Best Practices

In July 2012, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified 10 practices for applying Agile software development methods to IT projects.

From the GAO report:

“The practices generally align with five key software development project management activities: strategic planning, organizational commitment and collaboration, preparation, execution, and evaluation. Officials who have used Agile methods on federal projects generally agreed that these practices are effective.”

10 best practices

  1. Start with Agile guidance and an Agile adoption strategy.
  2. Enhance migration to Agile concepts using Agile terms, such as user stories (used to convey requirements), and Agile examples, such as demonstrating how to write a user story.
  3. Continuously improve Agile adoption at both the project level and organization level.
  4. Seek to identify and address impediments at the organization and project levels.
  5. Obtain stakeholder/customer feedback frequently.
  6. Empower small, cross-functional teams.
  7. Include requirements related to security and progress monitoring in your queue of unfinished work (the backlog).
  8. Gain trust by demonstrating value at the end of each iteration.
  9. Track progress using tools and metrics.
  10. Track progress daily and visibly.

(Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office, Effective Practices and Federal Challenges in Applying Agile Methods)

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