As government agencies look to respond to modernization calls from the executive branch as well as citizens at large, agile and DevOps practices are being employed to help speed time to "market" with new applications. A report issued in early 2019 found that sixty-nine percent of respondents said that their organizations are piloting agile, if not partially or fully adopting it. But, the same report also saw a significant percentage of respondents say that agile met their expectations "less than expected" and "much less than expected." So, if agile is seeing an uptick in use, why is it not meeting expectations?
The issue may lie heavily in training and understanding. Agile is not just a new process; it's a new mindset. It requires a new organizational structure that is a departure from the traditional command and control hierarchy of government. Agile teams are relatively flat with everyone holding interconnected and equally important roles. There's not only a logistical change that needs to happen in terms of org charts and structures, but also a cultural shift to a collaboration-driven rather than command-driven environment.
To begin really seeing the benefits of adaptability, speed, and cost efficiencies agile promises, people need to be trained not only on the process but on the softer skills of communication and collaboration that power the process. We've pulled together a collection of upcoming events that may help.
- Government Only DevSecOps and DOD Mission Transformation Agenda (July 25, 2019; Arlington, VA) - This event features a series of panels and speakers that will share their experiences (good and bad) in shifting their organizations to a DevSecOps culture in an effort to deliver applications faster and at a higher quality.
- 5th Government IT Modernization Event (July 29-31, 2019; Washington, DC) - Federal and state executives will share how they are working to boost the efficiency, performance, and security of their agencies' IT systems. Topics will include closing IT skills gaps and preparing the workforce for the demands of modernized IT as well as applying agile processes to optimize development and deployment.
- CX for Government (July 29-31, 2019; Washington, DC) - This event, focused on creating a better citizen experience, will include discussion of how to create applications citizens demand as well as how to shift the culture to a more customer-centric viewpoint.
- 930gov (August 20, 2019; Washington, DC) - The IT Modernization Conference at 930gov will address the strategies and tactics behind IT modernization efforts that can not only dramatically improve existing agency service capabilities but also create the platform to provide leading-edge solutions now and into the future.
- Workforce Summit 2019 (September 10, 2019; Washington, DC) - This event will look at how the federal government is working to fill critical skills gaps, enable a more efficient and effective workforce, deliver on its mission and better serve citizens.
Let us know where you are learning about agile and the skills it takes to implement agile practices. Share your tips in the comments.