Workforce

Free online initiative trains feds in agile

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A new workforce initiative aims to give project managers in government the skills to run agile projects -- and the training is free.

The Agile Government Leadership network is launching a series of free online courses through AGL Academy. The first course went live March 1 and is designed to give project managers in government hands-on experience with agile.

Elizabeth Raley, the director of professional services at CivicActions and one of the civic technologists behind AGL, said the inspiration behind the initiative is a growing demand within government. She said there is no official funding for the initiative beyond their organization.

"Over the past year we’ve talked to a lot of people in different types of agencies, and we saw a common need for a simple starting point for learning agile," Raley said.

Robert Read with CivicActions helped develop the training materials for the online course based on his experience as co-founder of 18F and Presidential Innovation Fellow.

"Many project managers would like to get the benefits of agile government, but they’ve never had the experience of doing it," Read told FCW.

The course aims to give project managers that experience right away. The four lessons over a three-week period include hands-on workshops. It’s open to anyone, though it's geared towards government project managers who need to do more persuading on agile within their organization than someone running a high-tech startup.

"We focused on workshops that can give beginners the confidence they need to run a project. They show the benefits of agile right away," Read said.

Promoting these methods in government along with open source software is a passion of Read's. He lives in Austin, Texas and recently founded Public Invention For All Humanity, a charity dedicated to open-source invention for the public interest.

In the spirit of open source, AGL is hoping government workers will provide feedback and input on the workshops.

About the Author

Bianca Spinosa is an Editorial Fellow at FCW.

Spinosa covers a variety of federal technology news for FCW including workforce development, women in tech, and the intersection of start-ups and agencies. Prior to joining FCW, she was a TV journalist for more than six years, reporting local news in Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina. Spinosa is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Writing at George Mason University, where she also teaches composition. She earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Click here for previous articles by Spinosa, or connect with her on Twitter: @BSpinosa.


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