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All Agile, All In


he word ‘agility’ has not often been associated with government agencies in years past. The common perception of government as large and ponderous does not mesh with the traditional definition of agility. And government agencies are not often thought of as being lean, nimble, and quick to adapt to evolving technologies.

achieving a department’s goals. In recent years a new paradigm of software development methodology has taken the I.T. world by storm. It’s called Agile software development, and as its name implies, it’s a methodology that utilizes quickness, flexibility and responsiveness in developing quality software with great efficiency.

Certainly there is some truth to these stereotypical views of government. But if we expand our view a bit and search for large and ponderous departments within the realm of private industry, we’ll find them. It’s a false perception that government agencies have grown large, inflexible and inefficient simply because they’ve been funded with free flowing tax dollars. (And these days, of course, the tax dollars aren’t flowing quite so freely as they may have in years past!)

Rather than a traditional linear, end-toend approach to software development, Agile is more of an adaptive, reactive approach. The result for both government and private operations can be software development projects more on-target with end-user requirements.

Many factors influence the efficiency and flexibility with which a department functions, whether governmental or private. Focusing particularly upon I.T. departments charged with software development, efficiency of operation has much to do with the philosophical methodology employed in

We expect that those of you already utilizing Agile development practices will be nodding your heads in knowing agreement as you read through this “All Agile, All In” issue of Modern Government. And we hope that those who have not yet availed themselves of the benefits of Agile will be motivated to explore the potential benefits in deeper detail.

Jenna Bratten President and CEO, AEi International Publisher, Modern Government

Letter from publisher