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Agile in Non-technical Organizations: A Case Study

The Blurb:

The Agile Manifesto and Principles are stated in terms of software development. But the concepts underlying the Manifesto and Principles can be applied in many other industries, domains, and settings. What happens when an organization with no prior knowledge of Agile uses its principles and techniques to transform services to children and families?

This session will present a case study of Agile transformation in a Seattle-based non-profit foundation. Casey Family Programs is the nation’s largest operating foundation focused entirely on foster care and improving the child welfare system. Founded in 1966 Casey works to provide and improve – and ultimately prevent the need for – foster care in the United States. In 2012 Casey Family Programs set out to redesign and improve every aspect of its social services operations in nine US cities but wasn’t certain how to accomplish this. Casey needed to transform everything from the way they determine the needs of children and families to the case management system used to keep track of their clients and services. Most of the transformation involved changes to business processes, methods, skills, and knowledge - not software development. Casey Family Programs discovered how to adapt Agile and Scrum to address these challenges in a way unique to their culture and environment.

A panel presentation and interactive discussion will explore the opportunity faced by Casey Family Programs, specific experiences adapting Agile techniques to their needs on the transformation project, lessons learned, and recent experience applying Agile techniques to their direct-service social work with children and families.

Panelist Bios:
John Saunders, AIM Consulting and MQS Group LLC
John Saunders is a management consultant, program manager, and agile practitioner with experience in health care, government, and software development. John has been a member of Beyond Agile for the last 2 years. He works with organizations needing to transform their business to better serve customers, employees, and stakeholders using Agile methods and principles.

Emily Cator, Supervisor, Seattle Field Office, Child and Family Services
Emily Cator is a Supervisor in the Seattle Field Office of Child and Family Services. She supervises social workers and works directly with children, families, and the child welfare system. She filled a temporary full-time role on the CFS transformation project.

Heather Riley, Social Worker, Seattle Field Office, Child and Family Services
Heather Riley is a social worker in the Seattle Field Office of Child and Family Services. She works directly with children, families, Washington State Child Protective Services (CPS), and other elements of the child welfare system. She filled a temporary full-time roleon the CFS transformation project and became a skilled Product Owner for several teams.

6:30 - 7:00: Food and Social Time (brought to you by Marchex)
7:00 - 7:10: Announcements, Jobs offered/sought, next meeting agenda
7:10 - 8:15: Main Program - Agile Non-Profits
8:15 - 8:30: Retrospective
8:30: Clean up

Join or login to comment.

  • Stan C.

    Do you think being more “right brained” correlates to project team-adopting Scrum with less pushback than those that are “left brained”? When I first introduced Kanban for a project made up of IT/Business SME’s, it was the business that embraced it more (due to visibility) than my those members in IT.

    March 26, 2014

  • Sean D.

    Great organization, interesting story, good case study, nice presentation, thoughtful answers, inspiring.

    March 26, 2014

  • Jeff S.

    Anyone up for ridesharing from the Eastside. I am in downtown Kirkland.

    March 25, 2014

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