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Upstream preview: A government transformation story—adopting the agile methodology and open source

Scott Owens
by Scott Owens
on May 20, 2021

Guest post by Scott Owens, United States Geological Survey-National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (USGS-NGTOC)

By design, federal government organizations are centralized-hierarchical structures built to manage and maintain a stable operating environment. This means that rapid change tends to go against one of the fundamental characteristics of the organization. 

So how does a small team within a large hierarchical government organization reconcile practicing the agile methodology, a fast-paced, lean process, against the slow pace inherent in a governmental department?

On June 7, at the new free, virtual event called Upstream, I’ll be sharing the story of how the United States Geological Survey-National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (USGS-NGTOC) adopted and adapted the Agile Methodology for its development teams, while at the same time began moving to open source solutions in place of proprietary ones. 

I’ll take you on the journey of the whole organization’s transformation initiative and experience, then share how one team navigated the challenges of operating within the framework of the U.S. federal government while undergoing its own agile transformation. I’ll explain, step by step, how the project manager encouraged product owners to engage in the team’s agile processes, clearly identify requirements, and remove (or at least mitigate) organizational impediments. I’ll also share the open source solutions that the team has implemented through examples, screenshots, discussions, and observations. 

This is a rare peek under the hood of a government agency’s transformation. Even though I’ll specifically focus on a government example, it is very applicable to companies with hierarchical structures and senior management who are not fully supportive of, nor fully understanding how to implement the agile methodology and take advantage of open source resources.

I hope you’ll join me at Upstream and come away with actionable insights for your own organization. You can register for free here.

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