Scaling Agile within the Federal Government, September 27

Scaling Agile within the Federal Government featuring Efrain Velazquez

*Wed September 27, 2017

Time: 11:30 networking; 12-1 presentation
Event Location: 2201 G Street NW Duques Room 652
Washington, DC 20052
*Hosted by the GW Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM)
program, the PMIWDC Washington Circle Luncheon is a series of free
brown bag luncheons featuring industry experts in project management. The
event is free, preregistration is preferred.* REGISTER HERE


*About the Event*

The Federal Government is increasingly mandating the application of Agile software development across its technical acquisition programs.  This trend comes from the realization that iterative and incremental development and delivery of software-intensive systems lowers costs, compresses schedules, improves quality, and delivers capabilities better aligned to the needs of system stakeholders and end users.  However, two factors typically cripple Federal Agile development projects: the application of traditional program management, IT governance, acquisition, and contracting practices incompatible with Agile; and difficulty scaling Agile practices to deliver large-scale, highly complex systems.  As the Federal Government changes its acquisition and contracting processes to foster agility, many government and industry project and program managers face increasing pressure to “be more Agile” while lacking appropriate training, implementation guidance, and clearly defined roles.  We need a coherent, systems-based, scaled Agile implementation approach that supports Agile team productivity while addressing government acquisitions and compliance concerns at program and portfolio levels.  The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) for Lean Enterprises can serve as the foundation for such an approach, enabling PMs to apply their current skills and experience in ways that support agility.  Mr. Velazquez will provide a high-level description of SAFe, discuss its applicability to Federal technology projects, and identify the roles PMs can play within the framework.

*Special Instructions*

– Closest metro stop: Foggy Bottom
– Garage Parking at Marvin Center (H & 21st St, NW): $18.00
– Metered parking is available
– Photo ID is required
– Use 22nd Street entrance

PDUs Available:
1 PDU for Certified PMs
Talent Triangle Category:
Strategic and Business Management

*About the Speaker*

Frank Velazquez is a Senior Manager at Blue Canopy (a wholly owned subsidiary of Jacobs Engineering), an independent Agile coach, and the author of the blog  As a technologist, writer, and speaker, Frank most enjoys solving problems at the intersection of people, processes, and technology.  This interest comes from his diverse background.  He served as an Air Force intelligence officer for ten years.  His nearly two decades-long career in Information Technology has spanned the disciplines of Software Engineering, Systems Engineering, Enterprise Architecture, and Business Development.  Frank holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio.  Frank is a certified Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Program Consultant, a Certified ScrumMaster, and a Certified Scrum Professional.  Through his experiences as an Agilist since 2008, Frank has learned and applied Agile-based approaches to software and systems development that deliver real business value while meeting budgetary, schedule, security, and compliance constraints.



PMI Virtual Student Summit, October 4

This free virtual event is designed for students interested in project management or in an allied discipline. The day will be full of opportunities for students to learn and network.

Register for Free Today! <

Sessions include:
User experience and design thinking
Global impact of project management
Career trajectories of emerging professionals in project management
Global challenges facing projects
Networking and collaborative opportunities

MSPM Student Robert Estes to participate in Joint Polar Satellite System-1 Launch

MSPM student Robert Estes (goes by Bob) is a key member of weather satellite team.  Mr. Estes will participate in the launch of Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1), a NASA/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather satellite projected to be launched on 10 November.


A long-time NASA project manager, Mr. Estes is responsible for project costs, schedules, technical performance and management of the critical JPSS-1 CERES (Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System) component. He was instrumental in initiating the contract with aerospace/defense firm Northrop Grumman to build CERES.


In an email to the MSPM program last week, Mr. Estes would like to share his experience from a project management perspective. Post-launch event is in the works. Please stay tuned for more updates.


Above photo depicts the JPSS-1

CERES flight instrument

Check out GW newsletter to read more.

NOAA JPSS website:


MSPM in the KNOW: September 12, 2017

Top 3 for 12 September 2017

1.  Graduation Application. Degree-seeking students including MSPM students who are in their last semester in the program should apply for graduation via GWeb no later than Sunday, 1 October 2017. Students who miss the published deadline will be assessed a $35 late application fee and must use the late paper application. To apply for graduation now, follow instructions below:

  • Log in to GWeb using your GWID and PIN.
  • Click on the Student Records & Registration Menu tab, and select the “Student Records Information” link.
  • Click on the “Apply to Graduate” link to begin your graduation application.

2. Congratulations, Natalya Bah for the successful presentation at the 2017 PM Symposium! Natalya Bah, MSPM alumna and CEO of Natalya H. Bah Consulting, presented at the 2017 PM Symposium held today, 12 September at the Sheraton Tysons Hotel in Vienna, Virginia. Her topic, “Change Management for Leaders: Preparing for an Unknown Future,” discussed techniques to help project managers understand natural reactions to change and how to increase project team member engagement. Full information of Ms. Bah’s presentation may be viewed here. Ms. Bah’s presentation was well-received and attracted at least 150 project management professionals including GW students and alumni. Despite numerous presenters attendees could choose from, Ms. Bah drew a standing room only crowd.

