Why Feds Are Embracing Agile
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User Rank: Apprentice
8/23/2013 | 9:16:17 PM
re: Why Feds Are Embracing Agile
I completely agree. I had to work on a couple of big projects using Agile and they were basically all meetings and tons and tons of re-writing. Not doing requirements and design at the beginning is a big problem when building large, complicated systems. Agile was a fade that has hopefully passed...
User Rank: Author
8/20/2013 | 7:56:36 PM
re: Why Feds Are Embracing Agile
I think one of the key points here is how agile is way to reduce wasted spending in Government IT. I think Roger's comment above is worth repeateing: "In reality, metrics show
that incremental programs (including Agile) successfully meet their
delivery commitments at a rate nearly three times that of Waterfall. In
my experience, this equated to on-time delivery jumping from under 30%
to over 80% for a $1 billion systems development portfolio."
User Rank: Ninja
8/16/2013 | 12:03:32 PM
re: Why Feds Are Embracing Agile
After spending quite some time on agile teams I came to the conclusion that agile is a nice label for being in "startup company" mode indefinitely. All projects I know of that went agile took longer to complete, had lower quality, and frustrated everyone involved. There is too much process with most of the agile approaches, even more than with a flexible waterfall. Too much time is spent on rework because the idea catches on that we can be totally iterative and make changes at any time. Zero thought is put into up front design, requirements gathering, spec writing, and proper documentation. Three months later nobody knows why things were done or weren't done, so you start over reinventing the wheel. Agile generates an excessive amount of churn and rewards those who never want to make any final decisions. Plus, stuff is never done because there is always the next sprint and the next iteration. And with all the demos and discussions and gazillion meetings any agile team looks busy and comes across collaborating like never before, but any real work of value just doesn't get done.
Agile is a fad that gets happily picked up by managers to demonstrate that they can act rather than react and are willing to go with something modern. It rarely is an organic change where development teams are unhappy with the process used and agree that agile might be worth a try. Maybe that is why most agile projects are a constant failure?
Agile is fine for apps that are very small in function and scope, that are intended to be thrown away within a year, and that do not require any support or maintenance for a longer period of time. So for the dinky mobile apps that all are one trick ponies agile might work out, or for features on a social network that can be yanked at any time. For anything that amounts to a real application that is intended to be in use for years agile just brings more baggage and disadvantages then it might provide in benefits.
User Rank: Strategist
8/15/2013 | 12:32:56 AM
re: Why Feds Are Embracing Agile
I think agile has won the hearts and minds of developers over older methods. Some people say its still the province of startups and avant gard companies but I disagree. Its penetrated many if not most enterprise development teams. The government agencies are late to the party.on agile.
User Rank: Author
8/14/2013 | 10:28:15 PM
re: Why Feds Are Embracing Agile
ZDnet had a decent piece recently on why agile isn't enough -- particularly when they involve large teams or groups not in the same location.
David F. Carr
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
8/14/2013 | 2:20:02 PM
re: Why Feds Are Embracing Agile
Now if someone would just figure out how to apply agile to Congress or the White House (and I'm not talking about their IT systems)

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