“Can Government Get Agile?”
The answer to that question is YES. CSM has. We have understood the dynamics that governments in India and abroad, taking the lead from the private sector, are embracing change by adopting agile as a preferred delivery approach. It is now becoming increasingly felt that the primary arena for agile in government is software projects, but the change is significant enough that its guidelines are endorsing iterative delivery. Also, government agencies are starting to shake their stereotype of being slow-moving monoliths that cannot adapt to change.
The Voice of the Government has also changed with respect to their digital efforts. No more do they want an end-to-end solution; instead, they want a solution that evolves - a functioning Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
Governments of late have understood the fact that less is more for agile projects, which addresses a smaller scope and have fewer requirements and shorter time horizons. They focus on a few critical business needs, business functions and capabilities. They are optimized for project success, system quality, end-user satisfaction, and business value. Conversely, traditional methods are based on the theory of comprehensive, all-encompassing architectures and designs to anticipate every conceivable business need. However, “wisdom has proven right by her children” as traditional project failure rates were too high, resulting in agile methods.
Notwithstanding the above, the true success of agile as a methodology involves not just following Scrum or other models of meetings, collaboration, testing and presentations in government departments, rather it rests on the government officials truly understanding and modelling the core agile thought processes and attitudes expressed in the agile principles.
For example, the bureaucrats, after a career of working individually and expecting personal respect and reward for the results, learn to experience and value a more collaborative, team approach and be willing to share the success as a team.
Another core value that the government departments are embracing is the idea that despite challenges, working software that is simple, clean and tested is more valuable than meeting the artificial metrics of processes that try to outline and set deadlines for completion of complex and never-before-created code.
Agile project management and its practice of emergent design are a powerful combination that enables the project team and the governments to successfully build and acquire complex systems that create business value for their organizations. This is proven through our experience in Agile methodologies within the vertical that ensures superior designs, ironclad quality, and lower overall total lifecycle costs.
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