3. The Power of Communication Webinar. The GWPMA (student association) is hosting a webinar, “The Power of Communication” featuring Alan Zucker, CEO of Project Management Essentials. This webinar is a pilot project of the GWPMA led by Angela Knight (President) and Vugar Mammadov (Distance Student Representative-International), designed to find better ways to engage distance learners in the MSPM program and meet the needs of working professionals who want to enhance their ability to integrate complex projects, motivate people, and achieve the best results for their projects. The webinar is free and open to the public. There will be giveaways of the sixth edition of PMBOK Guide released 6 September 2017 and a GWU MSPM t-shirt. Winners will be selected from the webinar attendees!  Event details are below:



Resources for International Students

Are you an international student? Wondering where you might get information? Check here!

Academic Support

The University Writing Center

The GW Writing Center is a welcoming academic environment where all members of the GW community can receive free, dedicated attention to their writing and research projects. The Center’s trained undergraduate, graduate, and faculty consultants represent a broad multidisciplinary range of expertise and can work with writers from the very early stages of brainstorming, through drafting and revising, all the way to polishing for publication. Rather than providing proofreading and editing, the Writing Center helps people become stronger editors of their own work and strengthen their abilities as writers.

GW Tutoring Initiative

The GW Tutoring Initiative provides free peer-to-peer tutoring services and resources to all GW students in a wide range of undergraduate courses. A student has 10 free hours of one-on-one tutoring to use each academic year and unlimited group tutoring and drop-in sessions.

ESIA Peer Advising

In addition to the advising from the professional academic advisors, the Elliott School offers supplemental advising from Peer Advisors to ESIA undergraduate students.

GW Library Guide for International Students

This guide is an introduction to GW Libraries for International Students.

GW Library Events

GW Libraries sponsor a wide variety of events for students throughout the semester.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

GW’s EAP program teaches credit-bearing academic writing and oral communication courses to international students. The overarching mission of the program is to socialize international students who speak English as a second or additional language into our academic discourse community by helping them build an academic skill set that will benefit them in their GW coursework and professional career.

Global Resources Center (GRC)

The GRC focuses upon the political, socio-economic, historical, and cultural aspects of countries and regions around the globe from the 20th century onward with specialized resource centers. The interdisciplinary collections include five specialized collections: the China Documentation Center (CDC); Okinawa Collection / Japan Resource Center (JRC); Taiwan Resource Center (TRC); Resource Center for Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern and Central Europe (REECE); and Middle East and North Africa Resource Center (MENA).

Disability and Support Services

Disability Support Services (DSS) at GW recognizes disability in the context of diversity. DSS works collaboratively with students, faculty and staff across the campus to foster a climate of universal academic excellence, while also promoting disability culture and GW’s broader diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Other Resources

International Services Office (ISO)


Medical Services


Mental Health Services


GW Mental Health Services: International Student Group


Health Promotion and Prevention Services


Colonial Central


Tech Commons




Office of Off Campus Student Affairs


Center for Career Services_ International Student Assistance


International Student Career Ambassadors


Tax Department- International Students:


CIA Information Session, September 26

Event Description

Are you curious about how your skills can be applied to a career in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)? Learn all about the diverse careers offered at the CIA during this info session. All majors and academic programs are invited. 

Tuesday, 26 September 1:00 pm2:00 pm EDT. More details upon registration. Space is limited.

To register, log in via Handshake then go to Events tab.

4th Annual Intelligence Career Forum, October 3rd

Event Description

Interested in learning about the breadth of career paths available in the Intelligence Community (IC)? Join us for a discussion about the career possibilities directly from people working within the intelligence community, and get tips on how to start your career, followed by an opportunity to personally interact and network with organizations including Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) National Security Agency (NSA), plus, contractors from the intelligence community & more. Space is limited. Professional dress required.

Event Date: 3 October 2017 from 6-8:30 PM. More details upon registration.

To register, log in via Handshake then go to Events tab.

Event cosponsored by the GW Veterans and the GW Women In International Security (WIIS) Related links: GW Veterans: GW Women in International Security (WIIS): Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA): Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA): National Security Agency (NSA): Careers in International Government & Policy, Diplomacy, Intelligence & International Development:

Short-term Study Away Program Offerings Spring and Winter 2018

Short-term Study Away Information Session

Thursday, September 14
5:30 – 6:30pm, Funger 103
Reception to follow

Learn more about our winter/spring break program offerings, hear from faculty who will be leading programs, and meet students who have previously participated in these programs at this session. Check out the G&EE website to learn more and to access the online application.

