Agile can hurt at first — especially for long-time government employees. That was one of the main points emphasized at the Partnership for Public Service’s Aug. 4 agile IT panel, reports FCW. Senior government leaders noted that it’s best for leaders inform people up-front about the challenges and changes that Agile methods bring to bureaucracy, and allow them to acclimate as much as possible — while still having the guts to implement Agile forcefully enough to make a lasting difference.
The panel discussion included Federal Communications Commission CIO David Bray, Federal CIO Tony Scott and 18F consultant Kathryn Edelman. Each presented unique perspectives on the challenges and opportunities Agile provides.
From the article:
Rather than a program management panacea, agile offers its biggest benefit in the form of questions it poses, [Kathryn Edelman of 18F] said: “What’s your vision? What do you need this to do? What problem are you trying to solve?”
. . .
Government often fails to check in with end users, be they average citizens or industries affected by regulations, but agile’s rich feedback loop affords a reminder to the bureaucratic machine.
“Actually talking to the user has a lot of power beyond the IT space,” Edelman said.
All told, agile could be a “powerful recipe for changing how we think about and actually do the business of government,” she noted.
And eventually, the operations and maintenance budgets of the past will disappear – assuming government can accomplish the mighty task of scrapping its legacy systems in favor of cloud-based solutions – to be replaced by agile’s constant hum of “development, modernization and enhancement.”
“If you’re doing it right, you’re probably never done,” Edelman noted.
Read the full article: Top feds talk agile | FCW