Agile Transformation at the Tennessee Department of Transportation
With Joe Kirk, CIO of TDOT, and Todd Holden, TDOT IT Director of Product Development


Todd Holden was an IT QA contractor at the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) when he first read about Agile and Scrum. Joe Kirk was a PM contractor in the same department who was trapped in a five-year waterfall software implementation. After Todd shared his newfound Agile ideas with Joe, they came up with a plan. Joe would become a Product Owner and Todd would become a ScrumMaster. They did not believe that TDOT IT would ever take Agile/Scrum seriously, so they decided to try it on a small software app that was pretty far under the radar. If they were successful, they planned to look for jobs in organizations that were already Agile.

They had a working application in six weeks and they put it into production in twelve weeks after they incorporated the feedback they got from the Senior Team. Shortly after they launched the app, Joe was asked if they could scale "that Scrum thing" across the 100-member IT department. He replied that, 12 weeks ago, he didn't even know if it would work for one app. But he pulled a small team together and came up with a plan to give it a try.

TDOT made him the IT Director and approved the plan to transform TDOT IT into an Agile organization. All thought of leaving TDOT was dropped. This was an opportunity to build an Agile organization in an unlikely place: state government. In this webinar, Todd and Joe shared their story, and presented their lessons learned.


Joe Kirk

Joe Kirk has done product and business development and marketing for technology and music business startups, and enterprise corporations, including TDOT, Westinghouse, BellSouth, AT&T, Comcast, Paste Magazine, and NoiseTrade for over 30 years. He has developed and launched numerous software and service products in multiple industries. He has worked in small entrepreneurial teams creating a new company to deliver a new product, and has also led a team of product managers responsible for a $500 million line of business.

Todd Holden

Todd Holden has been involved in all aspects of the software development life-cycle, including development, testing, analysis, and product management for the past 20 years. His domain experience is as varied as his career background, ranging from cancer research, the financial industry, and multiple government agencies. Serving as the Director of IT for Product Development at TDOT, he has created a new government culture centered around the concepts of agility and collaborative, team-focused delivery of software products.