Short-Term Study Away Programs (STAPs) are the best way for graduate students to exercise international mobility while at the School of Business. STAP programs are taught by faculty from GW or one of GWSB’s international partner universities** and are open to graduate students enrolled at the University; within the Washington, DC area, and to students in non-degree status. Select undergraduates may participate in faculty-led programs if they meet admission standards set by STAP faculty. Offerings are designed to expose graduate students to opportunities for global learning while at GWSB. Below is the list of opportunities for Spring and Winter Break 2018 (or you may view G&EE Winter&Spring 2018 Flyer_Hyperlink):


MSPM in the KNOW: September 5, 2017

Top 3 for 5 September 2017

1.  Fall Registration. The last day to add a course via GWeb is on Sunday, 10 September at 10pm (Eastern). Last day to drop a course via GWeb is Sunday, 24 September at 10pm (Eastern). Dropping from courses after the first day of the semester will incur charges on your student account. Students must review withdrawals and refund information via the registrar’s website prior to dropping courses. Consult your  academic advisor  for guidance if needed.

2.  Free Registration to PM Symposium. The MSPM program is pleased to offer two free registrations to the 2017 PM Symposium hosted by the PMI Washington DC Chapter (regularly $195 for students). The PM Symposium provides a forum focused on developing project managers of all skill levels through professional development opportunities (7 PDUs will be available throughout the day). The symposium is also an opportunity for companies to meet project managers seeking career transition and matching interests, skills, and experience to their needs. Event date and location are below. If interested email with your name, GWID and a two-paragraph essay for why you should receive free registration no later than 5 PM (Eastern) on  7 September.

Event Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 – 8:00am – 5:00pm

Event Location: Sheraton Tysons Hotel

8661 Leesburg Pike

Vienna, Virginia 22182

See map: Google Maps

3.  Interested in volunteering with PMI Washington DC Chapter? Get involved with the largest PMI network in the world! The PMIWDC is looking for a volunteer to serve as Chair of the PM University Talks for 2017-2018 term. Volunteer duties include: identifying and vetting speakers for University PM Talks held every quarter; overseeing event logistics, coordinating venue, schedule and speakers; and working closely with PMIWDC‘s Marketing Team and PMIWDC’s Educational Alliances team. Full information on this volunteer opportunity is posted on the blog. If interested, email your resume to John White, no later than 30 September 2017.

PMIWDC Volunteer Opportunity (2017-2018)

Project Management Institute Washington DC (PMIWDC) Chapter is looking for a volunteer to chair the University PM Talks- Evening Meetings for the term 2017-2018. If interested, please email your application to no later than 9/30/2017.


University PM Talks (UPMT) is a 2-hour quarterly evening meeting event, held at a University or College in the District. It begins with a 30-minute networking event in which light food (pizza) and beverages (soda/water) is served prior to the presentations. This networking event offers great opportunities to meet current PMIWDC board members and other seasoned project management professionals already established in the area.

The presentation usually consists of three 20-minute presentations, (from three different speakers), who each focus on one of the three PMI’s Talent Triangle topics (Leadership, Business & Strategy, and Technology). This is followed by a 30-minute panel discussion or Q&A afterwards, totaling 90 minutes (1.5 PDU’s) of PM content.

The University PM Talks (UPMT) series will continue to offer low cost fees to University students and feature cutting-edge speakers, light food and beverages, with great opportunities for connecting with other students and professionals interested in project management, all in a no-nonsense format designed especially for a busy PM’s midweek schedule.  

Duties: Manage UPMT team and day-of volunteers, identify and vet speakers for UPMT events, oversee event logistics, coordinate with event contractor, venue and speakers, market and advertise with PMIWDC‘s Marketing Team and coordinate with PMIWDC’s Educational Alliances team.  Duties include but not limited to:

  • Identify and vet speakers for each quarterly event
  • Speaker management – get bio, picture, abstract and presentation from speaker and post into the speaker database, order the honorarium for speaker
  • Act as speaker liaison before, during and after event
  • Get final registration list from PMR to use on event day
  • Ensure there are enough PMIWDC brochures, swag and other giveaways
  • Manage the cash box for walk-ins and deposit any monies received
  • Introduce speaker and giveaway honorarium if VP not present
  • Work closely with venue vendor for contract fulfillment
  • Email speaker survey results and update the speaker database too.
  • Work with University and Student groups to socialize events
  • Work closely with Marketing and post events to Social Media
  • Work closely with Educational Alliances to reserve meeting space
  • Works closely with and reports status to Programs AVP 

Deliverables: Identify and vet speakers & be on site for quarterly events and participate in program OA planning meetings 

Desired Skill sets:

1. Current student (graduate (or undergraduate) attending a local University or College and specializing (or interested) in project management.

2. Coordination and organizational skills desired 3. Experience with Social Media and the ability to post upcoming UPMT events 4. Team player 5. Flexibility to attend the UPMT evening events (approx. 5pm to 7pm) on a quarterly basis. 

Estimated time commitment by hours/week over the course of the position:

9.0 Hours/quarter – (3 hours per month) 

Start date of opportunity (mm/dd/yyyy): 9/30/2017

End date of opportunity (mm/dd/yyyy): 12/31/2018 

Application open date: Now

Application close date : 9/30/2017 

Number of openings: 1