Agile in government. Sounds easy at first glance but then you find so little or none of it in reality. Why is this?
If you were to ask Barack Obama, he would say that it is due to the structure of government being stuck in its current form for the last 70 years. With the IT trouble both in the VA and with his flagship medical insurance policy. As a president, he has suffered more than those before him. The next one I am sure will suffer more than he has if he can’t resolve this problem. The simple reason is that IT has become more and more ingrained in business both public and private.
This same question has been worked through in the UK. With a constant going forward and backward on the issue. It has been stated that yes Agile works, but we don’t think it will work for the UK government? Without management “buy in” it won’t. Will there be management buy-in for the champions of what came before? I think not.
Which brings us back to structure and the speed with which it can change. Well from what I have seen, the structure and the champions that maintain it would take two generations to work out of the system naturally. Now, this is only limited to government structure and the IT management structure in particular. 50-60 years, a blink of an eye for the earth, a long time for IT and governments and the average taxpayer.
But it is becoming very clear that governments will go through Agile adoptions sooner than that and that there will be lots of pain for those involved.
If you are in IT or have some knowledge in the Agile field, it would be great if you could help your government see the light in every possible way you can. The sooner we start the better. 50 years is too long so you can’t leave it up to them.