Agile Organization

Why is Agile Adoption Challenging in the Public Sector?

Agile development methods are widely used in business enterprises. Since the introduction of agile, organizations have implemented several agile methods in single-team set-ups and larger multi-team set-ups for complex IT system development. However, the adoption of agile methods has been slow in the public sector. In this article at The Agile Times, David Pradko explains government organizations’ major hurdles while adopting agile practices.

Government Challenges in Agile Adoption

“Unlike companies that expand budgets through increased revenue and profitability, government agencies need to justify budget requests by showing they have a responsible track record deploying in their budget to meet their decision,” says David. As taxpayers expect the government to make informed decisions with their money, government organizations make decisions that can be justified as ‘safe,’ even if they are not the most efficient ones. In such an environment, the Waterfall methodology is seen as a preferable one.

Software Approval is the Biggest Hurdle

Another significant hurdle in implementing agile practices in government organizations is that they already have the list of pre-approved software that nearly every agency maintains. The complexity of policymaking introduces obstacles to aligning agile teams. In other words, getting approval on agile tools and technology by a federal agency means completing a thick stack of paperwork. It demands IT professionals to organize a process, work with the Help Desk on administration, and conduct training.  This translates to a longer-term commitment to tools than in the private sector.

Lack of Commitment

In public organizations, the application of agile practices poses various other challenges, such as:

  • Lack of documentation
  • Poor organization
  • Readiness and commitment to embrace the change
  • Lack of experience in agile methodologies
  • Unclear mapping of stakeholder roles and responsibilities
  • Undefined processes for testing, and
  • Limited stakeholder involvement and communication in decision-making

To adopt an agile methodology, organizations must work on budget, timeline, and leadership. Read the original article by clicking on

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