Yes, You Can Say Government and Agile in the Same Sentence

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Categories: agile, government

…and we did so on the cover of February PM Network. Okay, it was in the form of a question, “Can Government Get Agile?”

The answer to that question, according to this PM Network article, is “yes.” Taking the lead from the private sector, governments worldwide are embracing change by adopting agile as a preferred delivery approach. Admittedly, the primary arena for agile in government is software projects, but the change is significant enough that governmental guidelines are endorsing iterative delivery. One result: government agencies are starting to shake their stereotype of being slow-moving monoliths that cannot adapt to change.

Statistics tell the story: In 2011, only 10 percent of U.S. major federal IT projects were agile or iterative; in 2017, that figure was 80 percent.

Regulatory challenges don’t make it easy for government project teams to follow agile approaches. A U.S. law requires a 90-day public comment period whenever an official form is updated. And since government projects often serve the entire general public, teams cannot chose a particular market segment.

The article details how several public-sector project teams (in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Australia’s National Blood Authority) used agile and overcame challenges.

Government project managers—if your team transitioned to agile, please share your story, either here in the blog or as an article proposal for the magazine’s “Getting It Done” column.

Posted on: February 01, 2018 11:20 AM | Permalink

Comments (9)

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Dan -

Definitely a lot of interest and activity in increasing agility in public sector in Ontario, although to date it has primarily focused in the IT and healthcare domains.


Thanks for sharing, Dan!!

Very interesting.Thanks for sharing

Currently working of a Project with the Government of St. Lucia ( Department of Economic Development) where Agile method is being implemented for the software development phase. As a consultant it’s not always easy to manage a project from the outside where your methods are new or differ from the status quo. However I have to admit the currently Ministry Team has been accommodating and allow us lead the project. Hopefully other Project Managers are having a similar experience and St. Lucia is following suit with the rest of the world.

It is an interesting issue, thanks for sharing Dan.

Talking about agile in a government environment for my is definitely contradictory. I think it can not be said that the implementation of agile in the IT area is a governmental environment, clearly the origin of agile is in the areas of technology, but there is a rule that the the rest of the environment can not accept, it is flexibility.

It is good the debate and the variety of alternatives to face a project, but there are certain rules that we must observe to use one or another tool.

Thanks for sharing Dan. =)

It is very challenging for government to embrace Agility.

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