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Amazon Web Enterprises Strategist Mark Schwartz says DevOps initiatives are most effective when focused on objectives, according to ZDNet.

A traditional approach to DevOps turns project objectives into requirements for the team to follow, in an effort to speed up cycle times. However, a truly agile approach focuses on cross-functional teams, who can make better decisions on project objectives that may ultimately result in faster work. 

From the article:

“The important thing to realize is shrinking cycle times is not about doing things faster. It’s not about the speed, it’s about the quality of the decisions. When you put DevOps into an enterprise, it’s not just about how quickly you can get stuff to market — although that’s important— it’s about how can your central organization still have good control, and still make good decisions while the action is moving really fast both in the business context and in the DevOps process.” [— Mark Schwartz]

Read the full article: DevOps should be about good decisions, not faster cycle times | ZDNet

The post DevOps is about ‘making good decisions’, says award-winning CIO Mark Schwartz appeared first on Agile Government Leadership.

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Small businesses have a new opportunity to work with the Air Force, which is offering a special “pitch day” event where vendors can share ideas and pick up an immediate contract,  according to Signal (AFCEA).

Organizations are invited to submit a 5-page white paper to be considered for the event, addressing problems in key areas such as software, intelligence, special operations, and more. The Air Force will release a list of requirements prior to the event, which is scheduled for March 6-7, 2019.

From the article:

“At pitch day, if we like your idea, you can walk out that day with a one-page contract, and with a swipe of a government credit card, [you’ll receive] your first down payment for working for the United States Air Force as a contractor,” [Heather] Wilson, [U.S. Air Force Secretary] explained.

“We want to get small innovative companies able to do work with the United States Air Force, and we’re willing to change the way we do business in order to do it,” she said.

Read the full article: Air Force Reveals Same-Day Contracting Opportunity | AFCEA/ Signal Magazine

The post Air Force invites small business to make a pitch appeared first on Agile Government Leadership.

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The General Services Administration plans to integrate mobility into its DevSecOps processes as part of its ongoing IT modernization work, according to FedScoop.

The GSA has already responded to the increasing expectations of citizens and its workforce by making information and work platforms mobile-enabled. This latest effort will ensure that secure, mobile access is part of the planning process for new technologies and business practices. For agencies looking to follow suit, the GSA provides playbooks and best practices for integrating mobility into their operations.

From the article:

“There are tools out there that are FedRAMP-certified, that are codified for federal service,”  [David Shive, General Services Administration CIO] said. “Look for best practices out in the federal space. GSA is not the only place with successful mobility programs. From a practical standpoint, find others that have done this and ask them questions.”

Read the full article: GSA looking to bake mobility into its DevSecOps in 2019 | FedScoop

The post GSA DevSecOps goes mobile appeared first on Agile Government Leadership.

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Released just in time for Veterans Day, the VA’s improved site is the latest in its effort to put service at the center of its organization, according to FedScoop.

The newly-launched VA.gov presents a unified front for veteran services and agency functions, signaling its new focus on customer experience. Human-centered design practices helped guide the redesign, which improves navigation so veterans can easily locate information. The site now hosts the former Vets.gov — a successful 2015 improvement which consolidated services into a single portal.

From the article:

“We are so excited for the new VA.gov,” Marcy Jacobs, Executive Director of the VA Digital Service, told FedScoop in an emailed statement. “It marks an important step toward providing the modern digital experience Veterans deserve, and our team will continue to improve and streamline VA’s digital tools and content. Thank you to all of our partners across VA and our contracting teams who helped bring this across the finish line in time for Veterans Day.”

Read the full article: VA Digital Service unveils new VA.gov in time for Veterans Day | FedScoop

The post VA.gov offers vets new “online front door” for services appeared first on Agile Government Leadership.

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A recent request from the Transportation Security Administration invites industry to help guide strategy for a new agile procurement program, according to Nextgov.

With an ambitious number of modernization initiatives — from increasing the use of mobile apps to automating internal processes — TSA seeks to expand agile methodologies within the organization.  The Fast Agile Scalable Teams procurement program will create a vendor pool to support custom software solutions and agile adoption. TSA plans to issue the final solicitation by Jan. 30.

