Agile in U.S. Department of Defence? Really?

The U.S. Department of Defence has long been fighting a valiant rear-guard action in defense of Waterfall project methodologies. However, the times they are a-changing.

A colleague just pointed out the revolution hidden in section 804 of the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010:

SEC. 804. IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW ACQUISITION PROCESS FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS. (a) NEW ACQUISITION PROCESS REQUIRED

The Secretary of Defense shall develop and implement a new acquisition process for information technology systems….

(2) be designed to include—

(A) early and continual involvement of the user;

(B) multiple, rapidly executed increments or releases of capability;

(C) early, successive prototyping to support an evolutionary approach; and

(D) a modular, open-systems approach.

That sounds a lot like agile to me. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in real life once U.S. government eventually starts working again.

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