Achieving Success with Agile Delivery

This article was originally posted by Dan Chenok on the IBM Center for the Business of Government blog.
The Center has released a new guide on how Federal agencies can leverage Agile development methods to achieve success.

Many complex IT programs are encumbered by requirements that continually change over lengthy timeframes. The results are often cost overruns and schedule delays. As a result, desired mission objectives are not achieved.

Numerous studies and years of implementation experience with software development within complex IT projects provide evidence that Agile approaches, when executed correctly, improve the delivery of software and large system integration projects. For optimal results, Agile approaches must be planned, implemented with discipline, and tailored to the need of the project and the organization.

Agile delivery approaches support the federal government’s goals of doing more with less and improving the agency’s ability to manage their budgets and delivery dates.

While the Agile movement started officially in 2001, and is relatively young, most Agile concepts and practices have been applied to projects for decades. They are still popular because they have been proven to work.

The release of A Guide to Critical Success Factors in Agile Delivery is intended to help mission executives and program leaders understand how best to leverage Agile values and benefits. Agile can be used as a tool to leverage IT in a way that minimizes time and cost and maximizes mission and operational effectiveness. The Guide sets forth 10 critical success factors for implement­ing Agile. The critical success factors are based on lessons learned from delivering large, complex projects and programs, as well as formal assessments of troubled Agile initiatives. We hope that this Guide will be highly useful to executives throughout the federal government as they move toward implementing Agile projects.

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