Julia Leightner

Product and Process Quality Assurance Team Lead

Years with MIL: 2.5

1. What were you doing before joining MIL?

Before joining MIL, I served in the United State Army with the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade tasked as the Brigade Information Management Officer for four years. The Army provided me with the skills necessary to start my career as a civilian.

2. What is important about your work?

PPQA is part of the CMMI framework. CMMI is a process level improvement training and appraisal program that has been implemented at Software Development Management to refine processes and create accountability among employees and contractors who work on its various systems. The goal of PPQA is to evaluate project lifecycle phase processes and work products by objectively reviewing work and recording and resolving noncompliance issues that are discovered. In performing the PPQA process, management and staff gain insight into the work being performed and the level of standardization and process compliance being achieved.

3. What is the most challenging project you’ve worked on at MIL?

The most challenging project I have worked on with MIL would have to be PPQA. When I first started in 2016, the DoS was currently going through a CMMI assessment and part of the feedback was that our PPQA process needed to be redesigned. In less than two years, PPQA has gone from being a task assigned to the Configuration Management team  to its own lifecycle phase and team.

4. What is the best piece of career advice you can offer someone in your field who is either applying to or beginning a career at MIL?

The best piece of career advice I could offer someone either applying or beginning a career at MIL would be to make sure you are constantly cross training. Cross training not only broadens your knowledge, it provides more flexibility for senior management and stakeholders in addition to ensuring you do not become stagnate in one position.