Project Management Institute

Straight Talk with Sunil Episode 14 - PMI's Guide to Building an Agile Federal Government

5 April 2021

Welcome to another episode of Straight Talk with Sunil. This episode takes a deep dive into the world of agile - and specifically how we can make the government more agile.

President and CEO Sunil Prashara sat down with Scott Ambler, Vice President and Chief Scientist for Disciplined Agile to discuss Building an Agile Federal Government: A Call to Action, a research paper recently published by PMI, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust.

This study covers wide ranging issues:

  • How agile differs from current management practices
  • When agile approaches are appropriate and when they are not
  • How agile should be promoted by central management entities
  • How federal departments and agencies can take action right away


Part 1 -   Introducing Business Agility to Governments
We kick off this episode with an introduction to Scott Ambler, who answers the question "What is Business Agility?" and examines how remote work impacted the evolution of Disciplined Agile's goal to make enterprise agility a reality. (3:02)

Part 2 -  Building an Agile Federal Government: A Call to Action
Presentation of the research paper that PMI partnered with NAPA and the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust to explore agility in the public sector. Scott shares the paper's background as well as its principle findings. (5:09) 

Part 3 -  Deep Dive on Agile Recommendations
Sunil and Scott unpack a few of the report's recommendations and double click on their application. The public sector faces some unique challenges in agile adoption, and Scott explains how the paper's conclusions and recommendations can serve as a guide for governments. (4:20) 

Part 4 -  Moving Forward: Next Steps the Government can take Today
The discussion turns to how can the study be a cornerstone for policy in the US and around the world? What are the next steps to build an Agile Federal Government? Where can agency and ministry leaders find our more to guide their agile journey? (3:02)

Thanks and enjoy these discussions!

Best regards,