From the article:

The blanket purchase agreement would cover multiple awardees, including two deals specifically focused on supporting operations and enterprise-wide systems. TSA will select other teams to maintain “mission essential systems,” stand up a data management platform and build new software to meet the agency’s changing needs, the notice said. The vehicle also includes leaves the door open for small businesses to develop automation tools, coach teams in agile methodology and perform other functions.

Read the full article: TSA Wants Industry Input on Its Proposed Agile Contract Vehicle | Nextgov

The post TSA seeks industry input for agile procurement appeared first on Agile Government Leadership.

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To modernize public sector IT, government staff need to learn how to buy and manage modern technologies, according to U.S. Digital Service Director of Procurement Traci Walker in a recent interview with Government Matters.

USDS is helping prepare a workforce of IT procurement specialists through a new training program that will help procurement officers buy effective products for governments. It will also create a community of specialists skilled in “hacking” traditional procedures to accommodate industry best practices such as agile software development. Traci Walker shared some early successes and discussed the exciting future potential of the program.

From the video:

“The people that have been able to learn how to do this stuff are reinvigorated in their own Federal career ….With the release of the FAC-C Digital Service Training Certification Program there’s going to be a community of excellence around this topic that hasn’t been existed in the government before. [It will be exciting to see] a conference around this so people can come together to share strategies around new technology.” — Traci Walker, USDS Digital Service Director of Procurement 

Watch now: Tech-Savvy Procurement Workforce | Government Matters

The post VIDEO: ‘Tech-Savvy Procurement Workforce’ appeared first on Agile Government Leadership.

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According to Federal Computer Week, federal agencies are becoming more aware of the important role of procurement in IT modernization, but making change will require focusing on culture and communication — not just technical knowledge — to help buy effective technologies.

Many procurement officials are already aware that incorporating agile procurement processes can help, but are running into communication barriers that make adopting new procedures difficult. Agencies can help facilitate change from within by encouraging new channels that promote more open communication, and testing out new procedures in small pilot projects.  Having an executive on board to champion your efforts doesn’t hurt either.

From the article:

Acquisition officials and technical stakeholders within the government need to communicate better with each other to understand what the program office is trying to do and then work to find the right solution to make it happen. Culturally, team members need to think how they can creatively get to ‘yes’ versus being stuck on ‘no.’ Everyone knows that culture doesn’t change quickly, but we’ve seen some great examples recently across government (and from GSA) demonstrating more openness to creative acquisition solutions.

Read the full article: Effective acquisition: A key enabler for successful IT modernization | Federal Computer Week

The post Saying ‘yes’ to modern procurement practices appeared first on Agile Government Leadership.

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The right strategy for the future of government digital services is a holistic one, according to Luke Fretwell in a recent GovFresh article.

In order to create services that work for everyone — and avoid replicating entrenched organizational interests — leaders need to find ways to take what we’ve learned from government digital services while making room for growth. The United States Digital Service and 18F helped lead change that forwards human centered design, accessibility, and open standards, as well as new organizational approaches. Honoring these tenets with active leadership will help government sustain innovation.

From the article:

Only by taking a holistic, principled, organizational, operational and culture-focused approach to change and innovation will public leaders effectively deliver scalable, sustainable digital government services to the people they serve.

Read the full article: Governmental digital: A framework for scalable, sustainable digital government services | GovFresh

The post How to approach a strategy for government digital services appeared first on Agile Government Leadership.

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The latest installment of Jonathan Mostowski’s instructional video series helps agile practitioners understand how to be proactive in the acquisition process.

“Talking to Contracting Officers” can help agencies share their needs with industry, and allows companies to offer helpful approaches before requirements are set. But communicating with folks in program management and technical leadership positions can be even more effective for prompting collaboration and helping government and industry solve problems together.

From the video:

This isn’t necessarily about walking the halls of an agency and blindly knocking on doors. It’s understanding the construct of the organization, where the decision-makers are, where the decision-makers are in the process of making decisions — and finding those strategic opportunities and people to help guide a mutually beneficial approach. Shaping government shouldn’t just be about winning something — it’s also important to help the government make good decisions for the entire country.

Watch now:

Talking to Contracting Officers - YouTube

See more agile acquisition videos here

The post VIDEO: Help guide acquisitions by talking to the right person appeared first on Agile Government Leadership.

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