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.
"Our goal is to make acquisitions joyful. My interest is to rethink how we do procurements in the federal space, which has historically been a slow and painful process used only as a last resort to better serve their constituents."
Automated tools and frequent demonstrations of work make post-award monitoring of Agile government contracts more effective.
Despite long-standing practices of writing extremely detailed requirements into government contracts, there's no law that says it has to be this way.
The Federal Acquisition Institute published an "Agile Acquisitions 101" video featuring 18F's Chris Cairns, Office of Federal Procurement Policy's Traci Walker, U.S. Digital Service's Jonathan Mostowski and the Department of Health and Human Service's Mark Naggar.
Federal Acquisition Institute's Behind the Buy podcast "A Simple and Intuitive Approach for IT Procurement" episode features Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Anne Rung and Executive Office of the President Contracting Officer (and founding member of the United States Digital Services procurement team) Traci Walker.