…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.