UK’s Skills Funding Agency is on a mission to phase out waterfall

GOV.UKThe UK’s Skills Funding Agency is on a mission to phase out waterfall-style testing and adopt a more Agile approach to each project.

A recent post from the agency explains the reasons behind the shift, as well as some actual processes that are being employed to achieve the new goals.

From the post:

As with most organisations, we used to have an organisation test strategy to support waterfall delivery and it was long… over 100 pages, it was also overly-complex and had become shelf-ware. The general heavyweight, document-centric approach lent itself to defined sequential phases and late testing which found problems, some of which involved rework at requirements level and projects entering inefficient defect management cycles and either a compromise on quality, release date or both.

We have produced an Agile Test Framework, which is a set of guidance and principles which we adapt and apply to each project. Its contents are based on learning in-situ, GDS guidance and also research into good practice, techniques and tools being used globally. As we are constantly learning, this framework is frequently updated.  The framework suggests a number of approaches and tools, and provides checklists to help reduce complexity as demonstrated in the excellent book, The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, a surgeon who saw how complexity meant that simple but critical things can often be missed.

Read the full post: The transformation of testing at the SFA | SFA Digital Blog

2017-04-23T23:02:56-08:00 March 31st, 2015|Categories: Agile government, United Kingdom|

About the Author:

AGL served the government innovation community from 2014 - 2020. It has now broadened its mission and community to form a new organization, Technologists for the Public Good. Learn more and get involved at

Leave a Reply