In a recent blog called Contracting for agile, I discussed one of the three management challenges for agile contracting outlined by Dan Chenok and Joiwind Ronen — namely, the fear that some principles of agile cannot be reconciled with existing procurement regulations. I argued that good practice suggests, and the procurement regulations allow, issuing a solicitation for an agile contract, or a task order under an umbrella IDIQ contract, without specifying requirements at the beginning, which would violate the whole idea of agile. The government should give only a very general description of the work, but be specific about the process the government will use to develop and refine requirements during agile sprints.
At the end of that blog, I wrote that “my own view is that a great exchange for less specificity upfront is greater attention and rigor in the post-award evaluation of deliverables that contractors deliver under sprints.” (I will use the generic term “sprint” in this blog, though not all agile processes involve sprints. All do, however, involve delivery of capabilities in very small increments.)
I recently had a 40-minute conversation with Mark Schwartz, the dynamic CIO at the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and it was a 40 minutes exceptionally well spent. Schwartz provided me with lots of enlightenment on two important and practical issues. His advice, in my view, should be read carefully by everyone in the federal community – government and contractor – who is working on agile.
Keep reading this article at: https://fcw.com/blogs/lectern/2016/04/comment-kelman-schwartz-agile.aspx