Lesson 1: Introduction to Agile 2017-11-21T14:35:14-08:00

AGL Academy

A community effort by Agile government professionals to help educate and empower
those who seek to implement Agile processes into their own agencies

Agile for the Government Executive

Lesson 1: Introduction To Agile

Your journey to Agile excellence begins here.

During this lesson, your team will gain a basic understanding and shared terminology for the Agile and Scrum methodologies, along with the motivations for using them in government projects. You will read materials, watch videos, and perform an “Agile Assessment” — then move on to lesson 2.


  • Read all items on reading list (share what you’ve learned with team members!)
  • Watch all videos on watch list
  • Perform Agile Assessment
  • Move on to Lesson 2

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What Is Agile?
Agile has become quite the buzzword — now find out what it’s all about. (Study time: 10 min)

Why Agile In Government?
Discover the fundamental benefits Agile brings to agencies. (Study time: 10 min)

What Agile Brings to the Government Executive
If Agile methods are for software development, how does the Executive benefit? (Study time: 10 min)

Responsibilities of the Agile Executive
As an Agile Executive, you have many responsibilities. (Study time: 10 min)

Fundamental Concepts for the Agile Executive
As an Agile Executive, you need to understand the following fundamental concepts. (Study time: 20 min)

Agile Government Handbook
Our guide to Agile, its history, and its present state in the context of government. (Study time: 90 min)

Government Challenges To Using Agile
It’s not easy at first — read about common challenges and how to overcome them. (Study time: 10 min)

10 Steps in Making Your Agency Agile
Written by a Government executive explaining how to bring Agile to any agency. (Study time: 10 min)

5 Cultural Shifts Agile Brings to Agencies
Learn the fundamental culture shifts agencies must undergo to become Agile. (Study time: 10 min)

Agile Terms 
It can sound like a foreign language — but this cheat sheet will help you and your team adopt a common vocabulary for your Agile shop. (Study time: 20 min)

Watch and Listen

Agile 101 Case Study Discussion
Live conversation with panelists from both the Federal and private sectors about Agile and its role in the context of government. (Study time: 60 min)

How to Run an Agile Project
Overview of Agile development specifically from a program manager’s perspective, focusing on issues in the Federal space. (Study time: 60 min)

How Agile Works for Government
Stories describing the tangible benefits that Agile brings to government — and helpful tips on how to make it work. (Study time: 60 min)


Determine your team’s current Agile capabilities using our Agile Assessment. This will evaluate how Agile can be supported or challenged by your agency’s leadership, culture, policies, etc.


  • Do you have a 30-second answer to the question, “What is Agile?”
  • Can you explain to a colleague why Agile is needed in government?
  • Are you aware of what challenges and benefits to expect in your journey towards Agile?
  • Can you converse with a colleague about the different Scrum roles and who you think would be your Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Stakeholders in your current projects?

Back to Government Executive course ›

Continue to Lesson 2