Contracting Agile Development Services for Government Projects.
Since June of 2012, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has pushed agencies to align their acquisition processes with the OMB's 25-point plan. One goal of the initiative is to move to more Agile or modular development practices.
Agile, iterative or modular development practices have proven that by preparing for and encouraging rapid and flexible responses to change, organizations can produce higher-quality software and bring them to market faster than with traditional Waterfall approaches. The key is to create collaboration between self-organized, cross-functional teams that focus on people over processes and working software over comprehensive documentation.
This 2-day course will start off with an Agile expert who will give you an introduction to the fundamentals of Agile in order to help your better understand what it means and how it works. You'll discuss how to identify projects where Agile is appropriate and how to determine when it's not.
After this introduction, a government contracting expert will help you take this new understanding of Agile and apply it to your contracts. You will discuss best practices for contracting for Agile development services, especially within the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Contract scenarios will be used to force groups to debate various contracting strategies, vehicles, clauses, etc. and discuss why they believe they are appropriate. Additional case studies will be used to further encourage you to consider the objectives of the customer, the appropriateness of Agile methodologies and the contract types.
By combining the knowledge of two experts in the classroom (one Agile expert and one contracting expert), you get a unique classroom experience that will help you better understand how to incorporate Agile into your contracts.
You will learn:
- The fundamental principles of Agile based on the Agile Manifesto
- Where the Federal Government is in their adoption of Agile
- How to determine readiness for Agencies and ITPs
- Examples of successes, and failures, of Waterfall within the Federal sector
- How to determine whether Agile can add value to your project
- Types of projects for which Agile is appropriate
- Common challenges to acquiring Agile services
- To identify considerations for implementing Agile in each step of the acquisition life cycle
- How acquiring Agile or modular development is different than traditional contracting approaches
- Contract types that work with Agile
- How to translate components unique to Agile into your acquisition
- What to look for in an Agile vendor
- How to research and evaluate potential Agile vendors
While the courses focuses primarily on software development and IT projects, Agile principles can be applied in most situations where project management is used to adapt to rapidly changing environments. The success of Agile methods in project management was further supported with the recent introduction of the Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) certification now offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Input from "Contracting Guidance to Support Modular Development" document by Steve van Roeckel, the Federal CIO and the GAO study "Software Development - Effective Practices and Federal Challenges in Applying Agile Methods" are incorporated in the information presented in the course. The course will be continually updated to include the latest Federal acquisition guidelines.
Agile development takes a team approach and requires stakeholder involvement throughout the process. Professionals in contracting, program, and information technology offices will all benefit from attending this course.
While this course is focused primarily on IT, the basic principles can be applied broadly where rapidly changing environments exist.