked for them; “laying the right foundation”.  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 within their own agencies.

What You Will Learn: 

  • What typically drives the pockets of resistance in government agencies and how can they be dealt with successfully?
  • How will my role and responsibilities change, and how can I best prepare myself?
  • How can we ensure that our contracting for Agile Digital Services is not in conflict with the FAR?
  • What are some innovative contracting initiatives that are already working for government?
  • We’ve already started down the path of Agile adoption. What are some of the commercial best practices that we could adopt in our government agency?
  • What should we know about selecting and interacting with Agile partners from industry?
  • What kind of training should my government staff be looking for to best manage the government/vendor relationship on my Agile projects?
Why You Should Attend: 

  • As more and more government agencies move to adopt Lean and Agile practices, there must be assurance that they are keeping within the regulatory boundaries unique to the Federal government.  Many agencies are already doing this very successfully.  This workshop will show you how they are navigating these challenges.
  • There are agencies that are eliminating costly mistakes and downtime by successfully adopting Lean and Agile practices. Come and hear their experiences and lessons learned.
  • Agile 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: 

  • CIOs, CTOs, Federal IT Executives, Managers and Staff
  • Contracting and Acquisition professionals who are or will soon be supporting Agile adoption at their agencies
  • Project and program managers who want to better understand their role in an Agile environment
  • Agencies new to adopting Agile projects
  • Agencies that have already started to adopt Agile practices who want to move to the next level of agility
  • Development and Operations teams facing ongoing challenges to deployment
  • State Government Executives, Managers and Staff interest in the Agile environment
  • Industry Partners who are assisting government with implementing Agile 

Presentations and Panel Discussion.




Registration and Continental Breakfast




Art Chantker, President, Potomac Forum


Presentation: The Agile Mindset - Not Just Tools and Practices


Philippa Fewell, VP, CC Pace


Keynote Presentation:

Moving Agility to the Enterprise Level - The DHS Agile Guidebook and DHS Center of Excellence 


William (Bill) Pratt, Director, IT Standards & Program Support, Office of the CIO, Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Awaiting Agency Approval.

10:45am Refreshment Break

Insights on Agile Acquisition 


Jonathan Mostowski, Member f the Defense Digital Service Team, The White House and Pentagon

12:00pm 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
1:00pm "Report Out" of Working Luncheon Discussion Topic

Panel: How Are They Making it Work?

Government Agile Implementers discuss lessons learned.


Moderator: Jeff Henley, Federal Practice Director, CC Pace


Federal panelists:

- Melissa Cohen, Director, Policy and Programs Group, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

- Daniel Levenson, Digital Service Contracting Adviser at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

- Jonathan Mostowski, Member of the Defense Digital Service Team, The White House and Pentagon

- Tia Norman, PMP, PMI-ACP, ICP-Agile Coach, DHS PM Level III, Branch Chief - Agile Maturity & Governance, Office of the CIO, Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Awaiting Agency Approval

William (Bill) Pratt, Director, IT Standards & Program Support, Office of the CIO, Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Awaiting Agency Approval.

2:45pm Refreshment Break

The Engineering Practices – Keeping Pace with Emerging Concepts in Agile Delivery and Product Deployment


Ashok Komaragiri, Senior Technical Consultant, CC Pace


What About My Role as a Government Product Owner?


Philippa Fewell, VP, CC Pace


Wrap-up - Lessons Learned from the Field


Jeff Henley, Federal Practice Director, CC Pace


Workshop Adjourns

Post Workshop discussions with instructors on specified individual topics.

**Agenda subject to change.

Registration Information: 

  Early Bird Registration Fee AFTER OCT 20
Government Employees:
(Federal, State or Local Government Issued ID)
Special Reduced Rates in Support of Government Budget Reductions
 $ Now $795
Team Rate for both Government and Industry: Send a government team to learn together. Register two government employees from the same office at the same time and the third person receives $100 off the current government rate. Team rate applies to every tiered registration fee.
Industry and Contractors:
(Including contractors on-site and in direct support of government agencies).
Now $895

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

Keynote Speaker: 

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.

Guest Speakers: 

Daniel Levenson

Digital Service Contacting Adviser

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)


Dan Levenson is the Digital Service Contracting Adviser and a Contracting Officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Dan was a leading member of the pilot Digital IT Acquisition Professional Training (DITAP) in 2015 and holds a Digital Service Specialization in Contracting. Dan has been with CMS since 2010, and holds a B.S. in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park.


As the CMS Digital Service Contracting Adviser, Dan champions Agile transformation throughout the Agency, acting as a liaison to other departments and to the vendor community, and introducing innovative processes, structures, and procurement approaches to reduce impediments to Agile deliveries. Dan played a vital role in the development and award of CMS’s successful ADELE (Agile Delivery to Execute Legislative Endeavors) BPA, which is designed to facilitate rapid procurement of agile delivery services. As a Contracting Officer, he is passionate about reducing procurement timelines, and has made multiple contract awards in less than one month (from release of the RFQ), while receiving working software prototypes from vendors as a critical portion of the evaluation criteria.


Dan was named to the 2017 FedHealthIT100 as one of the most influential individuals in driving change and advancement in the Federal Health Information Technology Market. He was recognized as “one of the pioneers in this new agile way of contracting by breaking down the barriers of the traditional way of procuring IT services.”

Jonathan Mostowski

Executive Office of the President

U.S. Digital Service, Defense Digital Service

A former Contracting Officer of 13 Years at NGA, Jonathan is an Acquisition Strategist & Bureaucracy Hacker working to improve the acquisition of technology across the Federal Government. He helped draft the TechFar Handbook and built the techfarhub website which provides resources for procuring agile development services. 

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.


Philippa Fewell

Vice President, Enterprise Solutions


As Vice President of CC Pace’s Enterprise Solutions Group, Philippa has practiced Agile Methods with development teams for the last 13 years. Philippa has coached dozens of Agile project teams to success and led the development of CC Pace’s nationally recognized Agile Training curriculum. She has trained thousands of individuals on the Agile Methodology and works continuously with Agile Industry Leaders sharing ideas and thoughts on improving agile training and adoption practices.

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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