By Tony Collins
The principles (below), which are largely managerial, highlight the challenges for government departments and suppliers of adopting agile principles for major IT-related projects such as Universal Credit.
Some in government have said that agile can deliver systems to support political policy quickly, say within two years – but that’s far too long. Under agile principles, working systems should be delivered between two weeks and two months.
I particularly like the tenth principle, which defines simplicity as the art of maximizing the amount of work not done; in other words not gold-plating requirements.
The second principle is also especially important for government IT-enabled projects and programmes: it states that changing requirements are welcome, even late in development.
The principles are from the excellent website of project manager Robert Kelly.
- Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
- Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
- Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
- Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
- Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
- The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
- Working software is the primary measure of progress.
- Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
- Simplicity –the art of maximizing the amount of work not done– is essential.
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
Kelly’s contemplation – Robert Kelly’s blog
The Institute foir Government recently produced some case studies from its System Error report.