Track 3: Agile Lean in Government | Room: 1151
Melinda Solomon, Agile Training Lead, United States Citizenship and Immigration
Ken Moser, Senior IT Specialist, United States Citizenship and Immigration

As with most federal agencies, The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must construct OIT processes to comply with regulatory oversight entities. This oversight is necessary to maintain trust between the American public and the public servants creating and maintaining public systems. In an effort to bridge the new DevOps landscape in government with the need for auditability, the Delivery Assurance Branch at USCIS has created a series of Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) to help tie suggested measurements to positive system outcomes. Over the course of three years, the DAB Quality Analysts began to see some surprising signals of system health, team collaboration, and sustainable work environment. As analysts poured over regularly generated health measurements to prove due-diligence to regulatory authorities, they identified note-worthy trends. There were simple and sometimes unusual measurable signals that revealed devops maturity and health. For example, when commits did not occur after “happy hour,” there was a correlation to a healthy work environment and a reliable pipeline in place.
Melinda is the co-founder of Middlegrass Consulting. She has served as the Lead of the USCIS Agile Training Program for the last 6 years. She has created educational programs catering to diverse international audiences in a variety of industries including Pharmaceuticals, Biotech, and Government. She has worked with organizational transformations to implement lean principles and agile methodologies in highly regulated environments. She has also designed and delivered training in more than 30 countries in support of dozens of federal agencies. She will be co-presenting with Ken Moser – a member of federal leadership at USCIS in the Applied Technology Division.
I became a Federal Employee in October 2008 and built the Delivery Assurance Branch from 2 employees working systems assurance and Section 508 to 12 employees encompassing Configuration, Change, and Release Management, Operational Test, and acquisition reviews.  I led the transition from waterfall to Agile and DevOps practices within Delivery Assurance, led the development of a major Agile training program, and helped the CIO develop Management Instructions 3 and 4 in support of DevOps practices and outcomes.  I currently lead the Section 508 program, serve as Quality Assurance Lead for the Customer Service portfolio, and support several collateral duty roles for USCIS.