Dept. of Veterans AffairsAt the Department of Veterans Affairs’ CIO office, there’s a new delivery model in the house, reports FedScoop. Starting with the redesign of its electronic health records system, the VA hopes to adopt agile practices and “emphasize the value to the Veteran over documentation”. A pilot of the new system, Veteran-focused Integration Process (VIP), was launched on January 1st.

Prior to VIP, the VA had tried to embrace Agile methodologies but was held back by the waterfall-oriented nature of their Project Management Accountability System. One IT consulting firm noted that the VA’s development model at that time resembled a hybrid of agile and waterfall — “agile-fall”:

“VA has tried to embrace Agile IT for years, but has been held back by the PMAS processes, which only works in a Waterfall fashion,” the Clendon Partners wrote in a blog post on the update to VIP. Despite the increase in on-time project delivery, the firm wrote, “on-time delivery is only one measure of project success. Often business objectives were compromised along the way, projects were over budget, or simply abandoned.”

But now with the advent of VIP, the transition to Agile will be more complete.

In essence, it transitions away from waterfall practices of IT development to an agile delivery with more frequent cycles — three months instead of six, the standard under PMAS — with “near-continuous delivery as the highest priority,” an openness to changing requirements and “working products as the principal measure of progress.”

Read the full article: VA pilots agile project management system, starting with e-health overhaul | FedScoop