An opinion piece from the Federal Times offers an informative overview of Agile’s history, tenets, and adoption in the IT sector and beyond. It also examines the questions around big government’s ability to implement something as flexible and speedy as Agile — two traits federal agencies are not known for.

From the article:

Agile is having a moment. With a promise of faster and better outcomes for everything from start-ups to the labyrinthine federal government approach to services procurement, the agile way is very much in the spotlight. But along with this sudden fame comes the inevitable oversimplifications and forced contrasts, such as the supposed clash of the methodologies that pits agile against formal project management.

This is an artificial debate. The truth is that these two approaches can and do co-exist successfully. Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements; agile allows teams to deliver projects piece-by-piece and make rapid adjustments as needed. Agile is not done in place of managing a project. Instead, it is frequently introduced as a way to speed up phases of a project.

. . .

What might not be quite as crystal clear is how organizations as big as the federal government become highly agile. Or how they manage programs and projects in ways that enjoy the benefits of agile without descending into complete chaos. This is where an approach that integrates agile into conventional project management is beneficial. Together these can provide an optimal mix of predictability, sustainability, risk reduction and rapid adaptability.

Read the full article: Can government be agile? | FederalTimes