Will the Feds Adopt Agile Software Development?

Could a more agile government help knock down the U.S.’s $15 trillion national debt? Many people think so, and government CIOs are leading the charge. FBI CIO Chad Fulgham has successfully used agile software development to put the Sentinel case management system back within budget and on a more reasonable timeline after years of delays. And Department of Defense CIO Teri Takai’s new mission statement makes agile a primary goal; it reads: “To deliver agile and secure information capabilities to enhance combat power and decision-making.”

Similarly, outgoing federal CIO Vivek Kundra emphasized agility throughout his time in the position, and incoming CIO Steven VanRoekel began his tenure with a speech asking agencies to embrace modular development and “run our projects in lean startup mode.” But the question remains whether these agile advocates will be able change the typical way of doing things in the government.

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