Home > Agile in Government > Using Agile in Government Projects

Using Agile in Government Projects

Send me your thoughts on the concept of using Agile in govement.

Here is a glimps of what we are doing at GLS: http://glsystems.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/greenline-systems-inc-helping-governments-use-agile-development/

Here are a few good reads:

1.  Agile development is a key feature of the Office of Management and Budget’s 25-point plan for improving IT management calls out “modular development”.   Here is an excerpt from the paper:

The following practices will help achieve the promises of modular development:

  • Ensuring each module aligns with overall program and business objectives and has clear quan­titative and qualitative outcome measures for success
  • Awarding contracts that incorporate clear business objectives and performance outcomes, a vision for future state architecture, and parameters for iterative design and development
  • Delivering new working functionality to users at least every 12 months, with no more than 3 months dedicated to creating detailed system specifications
  • Regularly capturing and incorporating user feedback through an iterative process that assesses user satisfaction with each release, continuously refining design to ensure alignment with business needs
  • Preventing scope creep by defining high-level requirements upfront, locking down the current release, and pushing additional non-critical functionality to future releases
  • Moving resources from one release phase to the next as soon as they complete their work (e.g., the requirements team builds requirements for the next release, while developers build current release)

2. Agile development was a central recommendation of last year’s industry-sponsored panel on improving IT acquisition (you can read the report here).

3. HR 2647, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, Sec. 804.

  • multiple, rapidly executed increments or releases of capability
  • early and continual involvement of the user
  • early, successive prototyping to support an evolutionary approach
  • a modular, open-systems approach

4. The approach seems to also be catching on in the UK as referenced here by the InstituteForGovement.org in the paper titled “System Error: fixing the flaws in government IT”.  See Recommendations 5, 6, 7 and 8 below from the paper:

By adopting an agile approach to IT projects, government can radically improve outcomes on IT projects. Projects can be delivered more cheaply and rapidly while also delivering better solutions.

Recommendation 5: During 2011/12 all government departments should run several upcoming projects using agile development principles. The exact number should be guided by the size of the department and collectively be weighty enough to act as a real catalyst for change within the department.

Recommendation 6: Future IT and project management training for government employees should include a significant component of agile methods training. Departments should also help develop agile ‘centres of excellence’ to provide support, resources, training and coaching.

Recommendation 7: All departments should review governance, project approval processes and legal arrangements to ensure that they can be made to work with agile projects. As part of this the Cabinet Office should investigate and implement an assurance process to replace the Gateway Review for agile projects.

Recommendation 8: Government departments should ensure that all future supply contracts can be made to work with a more flexible and iterative approach to development. This should include licensing and supplier change requests. This review should be led by the centre in order to avoid duplication at the departmental level.

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Categories: Agile in Government
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