“By adopting an agile approach to IT projects, government can radically improve outcomes on IT projects. Projects can be delivered more cheaply and rapidly while also delivering better solutions”
This is a summary recommendation within the report ‘System Error – Fixing the flaws in government IT’. Published by the Institute for Government (IfG) in March 2011, this important report provides rational recommendations for government departments to adopt a new approach in the way they deliver projects, and that “Having a more flexible and agile system is the best way to keep adapting to the shock of the new”.
Mindful of the cuts in public spending, the high-profile and costly failures of many projects and the need to deliver more for less, the IfG carried out research into ways to improve government IT. Their extensive research looked at how Agile approaches are being used across a wide variety of organisations and investigated all aspects of adopting Agile. The report concludes that Agile ways of working can deliver huge advantages over traditionally run IT projects and that “even small steps towards developing the platform and using agile techniques will deliver real benefits”.
“We recommend that government adopts a much more agile approach to IT for one simple reason: it works.”
The DSDM Consortium is delighted to have been invited to help IfG with their research and provided a number of case studies to illustrate how the DSDM Agile method has been used very effectively to ensure projects deliver the right results in a timely and cost effective way. The IfG interviewed DSDM members who were able to give real insight into the positive impact DSDM has had on their projects.
“Agile may have originated as a software development tool, but many of its principles can be used much more widely. Projects should be modular, iterative, responsive to change and have users at the core.”
The report makes 8 recommendations, among them ‘Future IT and project management training for government employees should include a significant component of agile methods training’.
Accredited Agile Project Management training and certification (AgilePM,) has been developed specifically for established Project Managers who want to become Agile., and so this training is ideally placed to address these issues within the IfG report and to enable Government to move towards the adoption of high quality Agile practices.
Released in October 2010 and based on a subset of DSDM Atern; AgilePM is an approach that offers agility and retains the concepts of a project, project delivery and Project Management – and demonstrates a clear linkage between agility and governance.
AgilePM provides an Agile approach that works alongside more formalised Project Management approaches such as PRINCE2 – and that can be applied to projects regardless of scale or discipline
AgilePM provides an Agile approach that can be dovetailed into formalised quality processes such as ISO9001 and CMMI – and shows project Sponsors that they can adopt Agile with confidence, and provide focus to the entire project team
There are many challenges ahead for government departments and organisations adopting Agile and these should not be underestimated, however with the right training in place and with strong leadership and support from the UK Agile Community and government senior management the benefits will be manifold.
 www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/publications/ hashtag #ukgovit
 Agile Project Management Qualification and Training from the APM Group and DSDM Consortium … Now you have no excuse! Project Manager Today February 2011