PMITLH Professional Development: Agile and Lean in Science and R&D

Ways of Working

PMITLH Professional Development: The Science of Lean and Agile R&D

Please join us for the 2023 premier Project Management Institute Tallahassee Chapter(PMITLH) professional development event.  This year, we will hold this event at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.  In this event, health and biomedicine project thought leaders, Kendra West and Terry Barnhart, will lead the group in the exploration of agile and lean in scientific and research and development projects.  This is not an esoteric exercise exclusively for scientists.   The techniques and methods are relevant to anyone who is engaged in critical thinking about problems where the solutions (and often the underlying questions) are initially not well defined.  Often described as "adaptive planning" in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), the way of working discussed in these sessions will contain elements of agile and critical question mapping. Kendra and Terry will take us through interactive sessions where we will see what happens when we challenge our assumptions and adapt our work to uncover value and knowledge early in an investigation.  These methods can take us in directions we did not initially expect but are rigorously supported and sustainable.

The Science of Lean and Agile R&D

You all know them, the scientists with stacks of publications, the engineer with 100+ patents, the research teams that create knowledge so fast it begs credibility.  These people are thinking and working differently, often without even knowing how they are doing so.  These thought processes, behaviors, and many other skills that drive great R&D are learnable, quantifiable, and can be applied by anyone.
Come explore the science of improving innovation with Lean & Agile R&D experts Kendra West and Terry Barnhart. This day-long workshop is designed to share experimental results and methodology from the front lines of improving the rate and quality of R&D in academic, industrial, and governmental organizations. They’ll take you through ideas and techniques to advance all parts of the research continuum, from individual ideation to large scale project acceleration. Concepts and techniques to cover include:

  • Using questions to structure and attack scientific problems
  • Using simple tools to improve scientific thinking and communication
  • Leveraging small scale to build elegant understanding
  • Strategies to implement iterative working cycles to align and accelerate programs
  • Agile ideas and practices to maintain and improve group capability over time

Kendra West is a Scientist-turned-Agile-Coach experienced in coaching agile practices in the laboratory setting. She first started introducing and exploring agile practices while working as a Research Associate in an infectious disease research lab at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She captured her experiences there in her Master’s Thesis, “Agile Academia: Agile Practices in the Academic Laboratory”, and presented her work for the scientific community at the Broad Institute and at the Agile2018 International Agile Conference. Kendra eventually left the lab to work full time as an Agile Coach and Consultant, and has enjoyed working with a diverse set of teams spanning hospitality, hardware engineering, and cell therapy manufacturing innovation.

Currently, Kendra works as an Agile Coach with the global operations team at Waters Corporation – a laboratory instrumentation company providing best-in-class analytical capabilities. She enjoys publicly sharing her learning and experiences and has been featured as a co-author in the Harvard Business Review, as a guest on business podcasts, and as a speaker for networking and meetup groups. Kendra considers herself to have come full circle from “bench scientist” to “team scientist”- studying and exploring ways how groups from all backgrounds can advance and accelerate modern scientific breakthroughs through the way that they work together.

Dr. Barnhart is a recovering physical organometallic chemist from GE R&D, with publications in low temperature NMR IR, UV, and EXAFS characterization of catalysts.  Since then, he has been a strategy consultant for McKinsey, a program manager for Schering-Plough, and a strategist at Pfizer, where he developed and implemented Lean for R&D, ultimately reducing time in Research by 30%.

Since Pfizer, Terry has worked at Sandoz and Novartis in strategy, culture, organizational design, and team and leadership coaching.  Terry is currently working (as a Tunnell Consulting Contractor) as the Strategy Lead for BARDA, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.  BARDA is charged with the biomedical defense of the US in everything from treatments and vaccines for Anthrax, pandemic flu and COVID-19, to burn treatments and diagnostics

It is no longer possible to register for this event

It is no longer possible to register for this event


Type of category: Professional Development

Type of activity: Ways of Working

Date: September 8th, 2023

Hour: 9:00AM to 4:00PM

Registration close date: September 7th, 2023 at 5:00PM

# of PDUs: 7


Students: $25.00

Members: $30.00

Non members and Guests: $40.00


National High Magnetic Field Laboratory

1800 E Paul Dirac Dr
Tallahassee, Florida, 32310

[Click here for Map and Directions]