As the General Services Administration’s 18F released its much-anticipated request for proposals for a new BPA that will bring Agile and DevOps vendors on board to help government agencies with lean IT development, the assumption is that the BPA will be “an opportunity to learn as we try new things” — which may or may not be successful at first. It’s all part and parcel of the Agile methodology — build something fast, find out what works and doesn’t work, then build something better.
From the article:
Chris Cairns, the director of 18F Consulting, said the goal of the BPA is two-fold. The first is to give 18F some help as it can’t keep up with the demand by agencies for agile development services. The second is to begin to create a marketplace for agile development services.
“In a lot of cases when the government sets up these contract vehicles they don’t see them or treat them as a marketplace,” Cairns said. “We want to set this up in such as way that we can foster some healthy competitive dynamics and have the ability to on-ramp and off-ramp vendors so we can make it reflect a little more like it works in the private sector.”
. . .
“I really expect the alpha BPA will give us a lot of opportunity to learn as we try different things,” said Dave Zvenyach, the project lead for the new agile BPA. “At 18F, we enjoy the opportunity to evaluate the processes freshly and make sense of what works and what doesn’t work. What I would really hate to see in terms of the outcome is to have the BPA be like any other procurement in the federal government . . . And frankly one of the things we say too, this may not work. We recognize at 18F that not everything is a good idea, not everything works out for the future. So we want to experiment, we want to try and if it fails, we want to fail fast.”
Read the full article: Failure is an option for GSA’s new 18F agile contract | Federal News Radio
You can listen to Chris Cairns and Dave Zvenyach talk about the BPA in this interview with Federal News Radio.