What Agile Brings to the Government Executive

What Agile Brings to the Government Executive 2017-04-23T23:02:12-07:00

Government executives make big decisions.

They decide which projects move forward, which get killed, and how many resources each project gets.

Agile methods were created to transform  software development, but most executives are not writing code. Therefore, some aspects of Agile software development are critical to programmers but meaningless to Executives, because they have no bearing on the decisions that they must make.

But other aspects of Agile development are absolutely key to the job of making decisions. Agile offers transparency into the progress and status of a team. The transparency means that you, the Executive, can make the best decisions possible. It does not mean that all your dreams will come true. But it means that you will have a great deal of control over what you are building. You will have predictability.

A typical experience for an executive using “waterfall” methods  is to learn in the final part of a project that the project is going to take 50% longer than expected. Agile methods do not promise that projects will be done faster, but they do promise that you will be aware of the progress and will know instantly if you start to fall behind schedule. It will be clear earlier in the process that you may need to take some executive action.

Will that decision be to extend the deadline of a project, or to cancel a project altogether? It depends. Agile methods give you the information you need to make that decision.

Even with all the influence you hold as an executive, your power is limited in some ways. You may be stuck with legacy software that burdens your pace of change, through no fault of your own. You may have trouble convincing everyone in your organization to embrace the cultural changes that Agile brings.

This course arms you, as the executive,  with the power you need to support cultural change within your organization. If you study these lessons and perform all of the exercises and workshops in this course, you will have positioned your staff and yourself to gain the benefits of Agile mindset and methodology.