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PDX PMI Agile Roundtable: Applying Agile Management Concepts to a Complex, Multi-Year, High Stakes Scientific Research Project

Thetus Corporation
34 NW 1st Ave
Portland, Oregon 97209, United States (map)

Follow the signs up the stairs. Contact Jean at 503-788-8998 if you need access to the elevator.



This month one of our regular attendees will reprise her talk at XP2014 for us.

Applying Agile Management Concepts to a Complex, Multi-Year, High Stakes Scientific Research Project presented by Alicia Lanier

The South Florida Water, Sustainability, and Climate Project is a $5M research project funded by the National Science Foundation. This research project is in its second year of a five-year duration, with a geographically distributed team representing ten universities across the U.S. This research team is developing a hydro-economic optimization model and relevant inputs that will be used to evaluate management scenarios for south Florida water and environmental resources. A unique human systems dimension is also included as input to the model. Risks from potential climate change impacts, such as sea level rise, are major drivers for pursuing this work.

Alicia introduced Agile management and Adaptive Action concepts have been introduced over the last nine months, including iterative development, retrospectives, Scrum, kanban , and agile chartering. This combination of ‘light-weight management’ concepts has enabled researchers to continue to pursue their scientific inquiry independently, while ensuring collaboration across the sciences. Ensuring individual creativity with simultaneous collaboration and integration additionally maximizes stewardship of federal funds. The effectiveness on integration and productivity will be continuously analyzed through tools such as in-depth interviews, retrospectives, and online surveys of project participants and stakeholders.

Alicia's inner fire is stoked by helping teams achieve big dreams using agile project management, adaptive action, and unique facilitation methods. Alicia is intrigued by the possibility of a world of (non-software) teams who understand the power of being agile, and have tools to help get them there. Her clients include municipalities and state organizations, distributed university teams, and businesses. When she started her own company 11 years ago, she gave herself the gift to study anything that piqued her curiosity. That gift led to her exposure to agile principles, human systems dynamics, servant and facilitative leadership concepts, importance of retrospectives, unique facilitation methods, Lean, and more. She currently manages the LinkedIn site ‘Agile Project Management (non-software)’. Prior to starting her own company, she worked for over 13 years at CH2M HILL, and 6 years at North Carolina State University. She is a registered Professional Engineer in California, Oregon and North Carolina, as well as a Human Systems Dynamics Professional.