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Update 2016: Considerations for Using Agile in DoD Acquisition

December 2016 Technical Note
Suzanne Miller, Dan Ward (Dan Ward Consulting), Mary Ann Lapham, Ray C. Williams, Charles (Bud) Hammons, Daniel Burton, Alfred Schenker

This report updates a 2010 technical note, addressing developments in commercial Agile practices as well as the Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition environment.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number

CMU/SEI-2016-TN-001

Abstract

This report, an update to a 2010 report, Considerations For Using Agile In DoD Acquisitions, addresses developments in commercial Agile practices as well as the Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition environment. It covers some previously unanswered questions and asks some new ones. It includes new research, examples of Agile in practice, and policy updates.

Continuing with the 2010 report’s theme, this report updates the exploration of these questions: Can Agile be used in the DoD environment? If so, how? It includes lessons learned from DoD programs that have employed Agile and information gleaned from myriad articles and books on Agile. While this report does not pretend to cover every paper or thought published about Agile in the DoD world, it provides an updated overview of some challenges in using Agile, an overview of how some programs have addressed these challenges, and some additional recommendations on dealing with these challenges. The intended audience is policy makers, program office staff, and software development contractors who are contemplating proposing the use of Agile methods.

We hope this report stimulates new discussion about adopting Agile in the DoD world and equips practitioners with the information they need to make informed decisions.