Steve Kelman's column in FCW discusses the benefits and future of tech demos - the practice in government procurement of allowing IT vendors to show what they can do instead of relying purely on the complicated proposal process.
Recent efforts by state and local governments to modernize IT procurement aim to "respect the intention behind traditional buying rules while supporting more modern service delivery."
As digital modernization becomes ever more important to citizen outcomes, agencies must embrace open source and innovative ways of procuring services.
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.