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A Discussion of Agile Program Procurement

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Having managed dozens of projects over a period of 20 years, it is the opinion of the author that a there are two basic realities that must be embraced to fully benefit from Agile:

“Something has to give” - Planning is important, but all successful projects leverage opportunities for elasticity, collaboration and resilience. “Sharing is caring” - Sharing objectives and risk between a vendor and a client usually facilitate “win/win” relationships leading to great software.

We believe that the best way for the Government and vendors to appropriately share risk under an Agile Development framework is to move away from a Fixed Firm Price/ Fixed Firm Scope system altogether, and instead move towards a model where Government buys fixed capacity in advance from a company (i.e. a team of a fixed size) and then assigns that team with tasks as projects arise.

Read more in our new white paper  - A Discussion of Agile ProgramProcurement. 

Check out our new Agile Risk Management Framework - White Paper by Brian Derfer

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Introduction
Agile processes like Scrum, XP, SAFe, and Kanban have proven to be very effective at delivering software in a more collaborative, transparent, and predictable fashion than traditional waterfall processes. However, Agile practices, by themselves, are not sufficient to address the risks that impact most medium-to-large software projects, and in particular are often not well suited to delivering on federal government projects, which often have a structure - such as fixed scope and delivery timelines - that is not easily or naturally accommodated by Agile. To fill the gap between what Agile does well at the team level, and the risk management requirements of medium-to-large projects, we have developed the Agile Risk Management (ARM) Framework.