Behind the Buy Podcast 6 - Managing and Delivering Digital Services for Agile Software Development

Published Date: 
February 18, 2015
Media: 
Summary:

In this 6th episode of Behind the Buy, OFPP Administrator Anne Rung and 18F Consulting’s Dave Zvenyach discuss the agile approach to software procurement and development.

Description

In the 6th episode of Behind the Buy, OFPP Administrator Anne Rung interviews Dave Zvenyach, former General Counsel to the Council of the District of Columbia and now a highly accomplished “full stack” developer and Director of Acquisition Management for the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) 18F Consulting. The GSA’s 18F Consulting team provides hands-on consulting services to Federal leaders and helps Federal agencies use modern approaches to manage, procure, and deliver complex IT services. Dave’s legal and technical expertise and his time spent in government give him unique insight into acquisition challenges in the IT space.

In this episode, Dave discusses the agile approach to software procurement and development. He highlights Play #5 of the Digital Services Playbook, which makes recommendations for how to structure processes and budgets to ensure successful delivery. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) supports the iterative processes prescribed by agile and the TechFAR provides support on how to navigate those parts of the FAR.

IT services and contracts should be structured in such a way that requirements are “grown” or developed as development proceeds. This allows for maximum flexibility and prevents premature optimization of system requirements that may not actually be necessary for the user. It is important to make sure requirements are developed with an eye toward user experience. User experience should help guide every stage of the process and should be tested on an iterative basis (e.g. every two weeks instead of every six months or a year). This allows the Federal Government to focus on what it actually needs and not what the Federal Government thinks it needs.

Dave also addresses topics such as how to structure requirements, the use of open-source software, user-centered design strategies, and ensuring proper communication and management of vendors and teams to successfully deliver digital services.

Citation

"Behind the Buy Podcast 6 - Managing and Delivering Digital Services for Agile Software Development," FAI Media Library, accessed November 18, 2019, https://www.fai.gov/media-library/item/behind-buy-podcast-6-managing-and-delivering-digital-services-agile-software