Many people have implemented successful agile transformations in a federal agency on a project or program, some even converting entire agencies. Then they tried to take that method and apply it to another program or agency – and failed. What went wrong? Most government agencies are roughly the same size as a company, Departments are collections of companies, and the entire federal government is massive at a scale beyond most enterprise changes. Just like companies, each agency has unique cultural differences and technical proficiencies. But there are overall federal practices and ideas that can help with an agile transformation.
Are the governance practices from USCIS adoptable in other agencies? Can the leadership champion at FBI Sentinel be duplicated? Is the recovery from healthcare.gov something that should be emulated on other programs?
Based on discussions with many federal employees and a few contractors working in various agencies, including Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Treasury, Transportation, the Intelligence Community and others, this talk will dissect and analyze anecdotes and stories across various federal agencies with advice on what seems to work universally, what seem to be antipatterns, and what is very agency specific.
We looked across several vital areas for agile adoption and transformation: technical practices, leadership engagement, governance, procurement, and mindset. For each area, we will summarize, with specific examples from federal agencies, practices that have worked across multiple agencies, practices that have seen success in one or two agencies, and practices that have not been successful at any agency in promoting change.