New South WalesAustralia’s Digital Transformation Office isn’t the only Aussie agency embracing user-focused IT development. Delimiter reports that the NSW Department of Family and Community Services is changing the way they approach development for their current ChildStory project.

Greg Wells, one of the project’s directors, points out that simply upgrading to new technology isn’t enough — you have to make users the starting point in order to make an impact:

“It was pretty clear that if we just replaced our core case management system there was no way — look, it would be a bit nicer to use for sure, but in two or three years we’d be in exactly the same spot; we wouldn’t actually have influenced anything.”

Delimiter notes:

[W]e are starting to see agile software development methodologies trickling into government, and not just in the Federal Government. Projects like this ChildStory initiative are popping up all around the place, as departmental secretaries start to allocate small parcels to rapid development prototype-style projects, and then allocate more money when those projects rapidly deliver results (among the inevitable failures).

Australia’s public sector may be the slowest to jump on board the agile software development bus — government is slow to embrace any type of change. But when it fully gets up to speed, it has the potential to have a huge impact. Big bang government IT projects have been failing for decades. One of the main solutions is to run smaller, much more rapid, low cost projects and iterate continuously. It’s great to see this trend gathering speed.

Read the full post: Agile, user-focused IT development getting results at NSW FaCs | Delimiter