Since most federal agencies report that more than half of their IT development efforts use agile today, it's important to understand the key acquisition success strategies to adopt and mistakes to avoid.
One way to make room for agile in fixed price contracts is to use "function points" - units of measure to express the amount of business functionality an information system as a product provides to a user.
In a July 26 letter to DHS Chief Procurement Officer Soraya Correa, several vendors who had been awarded spots to participate in FLASH offered encouragement and appreciation to the agency despite the disappointing outcome of the attempted contract.
'Micro-consulting' could grant small businesses expanded opportunities for introducing innovation, while making it 'safer' for federal agencies to take risks and experiment with targeted outcomes.
While agile development is driving innovation in the federal tech and citizen services realms, the procurement process is struggling to catch up -- but can contracting officers be trained in agile?
While FLASH was flawed, it showed the tremendous potential of running a contracting process that rewards excellence at designing and building working software, rather than competence in writing proposals and navigating bureaucracy.
The MITRE Corp. has developed a free online platform called Acquisition in the Digital Age (AiDA) to provide tools, references and best practices for agencies to start using agile.
The report DHS filed with the Government Accountability Office said pulling the contract "is the only viable option to address the many issues that DHS has identified as problems with the requirement and the record."
FLASH was created with the intention of giving department components access to industry best practices for acquiring agile services, but struggled when multiple award attempts were met with protests from unsuccessful bidders.
Agile innovation requires collaboration and trust between agencies and their creative suppliers of digital products.