Agile + DevOps East 2020 Concurrent Session : How automated governance tamed the data dragon at USCIS

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Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 11:45am to 12:45pm

How automated governance tamed the data dragon at USCIS

At USCIS, we’ve set the standard for government agility with hundreds of daily deployments, rich SecDevOps practices and an increasingly data-driven culture. But it’s been a tough road, particularly for QA and change management.
Presenter Ken Moser helped guide USCIS’s Delivery Assurance Branch from waterfall to agile governance, using data to governance policy uniquely focused on outcomes.
We’ll detail how data on program performance and health powered a revolution at USCIS. We’ll identify which metrics proved useful at USCIS, what recurring challenges we found collecting data, and what techniques help us build trust and access.
We’ll outline the stages of Agile data grief: denial, anger, bargaining, etc. We found we short circuit that pattern by leading with the good. We’ll borrow Stephen Colbert’s “first drafts” shtick to show what interventions that don’t work… and those that do.
We’ll detail how this collaborative approach supports USCIS’s management instructions, and the data automation that allows robust, data-driven program health reviews to scale across more than 40 systems.
With these details, you’ll leave knowing what program health data to look for, and how to present that data to leaders sustainably and effectively.

NTT Data

Nate Conroy is a technical leader who builds agile software teams that deliver value to customers early and often. Together with Ken Moser, Nate helped the USCIS CIO develop Management Instructions defining Agile governance and measurement as a contractor with USCIS.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Ken Moser led the transition from waterfall to Agile and DevOps practices within USCIS Delivery Assurance. He built the Delivery Assurance Branch from a few employees working traditional systems assurance and Section 508 compliance to an innovative organization encompassing agile-friendly Configuration, Change, and Release Management, Operational Test, and acquisition reviews in the federal space.


Melinda Solomon is an Accredited Kanban Trainer (AKT) specializes in flow, limiting work-in-progress, and visibility. Together with Ken, Melinda was the architect of the USCIS Agile Training Program.