agile (8)

Attached is the updated draft compiled GAO Agile Assessment Guide and the comment template.  The following is a summary of the changes/updates from the previous draft compiled guide:

  • Chapter 3 has been updated based on our internal comment vetting sessions
  • Chapter 8 (Agile Program Management) has been added
  • Appendix 4: Common Agile Methodologies has been added
    • GAO currently have some placeholders for certain methodologies.  If you have additional information on these, we would love to include it in this appendix
  • There are several new graphics
  • The comment tracking information for each chapter has been updated based on our internal comment vetting sessions
    • Note: GAO have received 375 comments and have vetted 175.  We are currently at a ~75% acceptance rate as we go through the comments

GAO hope to publish this chapter as a technical appendix in an upcoming GAO report, and need to have time to vet and adequately address the comments received.  For the remaining chapters, there is no set deadline for comments. 

Next expert meeting will be on January 25, 2018 from 2-4pm EST at GAO headquarters (441 G St. NW, Washington, DC, 20548).  GAO’ll be sending out the official agenda in the New Year. 



Agile Guide Comment Input Template.xlsx

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When Federal agencies want to acquire capabilities via Agile?

Mitre is trying solve a huge problem of agile acquisition, currently being faced by agencies. The acquisition strategy articulates the overarching program structure and approach for achieving the program’s intended outcome. It ensures a comprehensive approach to effectively manage the program, not simply comply with the many policies and laws.

It allows agencies to acquire by Functional Areas

 or by Acquisition Phase.
A video of AiDA is posted in Video's section.
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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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Reputed Agile Development Sites

Agile Software Development

"I've always seen the essence of agile thinking resting on two contrasts with traditional plan-driven software engineering." - by Martin Fowler

Agile Development

  • is adaptive rather than predictive
  • is people-oriented rather than process-oriented

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Agile Modeling (AM)

Agile Modeling (AM) is a practice-based methodology for effective modeling and documentation of software-based systems. At a high level AM is a collection of best practices, depicted in the pattern language map below (click on the practice for information). At a more detailed level AM is a collection of valuesprinciples, and practices for modeling software that can be applied on a software development project in an effective and light-weight manner. -

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Agile Software Development [Wikipedia]

Wikipedia’s definition of agile software development.

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Agile methodology news, tutorials & tools is one of the world’s largest online communities and leading publisher of knowledge resources for software developers.

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If you know of other reputed sites in agile or federal focused agile, then please share links with community.

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Do’s of Agile

Software Development

Don’ts of Agile

Software Development

Smooth Communication

Iterative Development

Creating an Agile Culture

A Good Team Structure with a List of Who’s Who

Charting High Level and Mid Level Plans


Do Not Micromanage the Process

Don’t Ignore Good Governance

Not Bothering to Resort to Multiple Product Owners

Avoid Collective Code Ownership

Credit & read more at: Cabot Solutions

Few more articles worth mentioning: 

Daily Stand-up – Dos and Don’ts

Effective Scrum Master’s Dos and Don’ts

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The TechFAR Handbook

The TechFAR Handbook highlights the flexibilities in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) that can help agencies implement “plays” from the Digital Services Playbook that would be accomplished with acquisition support — with a particular focus on how to use contractors to support an iterative, customer-driven software development process, as is routinely done in the private sector.


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Agile Menifesto

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.
Through this work we have come to value:

Individuals and interactions  - over processes and tools
Working software  -  over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration  - over contract negotiation
Responding to change  - over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

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