by Russ Fletcher
Deloitte just released their report on Top 10 Federal IT trends for 2012 (full report available here). Here is a summary:
- Social business
- Enterprise mobility unleashed
- User empowerment
- Hybrid-hybrid cloud
- Big data
- Geo-spatial visualization
- Digital identities
- Measure innovation
- Outside-in architechure
While this is an interesting list in what it contains, it is almost as interesting in what it omits: Agile. Federal Agile is picking up steam in nearly every corner of the Federal universe. The Department of Defense had several hundred attendees at its March ADAPT conference (Agile Defense Adoption Proponents Team), the IRS has begun including Agile in its regular training rotation, and the Veterans Administration has trained hundreds of IT professionals in Agile methods over the past two years. In the past three months ASPE has delivered Agile training the EEOC, Department of the Treasury, and VA, and had representatives from Defense, US Air Force, FBI, Homeland Security, Immigration, IRS and intelligence agencies attend public courses.
The message? Agile is coming to the Federal space. It’s coming soon and it’s coming on strong.
So why did Deloitte leave it off of it’s list? Because, as has been the history of the Agile grassroots movement, Agile flies under the radar. Just because it isn’t explicitly called out on this list by Deloitte (or on Kundra’s 25 Points of Federal IT Improvement) doesn’t mean that Agile isn’t taking hold. Gartner predicted in 2010 that by the end of 2012 80% of all new software development projects would follow a flavor of Agile. In the 2011 “Gartner Predicts” series, they said,
During the next three to five years, program and portfolio management leaders will focus heavily on improving speed, accuracy, agility and decision making, which will stretch resources and exert pressure to develop true agile project managers.
Under the radar or not, Agile methods are coming, to the Federal space and to traditional IT departments everywhere. Now is the time to get ahead of that curve, before it passes you by.
Russ Fletcher is Vice President and Federal Practice Manager of Davisbase Consulting Services, a leading provider of Agile training and coaching, and an ASPE partner in delivering Agile training. He has spent the last six years practicing Agile as an IT manager and CIO, as well as teaching or leading dozens of organizations in their adoption of Agile. Most recently he has been training the Harvard University IT (HUIT) in applying Agile to their environment.